Morales, Happ lead Blue Jays over Angels 5-3, stop skid at 4
TORONTO (AP) — With the Los Angeles Angels in town, Toronto’s Kendrys Morales emulated Shoehei Otani: He followed a pitching performance with a big home run.
Morales hit a two-run homer, J.A. Happ won his second straight start and the Toronto Blue Jays burst to a five-run first-inning lead in a 5-3 win Tuesday night that stopped a four-game losing streak.
“It was great to bounce back after a tough series against the A’s,” Happ said, referring to a four-game weekend sweep against Oakland.
Josh Donaldson had two doubles and Teoscar Hernandez singled home the first run as the Blue Jays ended a six-game home skid and won for the fourth time in 16 games at Rogers Centre.
Morales made his big league pitching debut with a scoreless ninth inning of Sunday’s 9-2 loss, walking one batter and getting all three outs on fly balls.
He shook off some mild soreness in his arm to start at designated hitter on Tuesday and went 2 for 3 for his first consecutive multi-hit games this season. The home run was his first since May 1 at Minnesota, and he raised his average from .152 to .178.
“Hopefully tonight is the start of something good for him,” manager John Gibbons said.
Still, Morales made it clear he can’t compare to Otani as a two-way player.
“He’s from another world,” Morales said through a translator. “I don’t think you can compare anyone to him. What he does is something amazing.”
Los Angeles has lost six of seven and eight of 11.
“It was obvious, we were just a little flat tonight,” right-hander Garrett Richards said.
The Angels have scored three runs or fewer in nine of their past 10 games.
“On the offensive side, we just didn’t pressure these guys enough,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
Angels outfielder Chris Young misplayed Russell Martin’s first-inning line drive, allowing two runs to score and ending the longest active errorless streak in the major leagues at 236 games. Morales followed with his fourth home run this season.
“It was right in the lights,” Scioscia said. “Chris would have caught it if it wasn’t in the lights. It just went right into the lights and never really came out. It’s a tough break.”
Happ (5-2) allowed two runs and three hits in seven innings, improving to 2-6 in eight starts against the Angels. Ryan Tepera pitched the eighth and Tyler Clippard got three straight outs for his second save in three chances, finishing a four-hitter.
Richards (4-3) gave up five runs, but just one earned, and six hits in five innings. Richards has given up one earned run in his past two outings.
“Garret is still searching for that consistency,” Scioscia said. “He had to work really hard to get through five innings.”
Richards indicated displeasure with umpire Mike DiMuro’s strike zone.
“I made some good pitches that I didn’t get rewarded for,” Richards said.
HOMERING AT HOME
Morales hit his first home run at Rogers Centre since last Aug. 26 after nine straight on the road.
MAKING THE CUT
The Angels promoted 3B Tyler Ward from Double-A to Triple-A but Ward cut his finger while packing and wound up on the disabled list at Double-A. Wood is expected to be promoted as soon as he returns.
ON TAP FOR OTANI
Otani’s next scheduled start is Sunday at Yankee Stadium, where he will pitch against RHP Masahiro Tanaka.
Ohtani homered into the fifth deck at Rogers Centre during batting practice Tuesday.
Angels: RHP Blake Wood had an MRI that revealed elbow ligament damage. Wood, who will seek a second opinion, had been on a rehab assignment with Class A Inland Empire, allowing two runs in 2 1/3 innings over three appearances, the last on May 19. Wood had elbow surgery in 2012. ... Los Angeles released INF Ryan Schimpf.
Blue Jays: Toronto recalled 2B Devon Travis from Triple-A Buffalo. He takes the spot of SS Richard Urena, who was optioned to Buffalo. ... LHP Jaime Garcia and RHP Marcus Stroman, both sidelined by shoulder injuries, have started throwing programs at Toronto’s spring training facility in Dunedin, Florida. ... OF Randal Grichuk (right knee) started at DH and went 0 for 2 with two strikeouts in his first rehab game at Class A Dunedin.
LHP Tyler Skaggs (3-3 2.88), who starts Wednesday, has allowed two runs or fewer in eight of his nine starts, including the past five. Toronto RHP Aaron Sanchez (2-4, 4.47) has won just once in his past six starts.
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