TORONTO -- Battling to get to the .500 mark in September is not the way the Los Angeles Angels envisioned their season unfolding. But despite the club's disappointing results, it is still focused on finishing the year strong.
A hot stretch, which began in late August has seen the Angels walk away victorious in 15 of their past 20 contests after dropping the Toronto Blue Jays in Thursday's series finale.
The Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, winning 4-3 in front of 20,767 at Rogers Centre to claim their 12th win in their last 14 road games.
"Obviously it's not the team that was imagined in spring training," said right fielder Kole Calhoun. "But we are still out there, there is a still a season left to go and we are going to go out and try to win games. You never know what can happen, so we are going to out and play hard."
Calhoun went 2-for-3 with a walk and a home run, his seventh of the year, while Mike Trout and Grant Green each drove in a run to help the Angels (70-76) remain unbeaten in their last six series (5-0-1) -- the club's longest streak of the season.
Toronto made things interesting in the ninth inning, putting two on with two outs for Brett Lawrie, but closer Ernesto Frieri struck out Lawrie to record his 33rd save of the season. Michael Kohn, Dane De La Rosa, and Frieri threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief to make starter Garrett Richards a winner for the third consecutive game, the first time he has accomplished the feat in his career.
Richards (7-6) lasted 6 2/3 innings, surrendering nine hits and three runs while striking out four. Over his last three games, the 25-year-old has compiled a 2.41 ERA.
"We're having fun," said Richards, who recorded his seventh quality start of the season. "This has been a locker room full of fighters the whole year. We went through a lot early on and even in the middle, but we're not going to lay down for anybody."
Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ (4-6) didn't fare as well, going just 4 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on six hits while walking two and matching a season high with six strikeouts. It was the third time in Happ's last four starts that he has failed to make it out of the fifth inning.
Despite the short outing, Happ said that his delivery and mechanics felt as good as they have all year.
"I'm just trying to prove to myself more than anything else," Happ said. "I hope to go out and finish strong, that's for sure."
Four Blue Jays (67-79) relievers, starting with Neil Wagner in the fifth, combined to throw 4 2/3 scoreless innings after Happ exited the contest.
Jose Reyes went 4-for-4 with a home run, his 10th of the season, while Moises Sierra went 3-for-4 and had his third consecutive multihit game.
Los Angeles improved to 8-4 in September and outscored Toronto 21-13 over the three-game set. It marked the first time since July 9-11, 2004, that the Angels have swept a series of three games or more at the Rogers Centre.
"We're not throwing out our top-notch lineup right now, we're scratching for runs, so our starters have got to step up," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said.
The Blue Jays, losers of three straight, have dropped 10 of their last 13 contests to the Angels.
Adam Lind put the Blue Jays on the board in the first inning, stroking a two-out double. The hit scored Reyes, who led off the game with a single, and gave Toronto a 1-0 lead. With the first-inning run, Toronto has outscored its opponents 20-5 in the opening frame in the past 12 games.
NOTES: Blue Jays 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion (sore left wrist) missed his fourth consecutive game, and he remains day-to-day. ... Angels 2B Howie Kendrick (knee) is expected to return to the lineup for Friday's series opener against the Astros in Houston. Kendrick has been sidelined since Aug. 5. ... Toronto opens a home series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday. ... Canadian music artist Avril Lavigne was in attendance for the contest, receiving a round of applause when shown on the video board. ... Angels 1B Mark Trumbo extended his hitting streak to eight games with a seventh-inning single.