ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Kole Calhoun punctuated his first four-hit game with his first career homer, a tiebreaking two-run shot in the eighth inning of the Los Angeles Angels’ 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
J.B. Shuck’s triple drove in Chris Nelson with the tying run in the eighth for the Angels, who rallied against All-Star reliever Steve Delabar (5-2) for their second straight win over Toronto.
Nelson had two RBI singles for Los Angeles before his leadoff double in the eighth, and Shuck followed with a triple to right after Jose Bautista misjudged the ball. Calhoun then homered to right.
Jose Reyes homered during a three-run rally in the sixth inning by the last-place Blue Jays, who have lost three of five.
Chris Iannetta had an early two-run double and threw out three Toronto base stealers for the Angels, while Shuck leaped all the way into the left-field stands to rob Bautista of a homer in the fourth inning.
But Tommy Hanson blew another lead in his fourth straight winless start, and the Angels appeared headed to a loss before their youngsters sparked the eighth-inning rally.
Delabar leads the AL in strikeouts by a reliever after dominating the first half of the season, but the right-hander hasn’t been as sharp lately despite striking out the last six batters he had faced before the eighth inning at Angel Stadium.
Dane De La Rosa (5-1) pitched the eighth for Los Angeles, and Ernesto Frieri struck out the side in the ninth for his 26th save. The Angels’ closer bounced back from two rough outings earlier in the week in Texas, where the Angels lost three straight on game-ending homers.
Hanson allowed seven hits and three walks while pitching into the sixth. The inconsistent right-hander blew an early five-run lead at Oakland in his last start.
Todd Redmond couldn’t get out of the fourth inning for the Blue Jays, allowing seven hits and three runs while laboring with a high pitch count. The right-hander struck out five in his sixth major league start, but couldn’t match his 10-strikeout brilliance last week against Houston.
Shuck produced the game’s biggest highlight when he ended up in the outfield stands while making a jaw-dropping catch on Bautista’s drive. Shuck leaped at the short fence, briefly teetered on the ledge after making the catch, and tumbled backward into the stands, still holding onto the ball.
Los Angeles batted around in the fourth, with Iannetta delivering a two-out double. Iannetta also threw out three Blue Jays attempting to steal second base, a first for an Angels catcher in the past decade – and a particular achievement when catching Hanson, who acknowledges being horrible at holding runners on base.
Nelson, getting a regular chance to play at third base after Alberto Callaspo’s departure for Oakland last week, delivered another run-scoring single in the fifth.
Reyes evened it with his seventh homer into the elevated right-field stands in the sixth, and the Jays went ahead when Bautista scored on Colby Rasmus’ bases-loaded grounder.
NOTES: Los Angeles’ stars didn’t contribute much: Josh Hamilton went 0 for 5 and stranded six runners in a four-inning stretch with three inning-ending outs, while Mark Trumbo struck out four times. … Iannetta threw out two runners trying to steal second base in the third inning. Opposing runners were 15 for 16 on stolen-base attempts against Hanson this season before Iannetta threw out Emilio Bonifacio and Reyes. An Angels catcher hadn’t caught two runners stealing in the same inning since 2002. … Mike Trout reached base for the 33rd consecutive game, extending the AL’s longest active streak, when the Jays intentionally walked him in the fourth to pitch to Hamilton, who grounded out weakly with the bases loaded. Trout is the first Angels player to reach base in 33 straight games twice in the same season.