ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—A 10-inning victory left the Toronto Blue Jays feeling good about themselves. In the other clubhouse, there appeared to be some dissension brewing.
Aaron Hill had an RBI double and Russ Adams added a two-run single during the four-run rally, lifting the Blue Jays to an 8-4 victory over the two-time defending AL West champion Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
While reporters were grilling Angels manager Mike Scioscia in his office about the team’s 14th loss in 19 games, Darin Erstad’s voice could be heard shouting at an unnamed teammate or teammates.
“This is going to stop right … now!” Erstad said in a story posted on the Los Angeles Times’ Web site early Friday. “There’s going to be no finger-pointing, I don’t care who you are. It’s over. If we go down, we’re all going down together. We’re going to pull for everybody. No talking behind anyone’s back. Let’s pull for each other. Let’s go!”
Erstad, who is on the disabled list, declined to talk about what was said or what precipitated his blowup when approached by other reporters.
“It’s an emotional game,” second baseman Adam Kennedy said. “It’s a pretty tight clubhouse. And no matter what happens, I think everybody knows we’re fighting for each other. Things happen, but there’s one goal and everyone has that in mind.”
Mike Scioscia tried his best to put a positive spin on the embarrassing incident.
“It was a tough loss, and a lot of guys in that room are frustrated,” Scioscia said. “There’s a level of frustration we have to sift through right now. We’re not playing to our expectations. Winning is the only goal, and as much as these guys try to turn the page, sometimes that page gets heavy.”
Lyle Overbay started the winning rally with a double against Los Angeles closer Francisco Rodriguez, who was pitching his second inning. One out later, Rodriguez (0-1) intentionally walked former Angels catcher Bengie Molina, and Hill followed with a hit toward the gap in left-center.
“I was just looking for something I could drive,” Hill said. “The first pitch just kind of ran away from me. I wasn’t expecting a fastball on the next pitch, but I just reacted to the ball and hit it in the right direction. I’ve just been working on getting the barrel of the bat on the ball, and it definitely paid off tonight.”
Adams added some insurance with a single to left-center that chased K-Rod, and Reed Johnson singled home the final run.
“All three of the base hits I gave up, my location was right down the middle,” Rodriguez said. “They were all mistake pitches. And when you make in a game like that with the game on the line, you’re going to get hurt. That’s what I did. I just didn’t make my pitch when I had to, and it cost me the game.”
Mike Napoli’s leadoff homer in the seventh pulled the Angels even at 4-all. They loaded the bases later in the inning, but center fielder Vernon Wells caught Salmon’s drive on the warning track after a two-out intentional walk to Vladimir Guerrero.
Salmon got another chance with the bases loaded in the ninth after another intentional walk to Guerrero, but he looked at a third strike from Frasor that tailed in on him.
“You can’t explain how big that was. Obviously, that won the game right there,” Hill said.
Toronto’s Roy Halladay allowed four runs and eight hits over seven innings and struck out seven. He was coming off consecutive complete-game wins over the Angels and Tampa Bay that required 187 total pitches. The 2003 AL Cy Young winner has a 8.19 ERA in four career starts at Angel Stadium, by far his worst at any ballpark.
Donnelly and first baseman Robb Quinlan collided while going for Wells’ dribbling single, and right fielder Guerrero dropped Troy Glaus’ flyball in short right-center, allowing Johnson to score and put Toronto ahead. However, Guerrero was not charged with an error after throwing to second base for the force on Wells.
Lackey allowed three runs and four hits in six innings and struck out three. The right-hander, who did not walk a batter in 15 innings over his previous two starts, walked Wells and Glaus with two out in the first and finished with five bases on balls. It was the first time this season that Lackey pitched with Napoli starting behind the plate.
“John was a little careful with the middle of their lineup,” pitching coach Bud Black said. “He pitched Troy overly careful and he was careful with Wells also. I think John knew that he was going to be a tight game with Halladay, so he tried to make—I wouldn’t say perfect pitches, but he was really thinking about not leaving the ball in the middle of the plate. And a lot of times when you do that, you end up coming out of your game a little bit.”
Lackey walked Glaus for the second time to open the sixth, and the Blue Jays tied it 3-all with consecutive RBI doubles by Overbay and Alex Rios.
OF-3B Chone Figgins, who had started each of the Angels’ first 40 games, came in as a pinch-runner in the seventh and remained in the game. He had committed at error in five of his last previous games and was 6-for-44 over his previous 11 contests. … The Blue Jays will recall RHP Ty Taubenheim to make his major league debut on Saturday at Coors Field in place of the injured Gustavo Chacin, who is on the DL because of a sprained elbow and forearm.