Izturis' bunt single, his fourth hit of the game, set up the winning run and pinch-hitter Juan Rivera delivered an RBI single later that inning to give the Los Angeles Angels a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday night.
Casey Kotchman singled with one out against Brian Tallet (0-1) and advanced to third when Izturis bunted to the left of the mound. Tallet picked it up and bounced his throw past first base, giving the Angels runners at second and third. Rivera batted for Brandon Wood after an intentional walk to Jeff Mathis and lined a 1-1 pitch to right-center, giving the Angels their third walk-off win in five games.
"Casey did a good job hitting the ball right up the middle and Izturis laid down a good bunt," Tallet said. "I tried to make a play on it and you can see it didn't work. I felt I could get him. If I had to do it all over again, I'd try to make the same play."
Willits came up in the ninth with a runner at first and bunted to the right of the plate. Catcher Rod Barajas' throw up the line struck him in the back, and plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt called Willits out for running inside the baseline.
"The catcher made a good play because you could tell he pretty much deliberately hit me with it," Willits said. "(Wendelstedt) made the right call. At the time, I didn't agree with it. But after seeing the replay, he made the right call."
Manager Mike Scioscia didn't think so at the time, and engaged in a long and animated argument that lasted close to 10 minutes.
"It's a call that we have to make," Wendlestedt said. "I mean, who wants to make that call? But that's what they pay us to do. Everybody saw him inside the line, and the Angels didn't see it that way until they got the benefit of two or three replays."
"Rule 605k says that when running the last half distance between home and first, if you interfere with the fielder taking the throw -- which he did -- he's called out and all the runners on base return to where they were at the time of the pitch," Wendelstedt explained.
Scioscia eventually pulled crew chief Tom Hallion into the fray, but the Angels didn't lodge an official protest because they had no grounds. This crew made an identical ruling against the Phillies' Shane Victorino at Cincinnati during the first weekend of the season.
"Mike thought he wanted to protest, and that's where Tommy did a great job as the crew chief and explained that he really can't protest this because it's a judgment call," Wendelstedt said. "We had a great conversation with Mike, and I think that rule is a little bit clearer to him now. He was very professional. He didn't really understand the interpretation of the rule and was just trying to get a clarification. That's why he was out there so long."
Barajas gave Toronto a 2-1 lead in the seventh against John Lackey with a two-out solo homer that hit the top of the fence in left-center as the 5-foot-11 Willits attempted a leaping catch.
The Angels tied it in the bottom half against Shaun Marcum. Willits hit a chopper over the head of first baseman Lyle Overbay, who was playing him a few feet in front of the bag, and ended up with a double. Howie Kendrick, playing his second game since coming off the disabled list, followed with an RBI double.
Lackey allowed two runs, one earned, and six hits over eight innings in his fourth start off the DL. The right-hander made some big pitches to escape the eighth after giving up a leadoff double to ex-teammate David Eckstein. He struck out Shannon Stewart, retired Marco Scutaro on a grounder to short and slipped a called third strike past Alex Rios.
After failing to get a hit through the first three innings, the Blue Jays opened the scoring in the fourth on a bizarre play. Scutaro singled with one out and took third on a single to right field by Rios, who got trapped in a rundown rounding first base after Guerrero threw behind the runner to Kotchman.
Kotchman ran Rios toward second baseman Kendrick, who missed the toss, and the ball dribbled into left field as Scutaro came home with the unearned run. Kendrick was charged with the error.
The Angels got the run back in the bottom half when Torii Hunter led off with a drive to center field for his seventh homer of the season.
Marcum allowed two runs and a career-worst 11 hits over seven innings with two strikeouts and a walk.
- Izturis was dropped from the leadoff spot to seventh and singled his first three times up.
- Willits started in place of Gary Matthews Jr., who is 0-for-11 lifetime against Marcum.
- Matthews, who pinch-ran for Quinlan in the ninth inning, finished the month batting .211 -- 67 points lower than he did last May. Willits who came in 4-for-5 lifetime against Marcum, flied out with the bases loaded to end the fourth.
- Guerrero, who homered twice against Marcum on May 21 at Toronto, was hitless in four at-bats against him in the rematch.