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(Wednesday, July 9)
Final Score: LA Angels of Anaheim 8, Toronto 7
Anaheim, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Albert Pujols hit the go-ahead, two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the Angels came away with an 8-7 victory over Toronto in Wednesday's rubber match of a three-game series.
Kole Calhoun also slugged a two-run shot, while Josh Hamilton, Howie Kendrick and David Freese added an RBI each for the Angels, who bounced back from a 4-0 loss on Tuesday and have won six of their last seven.
Jason Grilli (1-1) turned in a scoreless top of the seventh for the win. Joe Smith fanned two in a scoreless ninth to earn his 12th save.
Nolan Reimold finished 2-for-4 and drove in three runs for the Blue Jays, who have dropped six of their last seven. Steve Tolleson added a two-run single, and Dioner Navarro collected three hits and knocked in a run.
Aaron Loup (2-2) was charged with two runs on two hits in his one-inning relief stint.
Loup retired the lone batter he faced in the sixth, but ran into trouble in the seventh by walking Calhoun. Though he was erased on Mike Trout's fielder's choice, Pujols stepped in and drilled a ball just off the tip of the glove of Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus to put the hosts up by an 8-7 count.
"I hit the ball pretty good. I was surprised how close it was," said Pujols. "I'm aware of what's going on (with the home run totals). I'll look back and see what I've done at the end of my career. I'm just trying to do my job right now."
Grilli allowed a walk and single in the top of the seventh, but stranded both after fanning Jose Bautista to end the frame. Kevin Jepsen and Smith made sure the slim margin held over the next two innings.
Kendrick and Freese stroked back-to-back RBI singles to put Los Angeles ahead in the second, then in the third, Reimold's bases-loaded walk forced in Toronto's first run.
Hamilton sent Pujols to the plate on a two-out single and the Angels led 3-1 in the home half.
Toronto stole momentum with a five-run fourth. Navarro singled and Darin Mastroianni reached on a Kendrick error, and after Jose Reyes walked to load the bases, C.J. Wilson's wild pitch scored Navarro for a 3-2 game.
Tolleson followed with a two-run hit to center, then Melky Cabrera was the beneficiary of a C.J. Cron throwing gaffe. Two batters later, Reimold's low line drive made it to the wall in right center, scoring both for a 6-3 contest.
The hosts responded right away. Freese walked, Cron singled and the former scored on a wild pitch ahead of Calhoun's two-run line shot to right for a 6-6 deadlock.
Cabrera walked at the outset of the sixth, moved to third on a Reimold hit and came home on Navarro's two-out single to put the visitors back on top.
"It was a sloppy game all around for both teams, and disappointing for us," noted Jays manager John Gibbons. "We left so many guys on base, but that's the way it goes. Pujols hits the deciding home run, and that's what the big boys do."
Pujols' homer was his 512th career longball, tying him for 21st place on the all-time list with Eddie Mathews and Ernie Banks ... Wilson lasted just 3 2/3 frames, giving up eight hits and six runs with three walks ... Toronto's Marcus Stroman surrendered six runs -- five earned -- and eight hits over his 3 2/3-inning outing ... New Anaheim Ducks free agent acquisition Ryan Kesler threw out the first pitch ...Prior to the contest, the Jays recalled catcher Erik Kratz from Triple-A Buffalo and placed outfielder Cole Gillespie on the 15-day disabled list.
07/09 23:01:34 ET