Overbay hit a go-ahead solo homer, A.J. Burnett won back-to-back starts for the first time this season and the Blue Jays avoided a three-game sweep by beating the Angels 4-3 on Thursday night.
Take away a 10-2 win over the Dodgers last Sunday, and the Angels have averaged just 2.9 runs per game in their past eight game. Manager Mike Scioscia blamed the low output on poor situational hitting.
“We’re in a little bit of a lull there,” Scioscia said. “We’ll get better with it but right now, we’re struggling to get some things going, trying to get some innings going a little bit earlier. You’re always looking for those two-out hits with guys in scoring position that can swing a ball game against somebody tough, and we have not been able to do that.”
Torii Hunter, who went 0-3 with two strikeouts and grounded into a double play.
“It’s just a feeling and it’s a feeling that a lot of guys don’t have right now,” he said. “If you have that feeling, you know that you can go out there and do it but we just don’t have that feeling right now.”
Overbay, however, is feeling it. He finished 2-for-3, adding a double and a walk. Eight of his past 17 hits have gone for extra bases.
“It’s getting there,” Overbay said. “I still don’t think I’m where I need to be. It seems like I don’t get a lot of pitches to hit and when I do, I end up fouling them off.”
Burnett (5-4) gave up three runs and six hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out six.
“He’s got some of the best stuff I’ve seen as far as fastballs and the late break on that breaking stuff is sharp,” Angels catcher Jeff Mathis said. “When he’s throwing it for strikes like he was today, it’s a pretty good combo.”
Burnett allowed just one hit through the first four innings but was touched for two runs and three hits in the fifth. Sean Rodriguez doubled home Casey Kotchman and scored on a double by Macier Izturis.
A two-out single by Mathis tied it at 3-all in the sixth, but Overbay broke the tie with his third homer in the bottom of the inning.
Overbay’s one out drive to right made a loser of Ervin Santana (6-2), who has lost consecutive outings after starting the season 6-0.
“I’m healthy, like I was before,” Santana said. “I just have to keep pitching. That’s it.”
Santana said he was trying to throw Overbay a slider in the dirt, but left it up by mistake.
“I was trying to bounce it but I didn’t finish the pitch and that’s why it wound up in the middle (of the plate),” he said.
Connecting on the slider gave Overbay a mental boost.
“I hadn’t put a good swing on a slider in a while, so that was good for the confidence,” he said.
Santana started in place of Joe Saunders, who was pushed back because of flu-like symptoms. Scioscia said Saunders is expected to start Friday, when the Angels open a three-game series in Chicago against the White Sox.
Santana lost for the first time in six road starts this season. He has started 4-1 with a 3.83 ERA away from home this season, one year after going 1-10 with an 8.38 ERA on the road.
The Blue Jays loaded the bases with one out in the fourth but came away with just one run, with Alex Rios scoring on a bloop single by Rod Barajas. Scutaro popped out and Inglett grounded out to end the threat.
The Blue Jays had three runners thrown out at second base. Scott Rolen and Wilkerson were both gunned down trying to stretch singles into doubles and Shannon Stewart was caught stealing second in the sixth.
Rodriguez’s fifth-inning double snapped an 0-for-14 streak and gave him his first career RBI. … Angels INF Chone Figgins, who was activated off the 15-day DL Wednesday, was held out of the starting lineup. Figgins said his hamstring was still sore after playing on Toronto’s artificial turf. … Inglett started in place of DH Matt Stairs, who was scratched from the lineup because of a stiff neck.