Toronto, ON – Mike Trout ripped a go-ahead two-run homer in the top of the sixth inning and the Angels held off the Blue Jays, 9-7, in the opener of a four-game set Thursday at Rogers Centre.
Alberto Callaspo stroked a solo home run, Mark Trumbo added a two-run blast and Albert Pujols scored three times and clubbed a pair of doubles among his four hits to help the Angels earn their fourth straight win.
Dan Haren (6-7) earned the victory, despite allowing six runs on seven hits and one walk over six frames. Ernesto Frieri retired the final hitter of the eighth and worked his way out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth to nail down his 10th save of the season.
Brett Cecil (1-1) had a forgettable outing after yielding eight runs on 10 hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings to take the loss.
"At some point we have got to find a way to get deep into games," said Toronto manager John Farrell about his starting pitching. "We're putting an awful lot of pressure on our bullpen right now."
Jose Bautista crushed his league-leading 26th home run of the year, but the Blue Jays lost their third straight game.
Callaspo got the Halos going in the second, launching a two-out fastball into the left-field seats to give the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Edwin Encarnacion worked a leadoff walk in the bottom half before Kelly Johnson ripped a double into the right-center field gap to put runners on second and third with no outs.
Yunel Escobar then grounded out sharply to shortstop, plating Encarnacion from third to knot the game at 1-1.
Jeff Mathis broke the tie in the third, crushing a leadoff blast into the Blue Jays' bullpen in left to give the home team a 2-1 edge.
The Angels reclaimed the lead in the fourth as Pujols doubled to deep center field and Trumbo followed with a blast to left to make it a 3-2 game.
Howie Kendrick then coaxed a walk before Callaspo singled into center field. A bunt moved both runners up and Peter Bourjos plated Kendrick with a sacrifice fly to center to double the Angels' advantage.
Toronto trimmed the lead in the bottom half as Encarnacion singled, moved to third two batters later on Escobar's base hit to right and finally scored on a sac fly to center from Rajai Davis to cut the deficit to 4-3.
Kendrick helped the Angels restore a two-run lead in the fifth with a two-out single into right field, scoring Pujols from second after he doubled earlier in the frame.
Mathis and Colby Rasmus each singled in the bottom half to set the table for Bautista, who crushed a three-run shot deep into the upper deck in left to put the home team back on top, 6-5.
"He's obviously hit me well over the years," said Haren of Bautista. "I made two or three mistakes today and one of them was that one."
In the sixth, Erick Aybar bunted for a single and moved to second as Cecil's throw to first was off the mark. Bourjos then ripped a ground-rule double into center field, plating Aybar to knot the game at 6-6.
Bourjos moved to third on a bunt before trotting home on Trout's two-run blast to left to give the Angels an 8-6 lead.
Mathis doubled to start the seventh and quickly scored on a single from Brett Lawrie to make it a one-run contest, but the Angels got the run back in the ninth when Trumbo roped a triple into right-center field, scoring Pujols to provide the Angels with an insurance run.
Haren improved to 5-0 in seven career starts at Rogers Centre...Frieri has now made 23 consecutive scoreless relief appearances...The Angels are now 14-1 in their last 15 road games...Bautista's 14 home runs in the month of June marks a club record for the most home runs hit in any single month.