Ibanez’s Ninth-Inning Sac Fly Helps Angels Edge Blue Jays, 4-3

By Jose Serrano

May 9, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar is greeted by center fielder Mike Trout after scoring the Angels third run against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Trout homered, Erick Aybar notched three hits, and the Angels snapped Toronto’s five-game winning streak with a 4-3 victory Friday night.

Despite going 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position, the Halos received clutch at-bats when needed. In the second inning, Collin Cowgill singled up the middle to score recent call-up Efren Navarro. Cowgill is batting .304 with seven hits over the last seven games.

The Blue Jays answered in the bottom the frame on two Garrett Richards’ wild pitches. Jose Bautista struck out but the ball got away from Hank Conger, giving Jose Reyes and Melky Cabrera time to move over. One batter later, Richards tossed another out of Conger’s reach and Reyes scored.

Richards allowed two runs through seven innings, striking out five. It was the right-hander’s fourth straight outing yielding three runs or less.

Momentum shifted in Toronto’s favor when Raul Ibanez was tagged out at home in the fifth. Umpire Angel Hernandez initially called him safe but Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged the ruling. Hernandez overturned the called after a 3:20 minute review.

Patience with the bases loaded has paid off for the Angels this season, and it was no different in the first of a four game series with Toronto. After Aybar doubled and Ibanez and Albert Pujols walked, Howie Kendrick forced a third consecutive base on balls to give the Halos a one-run lead in the seventh.

After Reyes tied the game with solo shot, Aybar tripled to lead off the top of the ninth. It was the shortstops’ fifth game with three or more hits.

Ibanez hit Brett Cecil’s pitch deep enough to score Aybar, but not without controversy. Left fielder Melky Cabrera hit his cutoff man who threw to Reyes at third just as Trout was sliding into the base. Third base umpire Larry Vanover called Trout out, but the Angels challenged.

Dino Ebel-who is taking over Mike Scioscia’s role while he attend his daughter’s graduation-questioned whether Reyes even tagged Trout. Vanover reneged and the Angels took the lead.

Fresh off his loss to New York last Tuesday, Ernesto Frieri sought to redeem himself. He pitched a 1-2-3 ninth and picked up his fourth save of the season.

The Angels with their fifth straight game at Rogers Center, dating back to June 30, 2012.