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Aybar helps Angels edge Blue Jays
Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Erick Aybar hit two doubles, a triple and scored twice to help the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim squeak out a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in the opener of a four-game set.
Aybar led off the top of the ninth with a triple to right-center and scored the game-winning run on a one-out sacrifice fly off the bat of Raul Ibanez.
Mike Trout smacked a solo homer and Howie Kendrick added two hits and an RBI for the Angels, who have won eight of their last nine against Toronto. Efren Navarro, who was called up prior to the game, had two doubles and a run scored.
Los Angeles starter Garrett Richards worked seven frames, fanning six and allowing two runs on five hits. Joe Smith (2-0) allowed one run in one inning to receive the win and Ernesto Frieri picked up his fourth save, setting down the side in order in the ninth.
"I've been working on my breaking ball (and) my fastball command," said Frieri. "I think I did a pretty good job today with my fastball and slider. I need to keep doing that for the rest of the season to be successful."
Jose Reyes went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and two runs scored and Melky Cabrera had two hits and scored a run for the Blue Jays, who saw starter Dustin McGowan allow two runs on seven hits and two walks through five innings.
"We got through it. I didn't have any slider at all," said McGowan. "Luckily the changeup got me through and it's just one of those games you go out there and give it everything you got."
Brett Cecil (0-3) suffered the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in his one inning on the hill.
Reyes saved his best hit for last when he ripped a leadoff homer in the eighth. He lined a shot that barely made its way over the right field wall to knot the game at 3-3.
Aybar, though, responded in the ninth with his leadoff triple. Trout reached base on and error and Albert Pujols was intentionally walked before the Ibanez sacrifice fly.
In the seventh, Aybar hit a ground-rule double and moved to third on a groundout, prior to Pujols being intentionally walked. Then with two outs, back-to-back walks brought Aybar in to score and gave the Angels a 3-2 lead.
Earlier, the Jays opened the scoring with a run in the first. Reyes led off with a single, which was followed by a walk and a pair of wild pitches that brought him around to score.
Los Angeles answered with an RBI single from Collin Cowgill in the top of the second. Navarro hit a two-out double before scoring on Cowgill's base hit.
The Angels went ahead, 2-1, in the top of the third on a towering leadoff homer from Trout. Trout smashed a 1-0 slider to center off the face of the second deck.
Toronto, however, knotted the game at 2-2 in the home third. Cabrera led off with a single, stole second and reached third on a flyout. A wild pitch, which was Richards' third in as many innings, brought Cabrera in to score.
In the top of the fifth, Ibanez walked with two outs and reached third on a Colby Rasmus single. McGowan then sailed a pitch over the head of Dioner Navarro that ricocheted right back to Navarro in time to apply a tag on Ibanez at the plate. Ibanez was initially ruled safe, but after a challenge from Toronto the call was reversed.
Rasmus extended his hitting streak to nine games ... Bautista has now reached base safely in 36 straight games. He is two shy of the Blue Jays all-time record of 38 set by Carlos Delgado in 1998 ... Bench coach Dino Ebel handled managerial duties due to the absence of manager Mike Scioscia, who is attending his daughters college graduation ... Toronto has homered in nine consecutive games and in 16 of its last 17 ... Juan Francisco had his eight- game hitting streak snapped.
05/10 02:49:38 ET