Anaheim at Toronto

W: J. Saunders (1-2) L: B. Tallet (1-1)
S: F. Rodney (3)
HR: ANA - H. Kendrick (1), J. Rivera (3)   TOR - None

Angels 6, Blue Jays 3 wire reports

TORONTO -- Howie Kendrick knows baseball can be "crazy" sometimes. He's learned to find calm amid the chaos.

Kendrick and Juan Rivera homered, Joe Saunders pitched eight strong innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Toronto Blue Jays 6-3 Saturday.

"He's seeing the ball well now and he's comfortable," Saunders said of Kendrick. "He's riding the confidence and it's fun to watch."

Kendrick went 3 for 5 with three RBI and scored twice, and the Angels won back-to-back games for the first time this season in handing the Blue Jays their first consecutive losses of the year.

Kendrick was sent to the minors last June 13, shortly after a difficult series in Toronto where he was benched after losing track of the number of outs and getting doubled off first base. He returned to the majors in early July and hit .351 the rest of the way.

The demotion helped Kendrick learn to keep his emotions in check when things aren't going well.

"It's just not really trying to get down on myself when a couple of games don't go the way I'd like them to," Kendrick said. "I've just got to stay with my approach and stay with the things that I continue to do day in and day out because eventually it's going to turn around."

Kendrick acknowledged feeling insecure when the Angels arrived in Toronto last June for the series that led to his demotion. He was batting just .227 at the time.

"Last year when I got here I was kind of not sure of myself," he said.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia has noticed changes in Kendrick since the stint at Triple-A.

"There's definitely a confidence around Howie," Scioscia said. "It resurfaced at the end of last year and it's with him now. If he has a bad game, he's good with his approach, he's good with getting to the next game and not trying to reinvent the wheel.

"This guy can swing the bat," Scioscia added. "He had a great day today and that's what he's capable of doing, being a big part of our lineup."

Saunders (1-2) came in 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA, but was sharp Saturday in allowing two runs, none earned, and five hits. The left-hander walked one, struck out two, lowered his ERA to 4.26 and improved his record in April to 11-3.

"That's a tough lineup, they've got some power all the way through, and Joe really did well getting ahead and bringing all his pitches into the game," Scioscia said. "You couldn't pitch much better than Joe did this afternoon."

Fernando Rodney closed it out in the ninth for his third save and second in as many days.

Los Angeles jumped in front before Blue Jays left-hander Brian Tallet (1-1) could record an out. Erick Aybar led off the first with a walk and Kendrick followed with a two-run homer to left, his first.

Rivera led off the second with a towering shot into the fourth deck in left, his third.

The Angels made it 4-0 in the third on back-to-back doubles by Torii Hunter and Hideki Matsui.

Sloppy defense allowed Toronto to halve the deficit in the bottom of the third. John McDonald doubled and scored when third baseman Brandon Wood couldn't come up with Mike McCoy's chopper down the line. McCoy wound up at second and scored when Wood threw wildly to first on a grounder by Alex Gonzalez.

Tallet allowed four runs and five hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out three, but struggled to command his cut fastball, the pitch he threw on both homers.

"I probably shouldn't have thrown it because I had no feel for it," Tallet said.

Rivera padded the Angels' lead with an RBI single in the eighth off Jason Frasor, scoring Kendrick.

Gonzalez hit a two-out double to center in the bottom half, his 11th extra base hit this season. Lind followed with a single to right, but Gonzalez was thrown out at the plate by Reggie Willits when he was unable to slide around catcher Mike Napoli.

"Napoli made a great play," Scioscia said. "Anytime you take a run away, it's big."

Kendrick made it 6-2 with an RBI single in the ninth off Kevin Gregg.

Toronto first baseman Lyle Overbay snapped an 0-18 slump with an RBI double in the ninth, boosting his average to .085. Rodney replaced Kevin Jepsen and ended it by retiring the next three batters in order.

  • Attendance was 17,187, Toronto's second-biggest crowd this season.
  • Blue Jays 3B Edwin Encarnacion (sore right arm) missed his third straight game and is day-to-day.
  • OF Fred Lewis , acquired in a trade with San Francisco on Thursday, made his Toronto debut, pinch hitting in the ninth.
  • Buffalo Bills WR James Hardy was at the game.
  • Ervin Santana (0-2, 6.94) faces Ricky Romero (1-0, 1.80) in Sunday's series finale.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Howie Kendrick gets the scoring going early by blasting a two-run homer in the first. (AP)
Howie Kendrick gets the scoring going early by blasting a two-run homer in the first. (AP)

Players of the Game

H. Kendrick
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 1

L. Overbay
AB 4
R 0
H 1
HR 0

Related Video

February 24, 2017
2017 AL East Preview: Toronto Blue Jays (3:22)
Los Angeles Angels
Erick Aybar, SS4110122 .295
Howard Kendrick, 2B5233011 .317
Torii Hunter, CF5110013 .341
Hideki Matsui, DH4011011 .311
Kendry Morales, 1B3000101 .244
Juan Rivera, LF4122000 .273
Mike Napoli, C3000100 .133
Brandon Wood, 3B4000013 .088
Reggie Willits, RF4120000 .333
2B - Erick Aybar (1, Tallet), Torii Hunter (5, Tallet), Hideki Matsui (3, Tallet), Reggie Willits (1, Gregg)
HR - Howard Kendrick (1, Tallet), Juan Rivera (3, Tallet)
RBI - Howard Kendrick 3 (5), Hideki Matsui (7), Juan Rivera 2 (7)
2-OUT RBI - Hideki Matsui (3), Juan Rivera (4)
SB - Howard Kendrick (2, 2nd base off Frasor/Molina)
Team LOB - 6
Outfield Assists - Reggie Willits 1
E - Brandon Wood 2 (3, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Angels
Joe Saunders (W,1-2) 8520120 4.26
Kevin Jepsen0211000 3.38
Fernando Rodney (S,3) 1000020 6.00
Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 107-73, Kevin Jepsen 8-4, Fernando Rodney 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 13-9, Fernando Rodney 1-0
Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 30, Kevin Jepsen 2, Fernando Rodney 3
Toronto Blue Jays
Mike McCoy, 2B4110000 .238
Alex Gonzalez, SS4010001 .333
Adam Lind, LF3010102 .319
Vernon Wells, CF4110001 .372
Lyle Overbay, 1B4011010 .085
Jose Bautista, RF4010001 .182
Randy Ruiz, DH4000022 .167
Jose Molina, C3000001 .222
   a- Fred Lewis, PH1000011 .000
John McDonald, 3B3110000 .250
a-struck out for Molina in the 9th
2B - Alex Gonzalez (7, Saunders), Vernon Wells (3, Jepsen), Lyle Overbay (1, Jepsen), Jose Bautista (3, Saunders), John McDonald (2, Saunders)
RBI - Lyle Overbay (3)
SB - Mike McCoy (1, 2nd base off Saunders/Napoli)
PK - Mike McCoy (1, Saunders)
Team LOB - 5
DP - McCoy-A. Gonzalez-Overbay
Toronto Blue Jays
Brian Tallet (L,1-1) 5544132 6.11
Shawn Camp 2100010 1.23
Jason Frasor 1211220 5.68
Kevin Gregg 1211000 1.69
IBB - Morales by Jason Frasor
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Tallet 88-55, Shawn Camp 22-17, Jason Frasor 28-15, Kevin Gregg 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Tallet 5-7, Shawn Camp 5-0, Kevin Gregg 2-0
Batters Faced - Brian Tallet 21, Shawn Camp 7, Jason Frasor 7, Kevin Gregg 4
Game Information
Attendance - 17187
Game Time - 2:41
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Marvin Hudson, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jim Joyce