Blue Jays' streak snapped despite Reyes' effort

Leadoff man puts together 3-for-4 night with eighth-inning homer

Blue Jays' streak snapped despite Reyes' effort

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' bats had been so loud, they were bound to quiet down eventually.

The club scored 22 times the previous two nights, and it rode a five-game winning streak into Friday's contest against the Angels.

But as they scrounged for runs, the Blue Jays saw their chance to extend the streak slip away, and the Angels stole it in the top of the ninth for a 4-3 win at Rogers Centre.

Toronto manager John Gibbons said his club ran into tough pitching, specifically from Los Angeles starter Garrett Richards, who went seven innings and allowed five hits and two runs.

"Richards is one of the best young pitchers in the game. He can overpower you, and he shut down a pretty hot offence, too," said Gibbons. "That was the key there."

Richards earned a no-decision on the night. His only glaring faults came in the form of three wild pitches, two of which resulted in Blue Jays runs. The home team could only muster one more -- in the form of a Jose Reyes solo shot -- as they evened out their record to .500 (18-18) on the season.

Reyes showed some spark at the plate for Toronto, going 3-for-4 with a double and homer in what was his best offensive performance of the season.

"He's feeling good; he's bouncing around out there," said Gibbons. "He was off to a slow start with the bat, but it's coming."

But other than Reyes and Melky Cabrera (2-for-3), there wasn't much pop in the Blue Jays bats. Their Nos. 3-4-5 hitters -- Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Juan Francisco -- combined for only one hit.

Erick Aybar was the hero for the Angels. The shortstop was 3-for-5 and led off the top of the ninth with a triple, later scoring the winning run to break a 3-3 tie as the Angels improved to .500 (17-17).

"He's swinging the bat nice, he has confidence up there," said Angels bench coach Dino Ebel, who is overseeing the manager's duties in the absence of Mike Scioscia. "He's putting good wood on it and he wants to be the guy. ... Hats off to him getting that big triple there in the ninth inning."

It was anybody's game for most of the night, but a turning point came in the seventh, when the Blue Jays' bullpen got into a jam with the score tied at 2.

Sergio Santos gave up a ground-rule double to Aybar before putting Albert Pujols on with an intentional walk. Santos then walked Raul Ibanez to load the bases with two out. Steve Delabar came on in relief, but he walked Howie Kendrick to bring home the go-ahead run.

"That's where we've struggled this year," said Gibbons. "Throwing strikes out of the bullpen. If they beat you, make them hit it to beat you."

Reyes put the Blue Jays back in it with his solo home run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Angels sealed it with a sac fly that scored Aybar in the ninth, saddling Brett Cecil with the loss.

Dustin McGowan pitched five innings, allowing seven hits and two runs with two walks and two strikeouts in a no-decision start for Toronto.

McGowan gave up some well-hit balls in the early innings, and he narrowly escaped at least two runs in the first. With two runners in scoring position, Kendrick turned on a McGowan offering and sent a deep fly ball to right field.

Bautista, playing shallow, had to track back to the wall and made a nice over-the-shoulder catch to spare the Blue Jays an early deficit.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.