Blue Jays move into 1st with sweep of Halos

Blue Jays move into 1st with sweep of Halos

ANAHEIM -- The Blue Jays' offense erupted again, as Toronto quickly erased a four-run deficit and rolled to a three-game sweep of the Angels with a 12-5 win on Sunday afternoon at Angel Stadium. The Blue Jays took a half-game lead in the American League East over the Yankees, who lost on Sunday.

Toronto scored 36 runs on 48 hits in the series -- a Blue Jays franchise record for runs scored in a three-game series, and an Angels franchise record for runs allowed. Toronto knocked the Angels to 1 1/2 games back of the Rangers for the second AL Wild Card spot and 5 1/2 games back of the AL West-leading Astros.

Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion went a combined 7-for-9 on Sunday, including back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning off Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, who was shelled for 10 hits and nine runs (seven earned) in five-plus innings.

"When we got down early, they scored five in the first, and it wasn't like we were hanging our heads in the dugout," said Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a walk. "It was like, 'OK, we have a tough job ahead of us but we can definitely do it.' It was good energy out there and it was a good series for us."

Josh Donaldson also went 2-for-5 with a double, the AL MVP candidate's third multi-hit game of the series. Donaldson finished the series a combined 8-for-13 with four doubles, a home run, nine RBIs and six runs scored -- raising his season totals to a .302 batting average, 34 homers and a Major League-best 100 RBIs and 95 runs.

"It's a good team over there. They're swinging the bats hot," said Mike Trout, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI triple. "When runners were in scoring position with them, they were putting the ball in play and hitting it where we weren't playing them."

Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey settled down after a five-run first to hold the Angels scoreless over the next five innings, despite action in the Toronto bullpen after Trout's leadoff single in the second. Dickey induced a pair of double plays from Albert Pujols that helped quash Angels rallies in the second and the fourth.

Back to back: The Blue Jays hit back-to-back homers for the seventh time this season when Bautista and Encarnacion went deep in the fourth inning. According to Statcast™, Bautista's 29th of the season was projected to travel 440 feet, while Encarnacion's 24th of the year was estimated at 371 feet. Encarnacion also added three singles to record his first four-hit game of the season.

"You have an offense that picked up the pitching, and when you can do that, when you have guys picking up other guys, you have a team that is able to pitch well when the offense isn't what they normally are, and an offense that picks up the pitching when the pitching's not what it normally is, it can make for a special season," Dickey said.

Blue Jays hit back-to-back shots

Starting pitching meltdown: The Angels needed Richards to go deep into the game Sunday after their bullpen covered 11 innings in the first two games of the series, but the right-hander couldn't make it through the sixth. After Richards' outing, Angels starting pitchers threw only 12 combined innings in the three games, and they allowed 21 runs. Seventeen of those were earned, giving Richards, Andrew Heaney and Hector Santiago a 12.75 ERA in the three games against Toronto.

"I was just kind of flat today," Richards said. "Slider wasn't really sliding. Fastball command was decent. They're a hot team right now; we ran into a hot team. This is an opportunity for us to go on the road and gain some ground, so that's what we have to worry about right now."

Bouncing back: Toronto fell behind 5-1 early, but after scoring two in the second, the club completed its comeback in the third with a three-run frame. Bautista doubled, while Encarnacion, Kevin Pillar and Ben Revere added singles and a run scored on an error to give the Blue Jays a 6-5 lead they would not relinquish. It was the 19th time this season Toronto scored at least 10 runs in a game, which tied the club record set in 2003.

"We're relaxed, we're ready to hit when we're in the box, we're having good at-bats and everybody is on the same page," said Bautista, who finished the day 3-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored. "We're swinging at strikes, laying off the bad pitches and really executing well one through nine, everybody's contributing. With a lineup so deep like this, if seven-eight-nine are getting on base, whoever is on the other side is going to have trouble shutting us down."

Revere's game-tying RBI single

Things looked bright: The Angels actually jumped out to a big lead in the first inning, batting around and scoring five runs off Dickey. The first time through the order, the Angels batted 1.000 -- they had six hits, and their only two outs were sacrifice flies. Trout started the Angels' scoring with his triple, and rookie Kaleb Cowart finished it with an RBI double, his second Major League hit -- his first was a home run on Saturday.

"I think we swung the bats better this afternoon," manager Mike Scioscia said. "And obviously five in the first is something you hope you can build on. We weren't able to, but for the most part I think we had better approaches at the plate and hopefully we're gonna start to see some light at the end of the tunnel on the offensive end."

Trout's RBI triple

"We're a complete team and we have way less weaknesses than we did coming out of Spring Training and the first couple of months. With all of the additions that [general manager] Alex [Anthopoulos] was able to pull off and a commitment from ownership, we don't have that many weaknesses. If we just go out there and do our job and perform, and nobody does anything outstanding, everybody just does what they normally do, we usually get wins." -- Bautista

"Garrett got into the sixth, but our bullpen is really on fumes. Those guys have been pitching a lot. The guys that took the ball this afternoon, they have an off-day tomorrow, and we'll regroup in Detroit, but yeah, it would've been nice if Garrett could have gotten a little further. He gave everything he had, he just didn't have what he needed this afternoon."-- Scioscia, on the bullpen, which had to throw 15 innings in the series.

The 36 runs scored by the Blue Jays in Anaheim are the most the club has ever scored in a three-game series. The previous record belonged to the 2003 team that scored 34 runs against the Red Sox from May 30-June 1, 2003. More >

Encarnacion is riding a career-best 19-game hitting streak, which is the longest active stretch in the Major Leagues. It's also two shy of the season-long streaks set by Nelson Cruz and Tulowitzki.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons won his challenge in the bottom of the fifth inning after David Murphy appeared to hit a double. Murphy arrived at the bag well before the throw from center fielder Pillar when he came off the bag as he popped up from the slide. Tulowitzki kept his glove on Murphy the whole time, and the call on the field was overturned, with Murphy out.

"If anything is going on, I'm on top of it and I take pride in that," Tulowitzki said. "I'm not going to sit here and say the rule is great, but it is a rule and if the guy gets off the bag, if you leave the tag on, he is out so you might as well take advantage of it. It happens all the time, it's not the first time I've gotten someone on that and it won't be the last, either."

Tulo tags out Murphy at second

Blue Jays: The Blue Jays will enjoy an off-day on Monday before opening a three-game series against the Rangers on Tuesday at 8:05 p.m. ET in Arlington. Left-hander Mark Buehrle (13-6, 3.45 ERA) will start the opener as he looks to bounce back after allowing four runs over four innings in his last outing against the Phillies. Texas will counter with left-hander Derek Holland.

Angels: After Monday's off-day, the Angels head to Detroit, where Jered Weaver will start the series opener against the Tigers at 4:08 p.m. PT. Weaver will be making his fourth start since coming off the disabled list, and his third was his best -- 6 1/3 shutout innings to beat the White Sox.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @_dadler. Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.