Bautista homers, but Blue Jays lose 9-7 to Angels
TORONTO—Jose Bautista is finishing June on a powerful note. Not so much for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Bautista hit his major league-best 26th homer, and 14th this month, but it wasn't enough as the last-place Blue Jays suffered their third straight defeat and fell 9-7 to the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Jeff Mathis had four hits and scored three runs against his former team, but Toronto dropped to 11-14 this month.
"Obviously it's nice to have a day at the plate like that," Mathis said, "but when you come out with a loss, it's still not satisfying."
Rookie Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo each hit two-run homers, and Alberto Callaspo added a solo blast as the Angels earned their 14th victory in 18 games.
As well as Toronto swung the bats, they couldn't contain the Angels, who have won 25 of 33 overall and are 14-1 in their past 15 road games.
"They're playing good ball right now," Mathis said. "They've been playing good ball for the last week or two. They're hot. You've got to make good pitches against a lineup like that."
Brett Cecil (1-1) lost for the first time in three starts this season, giving up eight runs and 10 hits, both season highs, in 5 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out a season-high six.
"When he left a pitch up over the plate, they didn't miss it," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Trout went 2 for 5 to raise his American League-leading average to .345.
"He's brought some great energy since he's been up here," Angels slugger Albert Pujols said of Trout.
Pujols had four of Los Angeles' 14 hits as the Angels continued to pound opposition pitching; they've scored 64 runs in the past eight games. For Pujols, it was his first four-hit game since signing with Los Angeles last winter.
"If we're going to reach our goal, our lineup has to flow like this," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Dan Haren (6-7) allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings to win consecutive starts for the first time since May 29. Haren, who walked one and struck out three, improved to 5-0 in seven career starts at Rogers Centre.
LaTroy Hawkins worked the seventh and Scott Downs got two outs in the eighth before Ernesto Frieri pitched out of a jam in the ninth for his 10th save in as many chances.
Mathis and Brett Lawrie singled on fastballs to begin the ninth, Colby Rasmus struck out and Bautista walked on a 3-2 pitch before Edwin Encarnacion grounded into a game-ending double play.
"That double play was not easy," Scioscia said. "(Second baseman) Howie (Kendrick) hung in there to get rid of it and Albert made a great pick."
The two hits off Frieri were the most he's allowed in any of his 23 scoreless outings since joining the Angels in a May 3 trade with San Diego, and the first time he's allowed consecutive hits.
Callaspo opened the scoring with a home run in the second, his fifth, but the Blue Jays answered in the bottom half on Yunel Escobar's RBI groundout.
Mathis hit a leadoff homer in the third, but the Angels reclaimed the lead with three in the fourth. Pujols led off with a double and Trumbo followed with his team-leading 19th homer. Kendrick walked, went to third on Callaspo's single and scored on Peter Bourjos' sacrifice fly.
The Blue Jays cut it to 4-3 in the bottom half on a sacrifice fly by Rajai Davis, but Kendrick restored the two-run cushion with an RBI single in the fifth.
Bautista erased the advantage in the bottom half with a booming drive into the second deck in left.
Once more, Toronto's lead was short-lived. Bourjos tied it with an RBI double and Trout chased Cecil with a two-run drive that just cleared the wall in left, his eighth.
Toronto cut it to 8-7 on Lawrie's RBI single in the seventh, but Rasmus was thrown out trying to score from third on Bautista's grounder to short.
Trumbo added some insurance when he tripled home a run in the ninth against reliever Casey Janssen.
NOTES: Blue Jays RHP Henderson Alvarez, who left Monday's start at Boston with a sore elbow, threw before the game and remains on track to start Saturday, manager John Farrell said. ... Angels RHP Jerome Williams (respiratory) threw a bullpen session before the game. Williams went on the DL June 19 after suffering an asthma attack following a start against San Francisco. ... Fans cheered and the game was briefly halted with Callaspo batting in the fifth when a pigeon walked across the field between the mound and home plate.