MLB: After strong road trip, Blue Jays take on Angels
After a 6-1 road trip, the Toronto Blue Jays will return home Friday night to open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.
The Blue Jays won in 10 innings for the second game in a row Thursday night, 6-5, to complete a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox. Toronto took three of four games from the New York Yankees to open the trip.
The Angels lost their sixth straight game Thursday, 8-3 to the host Tampa Bay Rays.
Toronto pulled an escape act twice against the Red Sox on Thursday. Boston had a runner on third with nobody out in the eighth and loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth, yet did not score either time.
“They’re tough,” Blue Jays interim manager John Schneider said about his players. “They’re competitive as hell. Not backing down from anyone and we’re playing really good at a good time.”
Blue Jays third baseman Matt Chapman added, “We’ve been a little bit streaky and we haven’t been able to put together a big, huge month. We have a good 10 days and then so-so. We’ve been able to stay where we want to be … but if we can continue to play (well) through the rest of the season, there’s no telling what we’re capable of putting together.”
In losing for the ninth time in 10 games Thursday, the Angels could not overcome a five-run third inning in which only one run was earned.
“We’ve got to be better all the way around,” Los Angeles interim manager Phil Nevin said. “We let one inning get away from us.”
The Blue Jays will start right-hander Mitch White (1-3, 3.63 ERA) Friday in the opener of a six-game homestand.
He will be facing the Angels for the second time in his career. He allowed six runs (all unearned) in 1 1/3 innings against them in a relief outing last season.
The Angels will start left-hander Reid Detmers (4-4, 3.66 ERA), who will be facing Toronto for the first time in his career.
Los Angeles first baseman Jared Walsh (thoracic outlet syndrome) was placed on the 60-day injured list on Thursday and could face surgery.
The Angels first put Walsh on the 10-day IL but moved him to the 60-day IL to clear a 40-man roster spot for left-hander Rob Zastryzny, who was claimed off waivers from the New York Mets and optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake.
The Angels promoted first baseman Mike Ford, who played 101 games with the Yankees from 2019-21. This season he has been with the San Francisco Giants, Seattle Mariners and Atlanta Braves. Ford went 2-for-4 on Thursday in his Angels debut.
“Very talented with the bat,” Nevin said. “Hits a lot of balls hard. Plays a good first base.”
The Angels opened a 40-man roster spot for Ford by designating infielder Phil Gosselin for assignment.
The Angels also brought up catcher Matt Thaiss, who grounded out as a pinch hitter on Thursday. Nevin said that Thaiss would play some first base and also catch one of the games in Toronto.
Nevin said he was hoping the new hitters would help the Angels’ struggles at the plate.
“The at-bats have to be better,” Nevin said. “These (new) guys will get some looks.”
There will be more Angels roster moves. Outfielder Ryan Aguilar and right-handed relievers Jose Marte and Gerardo Reyes are expected to replace players who will be unable to enter Canada because they are not vaccinated against COVID-19.
–Field Level Media