7:07 PM ET, September 12, 2013
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Garrett Richards, Kole Calhoun help Angels finish sweep of Blue Jays
TORONTO -- In the final weeks of a frustrating season, the Los Angeles Angels are starting to have some fun.
"When you're having fun, winning will take care of itself," Richards said. "We're going to finish up strong and that's the only thing we can do right now."
Erick Aybar had two hits and scored twice as the Angels won for the 15th time in 20 games and improved to 12-2 in their past 14 road contests. They have won six straight series, their longest streak of the season.
"This has been a locker room full of fighters the whole year," Richards said. "We went through a lot early on and even in the middle, but we're not going to lay down for anybody. We're still going to be a team that's going to give other teams trouble."
Los Angeles remained 9½ games behind Tampa Bay for the second wild card berth with 16 games remaining.
"Obviously it's not the team that was imagined in spring training," Calhoun said, acknowledging the absence of injured slugger Albert Pujols. "But we're still out there, there is a still (some) season left to go and we're going to go out and try to win games. You never know what can happen, so we are going to out and play hard."
Calhoun went 2 for 3 with a walk to help the Angels win for the 10th time in 13 meetings with the Blue Jays. Los Angeles recorded its first sweep in Toronto since April 16-18, 2010.
The Angels, 8-4 so far in September, begin a three-game series at last-place Houston on Friday and move from there to AL West-leading Oakland for three games next week.
"It's always good when you're playing well and we're seeing a lot of good things on the field," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't think it's going to sugarcoat any of the issues we had during the season. I know we have a lot of work ahead of us. Right now it's just fun watching these guys go out there and put games together.
Jose Reyes homered and finished 4 for 4 with a walk, but the Blue Jays lost for the 29th time when scoring first.
Richards (7-6) allowed three runs and nine hits, walked one and struck out four. He's 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA in three September starts.
"Through the middle innings, there's no doubt his stuff picked up," Scioscia said. "He had better command of his fastball for sure and threw some better sliders."
Sierra posted his second straight three-hit game and has five extra-base hits in the past two games.
Reyes hit a two-out double in the ninth and Kawasaki followed with a walk, but Angels closer Ernesto Frieri struck out Lawrie on his 35th pitch to notch his 33rd save in 37 chances.
"We did a good job of minimizing some damage and getting out of some innings," Scioscia said.
Angels infielder Erick Aybar made it 2-1 in the second when he tagged up from second base on Mark Trumbo's fly ball to center and scored when third baseman Lawrie couldn't handle an errant throw from Gose.
Reyes hit a leadoff homer in the third, his 10th, and Sierra added an RBI double to put the Blue Jays back in front, but their lead didn't last.
Calhoun tied it at 3-all with a one-out homer in the fourth, his seventh. The blast gave him at least one RBI in 15 of his past 16 starts.
"The thing that bit us the last two nights is two times last night and two times tonight we take the lead and don't get the shut down inning and give it right back," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We're not throwing out our top-notch lineup right now, we're scratching for runs, so our starters have got to step up."
Happ (4-6) lost for the fourth time in five starts, allowing four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings. It's the sixth straight start in which he has failed to pitch at least six innings. He walked two and struck out six.
Reyes finished a triple shy of the cycle. ... Toronto fell to 18-25 in one-run games. ... Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion (left wrist) missed his fourth straight game but was able to hit off the tee before the game. ... Toronto OF Colby Rasmus, out since Aug. 11 with a strained muscle in his left side, hopes to return to the lineup this weekend against Baltimore. ... Trout started at DH for the Angels to give him a break from Toronto's artificial turf. ... Canadian singer Avril Lavigne attended the game.
TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 12: Mark Trumbo #44 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on during batting...(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Regular Season Series
|1st||A Lind doubled to right, J Reyes scored.||0||1|
|2nd||G Green singled to center, C Iannetta scored, K Calhoun to third.||1||1|
|3rd||M Trumbo flied out to center, E Aybar scored, M Trout to second on throwing error by center fielder A Gose.||2||1|
|3rd||J Reyes homered to right (415 feet).||2||2|
|3rd||M Sierra doubled to left, M Kawasaki scored.||2||3|
|4th||K Calhoun homered to right center (412 feet).||3||3|
|5th||M Trout hit a ground rule double to deep center, E Aybar scored.||4||3|
|View complete Play-By-Play|
|Stadium||Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON|
|Attendance||20,767 (42.1% full) - % is based on regular season capacity|
|Weather||70 degrees, partly cloudy|
|Umpires||Home Plate - Hal Gibson III, First Base - Mike Everitt, Second Base - Tim Welke, Third Base - Toby Basner|
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