Ohtani, Trout homer as Angels finish 3-game sweep of Jays
TORONTO (AP) — Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout helped the Los Angeles Angels put a rosy finish on a rough road trip.
The Toronto Blue Jays, meanwhile, took another dip on their roller-coaster ride through the AL wild-card race.
Ohtani and Trout homered, and the Angels beat the Blue Jays 8-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep.
Ohtani had three hits and scored twice one day after he pitched seven crisp innings in a 2-0 victory. Trout went 2 for 5 with two RBIs and also scored twice.
“We’re trying to win ballgames, we’re trying to build some positive momentum into the offseason,” Trout said. “Obviously we’re going to play some teams down the stretch that are in the race. We’re just trying to shake some things up a little bit.”
Ohtani’s two-run drive made it 6-1 in the seventh, and Trout added a solo shot in the ninth. It was the 28th homer for each slugger.
Luis Rengifo and Kurt Suzuki also connected for the Angels, who had lost six straight and nine of 10 before facing the Blue Jays.
Los Angeles limited Toronto to three runs in three games. The Angels scored 22 runs in the sweep after scoring 12 over the first seven games of the trip.
“I liked the way we went about it this weekend, sure,” interim manager Phil Nevin said. “It could have gone another way because of the way the road trip was going.”
A few fans in the rapidly thinning crowd of 44,318 booed after an error on Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. allowed a run to score in the eighth.
“Guys are gonna have to look at the standings and understand that every game is important,” interim Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “Three hours out of your day needs to be completely focused on trying to win.”
The Blue Jays finished one game out of a wild-card spot last season.
Toronto had won six of seven coming in but was swept at home for the first time since June 15-17, 2021, when the Yankees took all three games of a series played at Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo was one of Toronto’s three home ballparks last season when the U.S.-Canada border was closed because of restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The word that’s going to follow the 2022 Blue Jays for the years to come is streaky,” right-hander Ross Stripling said. “We’ve had more highs and lows this year than any team that I’ve been a part of.”
Schneider said he didn’t feel the need to deliver an angry rant to his team.
“I’m never the type of guy that will go in there and flip the table,” he said. “At this point, it’s up to the players to say ‘This is not good enough.'”
After Trout chased right-hander Adam Cimber with an RBI double in the seventh, Ohtani greeted lefty Tim Mayza with an opposite-field drive into the bullpen in left.
“Sho’s at-bats were great,” Nevin said. “The home run was, for me, the biggest blow of the game.”
Trout beat a four-man outfield by homering into the center field batter’s eye off right-hander David Phelps.
“Things went our way this series, for sure,” Trout said.
Stripling (6-4) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. Stripling gave up more than two earned runs for the first time since July 3 against Tampa Bay, snapping a six-start unbeaten streak.
Matt Chapman ended Toronto’s 21-inning scoreless drought with a two-out RBI double in the fourth. The run snapped a 22-inning scoreless streak by Angels pitchers.
Angels left-hander Tucker Davidson allowed one run and three hits in four-plus innings. He matched a career worst with five walks but struck out a career-high five.
“It’s going to be a happy flight home,” Davidson said.
Danny Jansen doubled to begin the fifth and Davidson departed after a four-pitch walk to George Springer. Andrew Wantz (2-0) got Guerrero to ground into a fielder’s choice before Lourdes Gurriel hit into an inning-ending double play.
Springer extended his hitting streak to a season-high 12 games with a solo homer off Gerardo Reyes in the ninth, his 19th.
Back in the lineup after fouling a ball off his left foot Friday, usually speedy Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernández looked to be running with difficulty. He couldn’t score from first base on Chapman’s two-out hit in the fourth. With runners at the corners and two out in the sixth, Hernández wasn’t moving at full speed when he was forced out at second base on an unassisted play by shortstop Andrew Velazquez.
Suzuki was the third different catcher in as many games for the Angels. Matt Thaiss caught Friday and Max Stassi caught Saturday.
Angels: LHP José Suarez (4-6, 4.19 ERA) starts Monday as Los Angeles returns home to begin a three-game series against the Yankees. RHP Frankie Montas (4-10, 3.84 ERA) will start for New York.
Blue Jays: RHP José Berríos (9-5, 5.28 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a three-game interleague series against the Chicago Cubs. RHP Javier Assad (0-0, 0.00) goes for the Cubs.
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