For most of the season, it’s been the bullpen that has helped keep the playoff dreams of the Los Angeles Angels alive, but on Sunday the Halo firemen were more like arsonists. The Toronto Blue Jays scored seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning – the last four on a grand slam home run by Steve Pearce – to deliver a heartbreaking 11-10 defeat to the Angels at Rogers Centre.
The Orange County team had leads of 7-1 and 10-4, but could not hold on to them. Leading by six runs going into the final inning, the relief corps of Brooks Pounders and Bud Norris were touched for five hits, two walks, two home runs and seven runs that kept the Angels from completing a three-game sweep in Toronto.
That disappointing outcome overshadowed a 14-hit offensive show by the visitors, led by Albert Pujols’ two home runs – his 606th and 607th career homers – four RBIs and three hits. Collecting two hits each were Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons and Kaleb Cowart.
In addition to his two hits, Trout drew two walks, pushing his OPS stat (on-base percentage plus slugging average) to 1.134, one of the best in major league baseball history. Over their complete careers, only Babe Ruth and Ted Williams had a higher OPS.
In addition to the come-from-way-ahead loss, the Angels also lost Kole Calhoun, who exited the game in the third inning with soreness in his right hamstring muscle.
The loss dropped the Angels’ record to 51-55, still fourth in the American League West. Next for the Halos will be a travel day on Monday, then they start on Tuesday with a series in Philadelphia.