TORONTO (AP) — Hector Santiago learned a lot from watching the Blue Jays face teammate and fellow left-hander C.J. Wilson on Monday.
Santiago put his findings to good use on Tuesday night.
David Freese drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, Santiago pitched seven innings to win for the first time since April 21, and the Los Angeles Angels beat Toronto 3-2.
Santiago (3-2) allowed two runs, one earned, and four hits as the Angels won for the sixth time in eight games.
“That’s a lineup that has been chewing up left-handed pitching,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of the Blue Jays, who came in batting .328 against lefties. “They’ll let you know if you’re missing your spots. (Santiago) pitched a good game.”
Santiago, who has allowed one earned run or fewer in six of his past seven starts, said watching the Blue Jays face Wilson one day earlier was a big help.
“I got to see what he did early in the counts and what their approach was,” Santiago said. “I attacked everybody in the first at-bat and they all kind of took to see what I had. The next time around I kind of went and mixed it up a little bit more, maybe started with off speed, then went hard away or hard in, some double-up off speed, some curveballs, stuff like that.”
Santiago walked three and struck out five. He lowered his ERA to 2.25.
“He’s just filling up the zone with four pitches,” Scioscia said.
Santiago’s outing didn’t start on a great note when Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson hit a solo homer on the eighth pitch of the game.
“He kept his composure and kept pounding the zone,” catcher Chris Iannetta said.
Joe Smith worked the eighth and Huston Street finished for his 13th save.
Kole Calhoun homered in the fourth for the Angels.
Toronto has lost eight of 10.
“Santiago was really good,” manager John Gibbons said. “He was picking the plate apart.”
Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez (3-4) allowed three runs and six hits in a career-high 7 1-3 innings.
“It was a tough loss but a lot of good things happened out there for me today,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez left after walking Albert Pujols to put runners at first and second with one out in the eighth. Roberto Osuna came on and got Calhoun to hit a grounder to third. Donaldson tried to tag out Erick Aybar, but Aybar dove around the tag and was called safe, loading the bases.
“I knew it was going to be a tough play,” Donaldson said. “I was wrong and it ended up costing us.”
Freese followed with the tiebreaking sacrifice fly.
PAIN IN THE NECK
Blue Jays C Russell Martin was hit in the side of the neck by Mike Trout’s broken bat in the sixth. He was checked by the trainer but remained in the game.
Angels OF Matt Joyce acknowledged he was scratched from the lineup Monday after arriving late to the ballpark, incorrectly thinking it was a night game. The teams played an afternoon game Monday because of Canada’s Victoria Day holiday, an annual celebration in honor of Queen Victoria’s birthday.
Angels: Santiago twisted his left ankle when he landed awkwardly on a follow through in the sixth. He was checked by the trainer and stayed in the game. “It was like a quick little ‘Ow’ and then ‘All right, we’re good,'” Santiago said.
Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis (left shoulder) missed his third straight game. … SS Jose Reyes (left ribs) took batting practice for the third consecutive day and will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Buffalo on Thursday.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver (2-4) has won his past two starts after going winless in his first six outings of the season. Weaver has allowed one earned run in his last 16 1-3 innings, lowering his ERA from 6.29 to 4.44.
Blue Jays: RHP Drew Hutchison (3-0, 6.17 ERA) has yielded just three earned runs in his past two starts after giving up 12 in his previous two. He struck out a season-high nine but didn’t get a decision in his last start, May 14 at Houston.