By Pete Zarustica
The good news is that, with a 2-1 victory Monday, the Los Angeles Angels got a split in the first series of their current home stand. The not-quite-as-good news is that they barely squeaked by the worst team in Major League Baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays.
Still, a win is a win, and the victory improved the Halos record to 9-12, still fourth in the AL West. For those looking for even more silver linings, it was two wins in three games and featured a strong starting pitching performance by Jesse Chavez.
The game was a kind of near-instant redemption for Chavez who – as a reliever – gave up the game-losing home run to the Jays on Friday.
“You never want to end with an ‘L,’ and tonight [the goal] was not let that happen, not make that one pitch a mistake,” Chavez said. “Because the other night, I got two quick outs, and it kind of unraveled. Tonight, my mentality was every time I get an out, there’s always another one. That was kind of what worked out tonight.”
With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth, the key play took the form of a perfectly-executed slide. Cameron Maybin scored the winning run charging in from third on a fielder’s choice. He slid wide to the right of the plate, and extending his left hand, managed to avoid the tag and tap the plate.
The first Angel run was scored in the fourth when Mike Trout’s triple was followed by an RBI single by Albert Pujols.
Next up for the Halos is a three-game series with the Oakland A’s (10-9) starting on Tuesday. J.C. Ramirez (2-2) will get the start for the home team.