ANAHEIM, Calif. -- When Gustavo Chacin was a prospect in the Toronto Blue Jays' minor league system, Kelvim Escobar was one of his mentors.
Chacin showed he was paying attention, outdueling the Los Angeles Angels' right-hander with seven strong innings Saturday night in the first matchup between the two Venezuelan pitchers, and the Blue Jays got RBI doubles from Adam Lind and Frank Catalanotto in a 2-1 victory that snapped the Angels' six-game winning streak.
"He's one of the guys I took under my wing when he was a rookie," Escobar said. "We played on the same team in Venezuela and then in Toronto when he made the 40-man roster. I lived with him a couple of times in spring training and I talked to him a lot about pitching. Tonight the guy on the other side pitched better than me."
Chacin (8-3) threw just 87 pitches, allowing a run and six hits in his fourth start since coming off the disabled list and escaping a bases-loaded jam in the first inning. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA in four career starts against the Angels.
Chacin has been limited to 14 starts and 71 innings because of elbow problems that landed him on the DL twice while missing 11½ weeks. Last year he tied the club record for most starts by a rookie, set by Jerry Garvin during the franchise's inaugural 1977 season, and became the first Blue Jays rookie since Garvin to pitch at least 200 innings.
"In about a year and a half in the big leagues, he's got 22 wins. That ain't bad," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "He's got a chance to get to get 10 wins under his belt this year, which would be a heck of an accomplishment for him after missing a couple of months. It's all about location for him -- keeping the ball down and throwing strikes. He's been locked in his last three starts."
Brandon League pitched a perfect eighth and B.J. Ryan got the last three outs, retiring Orlando Cabrera on a grounder to second for his 32nd save in 36 attempts after issuing a pair of two-out walks.
Escobar (10-13) allowed two runs and nine hits over seven innings and struck out five. The right-hander, who spent his first seven big league seasons with the Blue Jays, is 2-3 with a 2.12 ERA in five career starts against them -- including a 3-0 win on May 6 at Toronto.
Escobar is running out of adjectives to describe his frustration over the his lack of run support. This was the 11th time in his 27 starts that the Angels scored fewer than three runs. In eight of his 10 wins, he has allowed fewer than three -- including last Sunday's 2-1 gem at Detroit.
"It's tough. I've got to be patient and wait for my next turn and keep doing what I'm doing," Escobar said. "I know I've pitched well enough to have a better record than I have. Every time I go out there I'm giving the team a chance to win. That's all I can control. I can't control the rest. I can't be perfect."
The Blue Jays improved to 6-3 against the two-time defending AL West champions, clinching the season series for the fourth straight year with one game remaining. The Angels squandered an opportunity to slice a full game off Oakland's lead in the AL West and remained 5½ games back.
Reed Johnson led off the fifth with a single and scored on a double to left-center by Frank Catalanotto, giving Toronto a 2-1 lead.
Bengie Molina, who spent seven seasons catching for the Angels before signing with Toronto last winter, led off the fourth with a single and stunned the sellout crowd of 44,007 by stealing second ahead of the throw from younger brother Jose on a hit-and-run play with Aaron Hill at the plate. It was just the third steal in 819 big league games by Molina, who scored the tying run on Lind's one-out double.
"He had a great jump," Escobar said of his former batterymate. "I didn't think he was going to go, so I really didn't pay attention to him."
During the Blue Jays' previous series at Angel Stadium in May, Molina originally was credited with a stolen base. But the following day, official scorer Ed Munson changed his decision to "catcher's indifference" because no one was holding Molina on at first base and he didn't draw a throw to second.
Tim Salmon appeared in his 1,662nd regular-season game with the Angels, surpassing Brian Downing for second place on the franchise list behind teammate Garret Anderson (1,742 and counting). Salmon, who intends to retire at season's end, pinch-hit for Adam Kennedy in the seventh and struck out. ... It was the eighth straight game in which a Toronto starting pitcher has allowed no more than three runs. ... 3B Troy Glaus, 4-for-24 lifetime against Escobar, did not start against the team he helped lead to a World Series title in 2002. He came in defensively in the eighth.
|Players of the Game|
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|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Reed Johnson, RF-LF||4||1||1||0||0||1||0||.317|
|Frank Catalanotto, LF||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||.315|
|Alex Rios, RF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.292|
|Vernon Wells, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.312|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.306|
|Bengie Molina, C||4||1||1||0||0||1||2||.281|
|Aaron Hill, SS-2B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.284|
|Adam Lind, DH||3||0||2||1||1||0||0||.385|
|John Hattig, 3B||3||0||2||0||0||0||1||.333|
|Troy Glaus, 3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.255|
|Russ Adams, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.211|
|John McDonald, SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.217|
|2B - Frank Catalanotto (31, Escobar), Adam Lind (3, Escobar)|
|RBI - Frank Catalanotto (54), Adam Lind (1)|
|SB - Frank Catalanotto (1, 2nd base off Escobar/Molina), Lyle Overbay (4, 2nd base off Donnelly/Molina), Bengie Molina (1, 2nd base off Escobar/Molina)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - R. Adams-Overbay|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Gustavo Chacin (W,8-3)||7||6||1||1||2||3||0||4.94|
|Brandon League (H,8)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.76|
|B.J. Ryan (S,32)||1||0||0||0||2||1||0||1.38|
|HBP - Kennedy (by Gustavo Chacin)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Gustavo Chacin 87-58, Brandon League 10-6, B.J. Ryan 18-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gustavo Chacin 9-8, Brandon League 2-0, B.J. Ryan 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Gustavo Chacin 29, Brandon League 3, B.J. Ryan 5|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||4||0||1||1||1||0||2||.283|
|Howie Kendrick, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.286|
|Vladimir Guerrero, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.330|
|Juan Rivera, LF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.304|
|Garret Anderson, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.277|
|Robb Quinlan, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.318|
|Jose Molina, C||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.254|
|Adam Kennedy, 2B||1||1||1||0||0||0||0||.269|
|a- Tim Salmon, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.261|
|Reggie Willits, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.235|
|b- Mike Napoli, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.223|
|Erick Aybar, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.280|
|Chone Figgins, CF-2B||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.252|
|c- Maicer Izturis, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.304|
|a-struck out for Kennedy in the 7th|
|b-walked for Willits in the 9th|
|c-walked for Figgins in the 9th|
|2B - Juan Rivera (23, Chacin), Jose Molina (17, Chacin), Adam Kennedy (23, Chacin)|
|RBI - Orlando Cabrera (68)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Cabrera-Kendrick, Kendrick|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Kelvim Escobar (L,10-13)||7||9||2||2||1||5||0||3.57|
|Pitches-Strikes - Kelvim Escobar 110-75, Brendan Donnelly 18-11, Hector Carrasco 14-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kelvim Escobar 7-7, Brendan Donnelly 2-0, Hector Carrasco 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Kelvim Escobar 29, Brendan Donnelly 4, Hector Carrasco 3|
|Attendance - 44007|
|Game Time - 2:43|
|Temperature - 70|
|Umpires - Home - Bob Davidson, First Base - Mark Wegner, Second Base - Marvin Hudson, Third Base - Jerry Layne|