TORONTO — After two costly mistakes, the Los Angeles Angels needed a perfect play to save the game. For once, their typically sparkling defense wasn’t up to the task.
Adam Lind drove in the winning run with a grounder in the 10th inning, and the Blue Jays beat the Angels 3-2 on Monday night before a small crowd in Toronto.
Two errors led to three unearned runs and extra infielder Torii Hunter couldn’t cut down the winning run at the plate as the Blue Jays improved to 10-0 at home in extra innings.
“There were some things on the defensive side that definitely swung the momentum of the game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Hunter and Mark Trumbo homered for the Angels but Los Angeles lost for the third time in four games, further denting its chances of reaching the playoffs. The Angels trail first-place Texas by five games in the AL West and are behind both Boston and Tampa Bay in the wild-card race.
“We’d better step our game up if we want it,” Hunter said.
The Angels wrap up their road schedule with three more in Toronto before going home Friday. Oakland visits for three over the weekend and the season ends with a three-game series against the first-place Rangers starting next Monday.
“All is not lost,” Hunter said. “We just need to be within three come Monday.”
The crowd of 11,178 was Toronto’s second-smallest of the season, and well short of the 18,556 who showed up just down the street to watch the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs open their preseason schedule against the Ottawa Senators.
The Blue Jays drew a season-low 11,077 fans for an April 5 game against Oakland.
Mike McCoy reached on shortstop Erick Aybar’s error to begin the bottom of the 10th, and Eric Thames followed with a single to center off left-hander Scott Downs (6-3).
After Thames was forced at second on Jose Bautista’s fielder’s choice, Scioscia brought in Hunter from right field to serve as an extra infielder. Lind hit a grounder that Hunter fielded between first and second but his throw to the plate was low and wide, allowing McCoy to slide in safely.Casey Janssen (6-0) pitched around a leadoff double in the 10th to earn the win.