ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Another day, another walk-off win for the Los Angeles Angels—who have become quite proficient at this sort of thing.
Toronto closer B.J. Ryan hit Howie Kendrick with a pitch to force home the tying run in the ninth inning, and Maicer Izturis singled home the game-winner one pitch later to give the AL West-leading Angels a 4-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
All four of the Angels’ wins on this six-game homestand were walk-off victories, including Saturday night’s 3-2 triumph when pinch-hitter Juan Rivera ended it with an RBI single against reliever Brian Tallet to snap a string of 20 consecutive scoreless innings by the Toronto bullpen.
“I wish we were attacking clubs a little better on the offensive side early in games—but a win’s a win,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s not how you’re always going to write it up, but our last two nights were good wins. It’s certainly not our template.”
The other two dramatic wins came against Detroit. On Monday night, Garret Anderson drew a bases-loaded walk from Tigers reliever Bobby Seay in the 12th inning for the only run of the game. The following night, Gary Matthews Jr. singled home the winning run off Aquilino Lopez with two outs in the ninth for a 3-2 victory.
“If you can’t get excited about a victory like this, you shouldn’t be playing baseball. You should be staying home,” Izturis said through a translator. “Every player dreams of doing something like that at some point in the game.”
Ryan’s first blown save in 13 attempts this season spoiled a masterful performance by A.J. Burnett, who allowed two runs and three hits over eight innings but was pulled by manager John Gibbons after 102 pitches.
“I wouldn’t say we were happy that he came in, but Burnett was pretty much dealing and we wanted to see something different,” Angels slugger Torii Hunter said. “B.J. Ryan is a really good closer and we didn’t want to see him, either. But get the guy that’s hot out of there.”
Burnett struck out eight and walked three. One of the hits off the right-hander was a two-run homer in the third by Sean Rodriguez, his first in the major leagues. It was the eighth time in Burnett’s last nine starts that he has allowed fewer than four earned runs.
“It’s tough because he goes out there and does that for eight innings and I cough it up in the ninth,” said Ryan, who allowed one earned run in his previous 17 innings this season. “It’s the tough part of the job when things don’t go your way. You just have to be a man about it and get the ball and go after it the next night.”
Vladimir Guerrero and Hunter greeted Ryan (1-1) with singles, putting runners at the corners. Guerrero was tagged out in a rundown on Casey Kotchman’s grounder to first, but stayed in it long enough for the other runners to advance to second and third.
Mike Napoli was intentionally walked and Ryan struck out Rivera, who was batting for Brandon Wood. But the left-hander plunked Kendrick on the arm with his next pitch—his first hit batsman since 2005 with Baltimore—and gave up a single to right by Izturis.
Rookie Jose Arredondo (2-0) got credit for the victory after three innings of scoreless relief by Darren Oliver. Arredondo allowed two singles to open the ninth, but retired Alex Rios on a double-play grounder and struck out Scott Rolen to strand David Eckstein at third.
Jon Garland threw 115 pitches over five innings, matching his shortest outing in 12 starts with the Angels. He allowed three runs and five hits, struck out three and tied his season high in walks with four. The no-decision kept his career record against Toronto at 10-2.
The Blue Jays scored in each of the first three innings before Los Angeles narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the third. Wood reached on an infield hit and Rodriguez, the Angels’ No. 9 hitter, drove a 2-1 pitch into the second tier of the left-field bullpen.
Burnett had allowed only one home run in 51 2-3 innings over his previous nine outings. Last season, the right-hander gave up a career-worst 23 homers.
Rios singled with two outs in the first and scored on the second wild pitch of the season by Garland, who minimized the damage by retiring Brad Wilkerson on a bases-loaded groundout.
Kevin Mench drew a leadoff walk in the second and came home on a sacrifice fly by Eckstein, who was 3-for-11 with two walks in his first series at Anaheim since leaving the Angels after the 2004 season.
The Blue Jays tacked on another run when Rod Barajas sent an 0-2 pitch to left for his fifth homer and second in two days. Garland had not allowed a home run in his previous 38 2-3 innings since April 28.
The Blue Jays are 14-2 in day games. … The Angels have scored no more than four runs in 12 straight games since beating the Dodgers 10-2 on May 18. Toronto has held the Angels to four runs or fewer in each of the last 18 meetings.