Morales, Happ lead Jays past Angels and Toronto ends four-game losing skid

Blue Jays 5 Angels 3

TORONTO — Kendrys Morales hit a two-run home run to back up another solid outing by starting pitcher J.A. Happ as the Toronto Blue Jays topped the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Tuesday to snap a four-game losing skid.

Happ (6-3) struck out five while allowing two runs over seven innings.

He had struck out 10 over seven scoreless innings in Toronto’s 12-1 win over the Mets in New York on May 16.

Ryan Tepera gave up a run in his one inning of relief before Tyler Clippard came in for his second save of the season.

Russell Martin had two RBIs as part of the Blue Jays’ (23-25) five-run first inning. Teoscar Hernandez started things in that inning with an RBI single.

Albert Pujols’s single drove in a run for Los Angeles (26-22). Garrett Richards (4-3) pitched five innings, striking out four but giving up five runs on six hits.

Noe Ramirez came out of the Angels bullpen for two scoreless innings and Cam Bedrosian also threw a run-free inning.

Hernandez’s single to shallow centre field opened the scoring in the first, sending Josh Donaldson in from third. The top of the Blue Jays order showed a lot of patience at the plate, working the count and forcing Richards to throw 29 pitches in the first inning alone.

Martin drove in two more runs in the next at bat, reaching second on Chris Young’s fielding error and plating Justin Smoak and Hernandez.

Morales was next at bat and he crushed a ball to deep right field, hitting his fourth home run of the season to give Toronto a 5-0 by the end of the first.

Pujols’s single dropped in shallow left-centre field between three Toronto fielders to score Mike Trout in the fourth and cut the Blue Jays lead to four. Andrelton Simmons grounded out to third base but that gave Justin Upton enough time to run home and make it 5-2.

Tepera had a rough introduction to the game, giving up a double to Martin Maldonado to lead off the eighth inning. Maldonado advanced to third on Young’s groundout and then scored on Ian Kinsler’s sacrifice fly to make it 5-3. Tepera got out of the inning by inducing a Trout flyout.

Clippard came on for the ninth inning, striking out Upton before inducing pop flys from Pujols and Shohei Ohtani.

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