ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Shohei Ohtani crushed two early homers, but they didn’t stand up.
Not against the all-day relentlessness of the Toronto Blue Jays’ lineup, and not against the ineptitude of the Los Angeles Angels’ pitching staff.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled home the tiebreaking run in the eighth inning for his season-high fifth RBI, and the Blue Jays overcame Ohtani’s latest power burst to complete a four-game sweep of the Angels with an 11-10 victory Sunday.
Raimel Tapia added three RBIs and Bo Bichette hit a tying homer in the eighth for Toronto, which capped its first four-game sweep of the Angels in 30 years with its highest-scoring performance of the season. After early-season struggles at the plate, the Jays have scored 35 runs in their last five games.
“Feels good to get going and play like we know we can,” Bichette said. “If they score, we’ve got to come out and be ready to score.”
Toronto blew a four-run lead and Los Angeles blew a three-run lead in a wild game featuring 25 combined hits and highlighted early on by Ohtani’s latest power display.
“It’s one of those days (when if) you’re a pitcher, you don’t want to go out there, but you want to see how it’s going to end,” said Jose Berrios, who yielded both of Ohtani’s blasts.
Ohtani hit a solo homer in the first inning and a two-run shot in the third for his ninth career multi-homer game. The AL MVP has seven homers in May and 11 this season.
Taylor Ward had a two-run homer and an RBI double for the Angels, who have lost a season-high five straight and nine of 12 after their perpetually poor pitching staff’s latest struggles. Toronto raked the Angels’ hurlers for 13 hits and eight walks even without sluggers Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernández in the starting lineup.
“A bunch of guys have been really good, collectively all of a sudden, it’s difficult,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said of his bullpen. “And I don’t have any answers for that. There’s been a lot of support and conversations. … Right now, you don’t know what to expect.”
Max Stassi hit a go-ahead homer in the seventh off Adam Cimber (6-2) and drove in three runs on four hits, but the Halos finished 3-6 on a nine-game homestand. While Ohtani reached base four times, Mike Trout went 0 for 5 for the first time this season.
Moments after Bichette tied it with his solo shot off Ryan Tepera, the Blue Jays reclaimed the lead on Gurriel’s RBI double off Jose Quijada (0-1), who hadn’t pitched in the majors since April 7. Oliver Ortega also struggled, giving up three runs and three hits while getting three outs before Tepera came out.
Patrick Sandoval was no better than his bullpen, yielding five earned runs over three innings in his worst start of the year for the Angels.
Toronto won even after Berrios gave up six runs on six hits while getting just seven outs. Ohtani mashed Berrios’ curveball 413 feet into the elevated right field bleachers in the first, ending the AL MVP’s 0-for-10 slide.
After Ohtani connected for a 425-foot homer to the ficus trees beyond center in the third, Stassi tied it with a two-run single.
Ward then came through in the fourth with his 10th homer of the season and his first during a homestand in which he barely played after running into the outfield wall during the opening game. He added a run-scoring double in the sixth.
“There’s no quitting in us,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said. “(The sweep) means a lot more because of how good (the Angels) are playing. That’s a good team over there.”
Toronto rallied for three runs to tie it in the seventh, sandwiching Tapia’s RBI single between bases-loaded walks for Gurriel and Hernández from the struggling Tepera.
David Phelps pitched the ninth for his first save since 2019.
Guerrero, who has a sore left wrist, was intentionally walked as a pinch-hitter in the eighth. Hernández, who has a minor hip injury, walked in the seventh and singled in the ninth.
LITTLE LEAGUE HOMER
Luis Rengifo tripled into the right field corner and scored for Los Angeles in the second when Santiago Espinal’s relay throw ended up in the netting.
Andrew Velazquez, who made an atrocious early throwing error, went 0 for 5. He also made the final out in a one-run Angels loss for the second straight night.
Blue Jays: Guerrero was in the starting initial lineup, but was scratched. Thanks to his eighth-inning appearance, the slugger has missed only one game this season, and only two of Toronto’s last 269 contests dating to 2020.
Angels: Although Ward couldn’t throw at full strength, he still played right field for the first time since incurring a stinger and losing strength in his wall collision nine days ago.
Blue Jays: After a day off, Toronto is likely to send Kevin Gausman (4-3, 2.25 ERA) to the mound Tuesday when the Chicago White Sox visit Rogers Centre.
Angels: After a day off, Noah Syndergaard (4-2, 3.08 ERA) is expected to make his New York return Tuesday at Yankee Stadium when the Halos open a six-game East Coast trip.
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.