Angels 3, Blue Jays 0

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TORONTO (AP)—Kelvim Escobar dominated his former team like no other pitcher has this season.

Escobar and two relievers combined on a four-hitter and Tim Salmon homered to lead the Los Angeles Angels to a 3-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday.

Toronto was shut out for the first time this season.

“They might be the hottest lineup in baseball right now and for us to get a game from Escobar like that, it’s big for us,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “He pitched a terrific game.”

Escobar (4-2) allowed just three hits, while striking out six and walking two in 6 2-3 innings.

“That’s as good as you can probably get right there,” Toronto catcher Bengie Molina said.

Escobar appeared headed for his first shutout, but he left after Shea Hillenbrand lined a ball off his right leg for a hit in the seventh.

He doesn’t think it will be a problem in his next start.

“It hit me pretty good. It got me above the ankle. My foot went numb right away and I couldn’t continue,” Escobar said. “I just have to ice it.”

Scot Shields followed with 1 1-3 perfect innings and Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth for his ninth save in 10 chances.

Escobar spent seven seasons with Toronto before signing with the Angels after the 2003 season. He is 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA in three career starts against Toronto.

“I had fun here. It was my first team. It’s always good to get a ‘W’ against your former team,” Escobar said.

Salmon went 2-for-3 with an intentional walk in his first start in right field since July 25, 2004. He missed all of last season because of shoulder and knee injuries.

“Hey, I’m just thankful for anything that comes along these days. If it’s DHing or pinch-hitting or playing the field once a month, I’ll take it and enjoy it,” Salmon said.

Salmon homered off Ted Lilly (3-2) in the fourth to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead.

He entered the game in a 3-for-24 slump. The Angels had lost seven of their last eight because of a struggling offense.

Scioscia said Salmon likely won’t play the outfield for some time.

“It make take him a month to recover, but we’ll get him out there again if we get a chance,” Scioscia said.

Lilly looked sharp but took the loss, allowing two runs and five hits in seven innings.

After walking Orlando Cabrera in the sixth, Lilly struck out Vladimir Guerrero before intentionally walking Salmon to face Robb Quinlan, who lined an RBI single into left field.

Cabrera walked again in the eighth and scored on Guerrero’s RBI double.


Toronto manager John Gibbons said they might place C Gregg Zaun on the 15-day disabled list if he’s too sore to play in the coming days. Zaun has a sore right calf. He began on the year on the DL with the injury. … Los Angeles left fielder Chone Figgins robbed Vernon Wells of a hit with a sliding catch in the seventh. … Figgins stole his 10th base of the season. … Toronto RHP Francisco Rosario pitched a scoreless eighth in his major league debut.

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