The Los Angeles Angels found ways to lose late during their longest skid in more than two years, but they left little doubt ending it early against a struggling pitcher.
Things could be a little more difficult when the Angels face one coming off the best performance of his brief major league career.
Todd Redmond takes the hill as the Toronto Blue Jays try for their sixth win in nine games Friday night while looking to deal the Angels a seventh loss in their last eight.
Following three straight walk-off losses in Texas, Los Angeles (49-58) snapped its six-game skid - the team's longest since June 2011 - with an 8-2 victory in Thursday's series opener.
J.B. Shuck drove in three runs and Mark Trumbo went 2 for 4 with his 24th home run as the Angels tagged reeling Josh Johnson for seven runs and 10 hits in 2 1-3 innings. Johnson fell to 1-8 with a 6.60 ERA.
"This is a team that's not going to stop working hard, no matter what we're facing," Trumbo said of his team, which is in fourth place and 13 1/2 games back in the AL West.
The slugging first baseman has hit .311 with three homers in his last 11 games. He's also batting .393 with four homers and nine RBIs in his last seven against the AL East-worst Blue Jays (50-58).
After averaging 2.9 runs and hitting .237 over their previous 14 games, the Angels have shown improvement at the plate - even without the injured Albert Pujols - by scoring 6.7 per game and batting .299 in their last three.
They'll attempt to continue that trend against Redmond (1-1, 3.81 ERA), who is coming off by far the best of his five career starts.
The right-hander allowed one run and three hits over six innings, striking out 10, in the Blue Jays' 2-1 walkoff win over Houston on Sunday.
"I just come up here and try to keep the guys in the game so we can have a chance to win," Redmond told the team's official website.
Redmond, who has never faced the Angels, has 22 strikeouts in 15 2-3 innings over his last three outings.
Los Angeles starter Tommy Hanson (4-2, 5.15) couldn't hold an early five-run lead in his last start, yielding five walks and five runs over 4 2-3 innings in a 10-6 loss at Oakland on Sunday.
That was the right-hander's second start after spending more than a month on the disabled list with a strained right forearm. He's fanned 15 in 10 innings but hasn't factored in the decision in either outing.
Hanson, however, pitched well in his only start against Toronto, allowing two runs and five hits over eight innings in a 5-2 win June 9, 2012, while with Atlanta.
Toronto could be without Melky Cabrera after he left Thursday's contest in the fourth inning due to irritation in his left knee.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|August 02, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee strain|
|July 30, 2013||Dustin McGowan||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 28, 2013||Melky Cabrera||15-Day DL||Left knee tendinitis|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||60-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|July 27, 2013||Albert Pujols||15-Day DL||Plantar fasciitis|
|July 27, 2013||Albert Pujols||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis|
|June 30, 2013||Peter Bourjos||15-Day DL||Nondisplaced bone fracture, right wrist|
|June 29, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - right wrist|
|June 23, 2013||Peter Bourjos||Day-to-Day||Left game - left thumb injury|
|June 21, 2013||Tommy Hanson||15-Day DL||Strained right forearm|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- A few innings after J.B. Shuck leaped all the way into the left-field stands to make the self-described best catch of his life, Kole Calhoun hit his first big-league homer off an All-Star reliever in the eighth inning of an even game.
The Angels' two young outfielders made some sparkling memories Friday night while leading Los Angeles to another dramatic win.
Calhoun punctuated his first four-hit game with a tiebreaking two-run shot, propelling the Angels to a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
With one big play after another, Calhoun and Shuck - who had three hits - earned their teammates' admiration and a couple of postgame shaving-cream pies in the face. They both delivered big hits in the three-run eighth against Steve Delabar (5-2) in the Angels' second straight win over Toronto.
"It was awesome. It's still going through my head," Calhoun said. "It was like the best feeling of my life."
Chris Nelson had two RBI singles for Los Angeles before his leadoff double in the eighth, and Shuck followed with a triple to right after Jose Bautista misjudged the ball. Calhoun then homered to right.
"Not all the wins are going to come easy, especially with our backs against the wall," Calhoun said. "We're going to have to beat those All-Star guys. We're going to have to compete."
Chris Iannetta had an early two-run double and threw out three Toronto base stealers for the Angels, while Shuck robbed Bautista of a homer in the fourth inning with his jaw-dropping catch. Shuck leaped at the short fence, briefly teetered on the ledge after making the catch, and tumbled backward into the stands, still holding onto the ball.
"When it started coming down, I just tried to go get it," Shuck said. "I don't know what really happened after that. ... I watched (the replay). It looks pretty unathletic, but it's pretty cool to see. I think that's the first one I've ever brought back."
Tommy Hanson blew another lead in his fourth straight winless start, allowing seven hits and three walks while pitching into the sixth. The Angels appeared headed to a loss before their youngsters sparked the eighth-inning rally.
Dane De La Rosa (5-1) pitched the eighth for Los Angeles, and Ernesto Frieri struck out the side in the ninth for his 26th save. The Angels' closer bounced back from two rough outings earlier in the week in Texas, where the Angels lost three straight on game-ending homers.
Delabar leads the AL in strikeouts by a reliever after dominating the first half of the season, but the right-hander hasn't been as sharp lately despite striking out the last six batters he had faced before the eighth inning at Angel Stadium.
"I threw one right over the plate, and he crushed it," Delabar said of Calhoun's homer. "When you give up three hits in an inning, it's not very good, and then you throw in a balk. It just wasn't there tonight. That's why I feel bad. We battled back to take the lead, then I come in and make a few bad pitches, and all of a sudden it switches to the other team."
Todd Redmond couldn't get out of the fourth inning for the Blue Jays, allowing seven hits and three runs while laboring with a high pitch count. The right-hander struck out five in his sixth major league start, but couldn't match his 10-strikeout brilliance last week against Houston - and after the game, Toronto optioned Redmond to Triple-A Buffalo, recalling right-hander Brad Lincoln .
Jose Reyes homered during a three-run rally in the sixth inning by the last-place Blue Jays, who have lost three of five.
"We let the game get away, and if that continues to happen, we're going to go nowhere and we're going to be home in October," Reyes said. "We had an opportunity to win this game, and we need to find a way to close them out, one way or the other. It's tough to play the way we've been playing. It's not acceptable with the kind of team that we have. We're better than this."
Los Angeles batted around in the fourth, with Iannetta delivering a two-out double. Iannetta also threw out three Blue Jays attempting to steal second base, a first for an Angels catcher in the past decade - and a particular achievement when catching Hanson, who acknowledges being horrible at holding runners on base.
Nelson, getting a regular chance to play at third base after Alberto Callaspo 's departure for Oakland last week, delivered another run-scoring single in the fifth.
Reyes evened it with his seventh homer into the elevated right-field stands in the sixth, and the Jays went ahead when Bautista scored on Colby Rasmus ' bases-loaded grounder.
NOTES: Los Angeles' stars didn't contribute much: Josh Hamilton went 0 for 5 and stranded six runners in a four-inning stretch with three inning-ending outs, while Mark Trumbo struck out four times. ... Iannetta threw out two runners trying to steal second base in the third inning. An Angels catcher hadn't caught two runners stealing in the same inning since 2002. ... Mike Trout reached base for the 33rd consecutive game, extending the AL's longest active streak.