ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar each had run-scoring hits in the fifth inning and five relievers helped fill in for an injured Jered Weaver, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night.
The Angels extended their home winning streak to 11 games, one shy of the franchise record set in 1967 – their second season in Anaheim. They are 16 games over .500 for the first time since ending the 2012 season at 89-73, and remain 3 1/2 games behind AL West-leading Oakland.
Weaver departed after two perfect innings and 24 pitches because of tightness in his lower back. The 31-year-old right-hander was taking his warmups for the third when he felt some discomfort.
The winning pitcher was Matt Shoemaker (7-2), who made 61 pitches in his emergency stint while allowing two runs and five hits through 3 2-3 innings. The rookie right-hander had thrown 102 pitches last Thursday in a win over Houston.
The Angels’ recently acquired veteran duo of Joe Thatcher and Jason Grilli helped piece it together with Kevin Jepsen and Joe Smith, who got three outs for his 11th save.
Toronto had only two singles after Juan Francisco’s two-out homer in the fifth against Shoemaker. The Blue Jays’ season-worst fifth straight loss dropped them three games behind AL East-leading Baltimore following the Orioles’ 8-2 win at Washington.
J.A. Happ (7-5) was charged with five runs, seven hits and three walks in 4 1-3 innings.
The Angels grabbed a 5-2 lead in the fifth. Chris Iannetta, who scored their first run in the third on Mike Trout’s groundout, ignited the four-run rally with a leadoff double that a fan touched near the top of the 18-foot wall in right-center field. Manager Mike Scioscia asked second base umpire Jim Wolf for a video review, hoping for a home run call he didn’t get.
Happ walked his next two batters before Pujols hit a bloop single to right-center that tied the score. It was his second bases-loaded hit in two days, after starting the season 0 for 13 in those situations.
Josh Hamilton followed with a sacrifice fly, Kendrick chased Happ with an RBI single through the box, and Aybar greeted Chad Jenkins with an RBI double on the right-hander’s first pitch.
Kendrick had three hits before grounding out with the bases loaded to end the sixth.
Francisco gave the Blue Jays a 2-1 lead in the top of the inning with his 14th home run after Jose Bautista delivered their first run with a sacrifice fly.
NOTES: Weaver is one of five active pitchers with at least 100 victories who have spent their entire career with one team. The others are Philadelphia’s Cole Hamels, Detroit’s Justin Verlander, Seattle’s Felix Hernandez and Boston’s Jon Lester. … Shoemaker is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in six career relief appearances, and 6-1 with a 3.79 ERA in his 10 big league starts. … The victory evened the Angels’ franchise record at 4,272-4,272, the first time the club has been at the .500 mark overall since splitting the first two games of their inaugural 1961 season. … Bautista, the Blue Jays’ RF, made his second straight start at 1B because Edwin Encarnacion is out with a strained right quadriceps. Encarnacion was put on the DL Monday and Nolan Reimold was added to the major league roster and made his Blue Jays debut, starting in CF and going 0 for 3 a day after he was claimed off waivers from Baltimore.