June 24, 2018 / 4:41 AM / 2 months ago

Pearce's 9th-inning blast sends Jays past Angels

EditorsNote: rewords second graf

Steve Pearce’s two-out, three-run home run in the top of the ninth inning snapped a tie and lifted the Toronto Blue Jays to a 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night in Anaheim, Calif.

It was Pearce’s fourth home run of the season and his first since April 9. He missed 43 games with a strained oblique muscle before returning to the lineup on Friday, going 3-for-4. On Saturday, he came off the bench to go 1-for-2.

He came to the plate against Angels reliever Justin Anderson (1-2) with two on and two outs and hooked an 86 mph slider just inside the left field foul pole, helping the Blue Jays get a victory after losing the first two games of the series.

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Angels had two outs and nobody on when Luis Valbuena tied the game with a towering home run off Toronto reliever Seunghwan Oh, Valbuena’s ninth homer of the season. Despite giving up the homer, Oh (3-2) got the win and struck out the side in the inning.

Toronto’s Ryan Tepera pitched the ninth for his sixth save.

The only run of the game through seven innings for either team came on Teoscar Hernandez’s solo home run off Angels starter Jaime Barria with one out in the third. Hernandez worked the count full before getting a hold of an 83 mph slider and launching it over the fence in left-center for his 13th home run of the season.

It was the only run Barria allowed in his five innings, but he needed 93 pitches to get there. He allowed four hits and walked four while striking out five.

Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman, activated from the disabled list prior to the game after missing more than a month due to shoulder fatigue, managed to wriggle his way out of a few jams to throw five scoreless innings. He gave up six hits, walked one and fanned five.

The Angels had their chances against Stroman but couldn’t come up with a clutch hit.

In the first inning, the Angels had runners on first and third with one out, but Stroman struck out Valbuena and got Andrelton Simmons on a groundout.

In the third, the Angels had the bases loaded with one out when Valbuena hit a fly ball to center for the second out of the inning. David Fletcher tagged from third and tried to score but was thrown out by center fielder Kevin Pillar to end the inning.

The Angels were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position against Stroman and 0-for-6 in the game.

—Field Level Media

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