Ohtani ties it, Simmons wins it in 9th as Angels beat Jays
TORONTO (AP) — Shohei Ohtani helped the Los Angeles Angels finally scrounge up some runs just in time.
Ohtani hit a tying two-run single, Andrelton Simmons added another two-run hit and the Angels rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-4 on Wednesday night.
Simmons went 2 for 5 and right fielder Kole Calhoun made a game-saving throw in the bottom of the ninth as the Angels scored more than three runs for just the second time in their past 11 games.
“It was a big win,” Simmons said. “We needed that.”
Toronto turned to Tyler Clippard (4-2) in the ninth to protect a 3-1 lead, but he loaded the bases with consecutive walks to Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols.
Ohtani broke his bat but lined a single to center for his first hit of the series, and Simmons chased Clippard with a single through the drawn-in infield.
Pinch-hitter Kendrys Morales hit an RBI double off Angels reliever Blake Parker in the ninth, but Calhoun kept the Angels in front by throwing out Curtis Granderson as he tried to score from third on a fly ball.
“That’s a rocket,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “There aren’t many right fielders who are going to be able to stop a guy like Granderson but he put it right on the money.”
Calhoun entered the day tied for the major league lead with six outfield assists.
“There’s nobody else you want that ball going to,” Simmons said. “You know he’s going to give you a good throw every time.”
Trout went 1 for 2 with three walks, raising his major league-leading total to 45.
The Angels came in 0-18 when trailing after eight innings.
Justin Anderson (1-1) pitched one inning for the win and Parker survived a shaky ninth to record his third save. Parker struck out Justin Smoak to end it, stranding runners at first and second.
Yangervis Solarte and Devon Travis hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays, who have lost 13 of 17 at home.
Clippard blew a save for the second time in three appearances. The veteran has taken over the closer’s role while Roberto Osuna is on administrative leave as MLB investigates an assault charge filed against him.
“These are tough days and tough losses to swallow,” Clippard said. “You’ve just got to move on.”
The Angels won despite having two runners thrown out at third base in the same inning by left fielder Granderson.
Zack Cozart was the first victim, getting caught too close to second base after a sliding Granderson couldn’t handle Calhoun’s sinking liner in the sixth. Granderson scrambled to his feet and threw to third in time to get Cozart, who stumbled over the bag as he tried to avoid Josh Donaldson’s tag.
The inning ended when Calhoun was thrown out trying to go from first to third on Trout’s two-out single. Calhoun was tagged out before Martin Maldonado could score from second base, costing the Angels a run. Los Angeles challenged the play, but umpire Mike DiMuro’s call stood.
Simmons made the defensive play of the game at shortstop, a leaping catch on Donaldson’s line drive to end the seventh. Donaldson’s liner had an exit velocity of 113 mph.
Simmons was ribbed by his teammates for a not-so graceful landing on the play, coming down face-first on the artificial turf.
“They showed me a couple of pictures of my face on the floor,” Simmons said. “At least I didn’t eat any grass. I’m just happy I made the play and I can still walk.”
Los Angeles left-hander Tyler Skaggs allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.
“He was pitching with his back against the wall the whole night but he got through five,” Scioscia said.
Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez gave up two hits in five scoreless innings and matched a season high with five walks.
Blue Jays: Manager John Gibbons said RHP Sam Gaviglio will start at Philadelphia on Friday, his second straight start in place of injured RHP Marcus Stroman (shoulder).
Angels: RHP Nick Tropeano (1-3, 4.45) faces Blue Jays RHP Marco Estrada (2-4, 5.15) in Thursday afternoon’s series finale. Tropeano will make his first career start against Toronto. Estrada is winless in five straight outings.
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