TORONTO – Shohei Ohtani hit one of three Angels homers in a seven-run second inning, Mike Trout went deep for the 20th time this season, and Los Angeles downed the Toronto Blue Jays 10-5 on Monday in the opener of a four-game series.
Ohtani’s three-run homer capped an offensive outburst from the Angels (36-37) against a struggling Edwin Jackson (1-5), who lasted just 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs with six hits and two walks.
Justin Upton homered on Jackson’s first pitch of the game, Cole Kalhoun added another solo shot two pitches later and Trout hit a bases-loaded double to give the Angels a 4-1 lead. Ohtani’s homer followed before a single from Upton — batting for the second time in the frame — ended Jackson’s night at 38 pitches.
The dismal inning followed a clean first frame from Toronto opener Derek Law, who struck out two of the three batters he faced.
It was the second time this season that Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo used the Law-Jackson combination to start a game. Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles with it last week, and Montoyo said he’d continue the experiment as long as it worked.
Trout had four hits and drove in three runs total for the Angels, including his solo shot in the sixth off reliever Nick Kingham. Wilfred Tovar and Justin Bour added an RBI apiece.
Luis Garcia opened the game for Los Angeles, followed by six innings from Felix Pena (5-1). Pena allowed four runs, six hits and three walks and struck out five.
Rookie Cavan Biggio homered twice for the Blue Jays (26-46) and Randal Grichuk also went deep.
Grichuk’s blast was a two-run homer in the seventh while Biggio’s second — also a two-run shot — sliced the Jays’ deficit in half at 10-5 in the eighth inning and ended Pena’s night.
Biggio hit his first in the first inning, launching the ball to centre field below a We The North banner on the second-deck facade that the Blue Jays put up to acknowledge the Raptors’ NBA championship. The team also etched a white Raptors logo onto the dirt of the mound at Rogers Centre.
Toronto held a parade for the Raptors earlier in the day and the Blue Jays played a video tribute for the basketball team on the scoreboard between the first and second innings, which was met with loud applause from the sparse crowd of 15,227.
NOTES: David Phelps made his season debut for the Blue Jays, walking a batter and striking out one in the seventh inning. Toronto activated the 32-year-old reliever from the injured list earlier in the day. He was recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had in March, 2018 and hadn’t pitched in a major league game since August, 2017. … Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez exited the game with a left wrist sprain before the seventh inning. He had slammed into the centre-field wall trying to make a play earlier in the night and the team said X-rays were negative.