Shohei Ohtani and Luis Rengifo belted two-run homers to push the Los Angeles Angels to an 8-3 win to sweep the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.
The Blue Jays (68-58) were outscored 22-3 and managed only 17 hits in the three-game series to snuff out the good vibrations from their 6-1 road excursion to New York and Boston last week.
After two extra-inning games in Boston, they arrived home with an overworked bullpen. But the hangover from the successful trip lasted the entire weekend against the Angels (55-73).
In the series finale, Los Angeles enjoyed a 3-1 advantage and struck for three more runs in the seventh inning. David Fletcher began the rally with a two-out single to left.
Fletcher scored when Toronto’s George Springer dove but could not hang on to Mike Trout’s sinking fly ball to centre. Ohtani then smacked his 28th homer into the Blue Jays bullpen in the seventh inning off reliever Tim Mayza.
Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling (6-4) surrendered three runs on seven hits with six strikeouts in six innings, ending Toronto’s five-game win streak with Stripling on the mound.
He gave up a two-out, two-run homer to Rengifo in the third inning and a solo blast to 38-year-old catcher Kurt Suzuki in the fourth inning.
Hernandez back in lineup
After being blanked in the series’ first two games, the Blue Jays ended their run-less streak at 21 innings in the bottom of the fourth.
With two out, Bo Bichette and Teoscar Hernandez, who returned to the lineup after missing a game with a left foot contusion, earned walks.
Matt Chapman then drilled a double off the centre-field fence to score Bichette. But Whit Merrifield grounded out to strand Chapman and Hernandez on second and third, respectively.
Toronto catcher Danny Jansen, Bichette and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. were left on third base in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, respectively.
The Blue Jays added a run when a fly ball bounced in front of Jo Adell and got by the Angles left-fielder for a Gurriel triple that scored Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
Guerrero mishandled a Bichette throw for what should have been the third out in the eighth to allow Los Angeles to tack on another run. Trout drilled a homer to centre, his 28th, in the ninth.
Angels starter Tucker Davidson lasted four innings, giving up a run with five strikeouts and five walks. Andrew Wantz (2-0) got the win in relief.
Springer extended his hit streak to 12 games, smacking a ninth-inning homer off the left-field foul pole in his final at-bat to go 1-for-4. He’s been on a 20-for-44 (.455) run in his streak.
On Monday, the Blue Jays begin a three-game set at home against the Chicago Cubs with Jose Berrios (9-5) facing Javier Assad (0-0). Former Toronto starter Marcus Stroman (3-6) is slated to pitch for Chicago against Kevin Gausman (9-9) on Tuesday.