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Angels' Trout continues domination of Blue Jays

Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, right, is greeted by catcher Jonathan Lucroy after hitting a grand slam home run against Toronto Bue Jays in the fourth inning at Rogers Centre. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout, right, is greeted by catcher Jonathan Lucroy after hitting a grand slam home run against Toronto Bue Jays in the fourth inning at Rogers Centre. (Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports)

There’s no doubt it’s Trout season in Toronto. And Aaron Sanchez was using the wrong bait.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels continued to clobber the Blue Jays, rattling two home runs into the near seats in left field near George Bell’s spot on the Level of Excellence on Wednesday night.

The second homer, on an 0-1 pitch, was a grand slam, the sixth of Trout’s impressive career, plenty of insurance in an eventual 11-6 win that took nearly four hours to complete. A ninth-inning single gave Trout a season-high seven RBIs.

“A great player, one of the greatest in the game and he did what he was supposed to do,” said a downcast Sanchez, whose breakdowns in recent outings leave him with a career worst eight-game losing streak.

He and catcher Danny Jansen went the aggressive route in the second inning after getting Trout to pop out in his first appearance.

But in the fourth, complicated by a catcher’s interference call on Jansen to load the bases, Sanchez lamented he could not attack Trout as hard as desired and left a sinker for him to plant.

In the sixth, Trout pushed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the left warning track again.

Trout improved to 10-for-23 against the Jays this season, on the heels of a four-hit game Monday where he reached 20 homers in 2019. Only eight major leaguers have at least eight seasons with 20-plus before their age-28 season.

“He (Sanchez) pitched behind in the count and that team makes you pay the price,” said Jays manager Charlie Montoya as the Angels pounded out 16 hits, including a late Justin Upton homer.

KID STUFF

Montoya played up his young team’s enthusiasm despite the loss, but they’re a woeful 22 games under .500 and one loss away from their longest skid at Rogers Centre since dropping eight straight in April of 2004.

“A lot of the guys who just came up are still excited to be here and make a name for themselves,” Jansen said. “Obviously it’s frustrating, but beating yourself down isn’t going to do any good. Just stay energetic and push forward.”

At least Toronto kept it close until the seventh, thanks in part to a three-run dinger by Rowdy Tellez, his first of two on Wednesday to clear the yard. A two-run single by Eric Sogard chased L.A. starter Andrew Heaney.

FIELD DAY

It was an adventurous night for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. After mishandling a slow grounder to help load the bases in the first, a source of frustration for the Jays as most of his fielding miscues have been rooted in such plays, he had the inning-ending assist.

Following a double in his first plate appearance, his vertical lift on an infield shift robbed Justin Bour of extra bases on a screaming liner and he added two more fielding helpers. In the third inning, he turned a double play, before losing a sixth inning foul ball bending over the left field seats.

ROWDY TIME

First baseman Tellez went 430 feet to centre in providing the Jays and 16,225 fans some hope in the eventful second inning. That was thanks in part to the light-hitting cacher Jansen (.172) giving Heaney a protracted nine-pitch battle for a walk in their first exchange.

“That’s what I strive for,”Jansen said. “Any time you can draw a lot out of a pitcher in one at-bat, it helps the team in some way. Glad to pass the torch (to Tellez).”

Preceded by a Freddy Galvis double, Tellez was in the spotlight and snapped his .123 slump with 18 strikeouts with the blast. Inn the eighth, off Cam Bedrosian, Tellez tied team leader Randal Grichuk with his 13th. He has 17 homers through 85 games, the most by any Jay, passing Fred McGriff and Eric Hinske.

“He was struggling so it’s good to see,” Montoya said. “Rowdy’s one of those guys that when he gets hot, he can carry a team.”

ANGELS OF DESPAIR

The beat goes on for the Angels as far as success at the Rogers Centre goes. They’ll top or split with the Jays for the ninth straight series here, 0-7-2, Toronto last winning one over L.A. back in 2011.

After failing on seven previous chances to crack the .500 mark, the Halos did it during Tuesday’s 3-1 win and are 10-5 in their last 15 road games. Kole Calhoun had been rough on the Jays, too, with three homers in five games this year and 10 in his career. He reached base four times again on Wednesday.

HELLO HALOS

Trout and Grichuk were in opposite dugouts in this series, but not much separated the two in the 2009 MLB draft. At 24, the Angels selected Grichuk, who hit clean-up for the Jays on Wednesday and the much decorated Trout came right after. Both were selections L.A. acquired from other clubs, Grichuk from the Mets, Trout from the Yankees.

DIAMOND DUST

Sanchez fell to 3-9, while Jays committed three errors … Jordan Romano sat down Trout in the eighth, bringing plenty of praise from Montoya … Sogard showed some nimble moves on a dribbler up first base in the seventh to elude pitcher Taylor Cole’s tag and dive into the bag. He put two balls into centre field prior to his big single and is hotting .345 in June … This was the Jays third loss in a week giving up double figures and have yet to win with the dome open (0-7).

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019


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