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Angels' rally falls short vs. Toronto in 13th

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Jose Bautista blasted a three-run home run off Jesse Chavez to break a tie in the 13th inning, and the Blue Jays held on for an 8-7 comeback win in Friday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.

Kevin Pillar ignited the rally with a two-out single and advanced to third on Ezequiel Carrera's subsequent base hit to left. Bautista followed by crushing a 1-1 offspeed pitch to left-center for his first home run of the season.

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ANAHEIM -- Jose Bautista blasted a three-run home run off Jesse Chavez to break a tie in the 13th inning, and the Blue Jays held on for an 8-7 comeback win in Friday night's series opener at Angel Stadium.

Kevin Pillar ignited the rally with a two-out single and advanced to third on Ezequiel Carrera's subsequent base hit to left. Bautista followed by crushing a 1-1 offspeed pitch to left-center for his first home run of the season.

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Chavez, who was slated to start on Sunday, was forced into action after the Angels used all of their relievers.

"It was a real battle out there," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Tough win. Guys are tired, it ended so late."

While it's still April and the season is young, the Blue Jays (4-12) felt like Friday's marathon win could be the start of a turnaround.

"It's important," said Bautista, who snapped a streak of 67 regular-season at-bats without a homer. "We're off to a slow start and a game like this, if you lose, it could be demoralizing. The win is very important."

The Angels showed some life in the bottom of the 13th, loading the bases with no outs after Cameron Maybin and Juan Graterol both reached via fielding errors and Danny Espinosa walked. Kole Calhoun's RBI single cut the deficit to two, and Mike Trout's hit-by-pitch brought the Halos within one, but Joe Biagini struck out Albert Pujols and coaxed a lineout from C.J. Cron to end the game, which lasted 5 hours and 36 minutes.

Video: TOR@LAA: Biagini notches the save in extra-innings

"We put together a good inning in the 13th, obviously loading the bases, we just couldn't get that hit," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But we had lost this game in a lot of ways earlier. We not only had some opportunities on the offensive side, but we cracked the door for them on the defensive side, and that hurt us more than anything."

Justin Smoak's two-run double briefly gave the Blue Jays a 5-4 lead in the eighth, but Jefry Marte tied the game with a pinch-hit double off the left-field wall in the bottom half of the inning, scoring Espinosa from second.

Video: TOR@LAA: Smoak drills a go-ahead RBI double in 8th

The Angels had built a 4-2 advantage on Pujols' bases-clearing double in the third and Trout's solo home run in the fifth, but they committed two costly errors in the sixth that allowed Toronto to cut the deficit to one.

Halos starter Alex Meyer, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake to make a spot start and give the rest of the Halos' rotation an extra day of rest, lasted only 3 2/3 innings in his season debut, giving up two runs on two hits while walking four and striking out three.

Blue Jays starter Mat Latos went five innings in his club debut, yielding four runs on six hits. The right-hander struck out one against three walks. Latos, who signed a Minor League deal in the offseason, is a candidate to remain in the rotation in the short-term as the team navigates injuries to J.A. Happ and Aaron Sanchez.

Toronto's bullpen did an admirable job with six relievers combining for eight innings of one-run ball. Danny Barnes fired two shutout innings, Ryan Tepera tossed three scoreless frames, Joe Smith got two key outs and Biagini earned the save on a night he wasn't even supposed to pitch.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Tepera escapes trouble: The Angels threatened in the 10th when Maybin blooped a one-out single to center and advanced to second after Tepera hit Espinosa on the knee. That brought up Graterol, who was re-acquired by the Angels after being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays earlier this week. Still, Graterol could not come through, as Tepera promptly induced an inning-ending double play to leave the runners stranded. Tepera pitched three scoreless innings for Toronto, allowing one hit and striking out three.

Video: TOR@LAA: Tepera pitches three scoreless for first win

Angels' sloppy sixth: The Angels saw their 4-2 lead shrink to one after Yunel Escobar and Andrelton Simmons committed a pair of costly defensive miscues in the sixth. Escobar dropped an easy popper, allowing Tulowitzki to reach with one out. Troy Tulowitzki advanced to second on Russell Martin's single and scored after Simmons threw away a double-play relay throw to first.

Video: TOR@LAA: Tulowitzki scores on throwing error in 6th

QUOTABLE
"When you hit the field in the last inning, you don't feel like you win those games very often. Make an error, make another error and it's like, 'Oh my gosh.' When you're able to gut it out and get the victory when it seems like the momentum completely shifted and you're still able to get that win, it's character building for sure." -- Blue Jays catcher Martin

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Pujols' bases-clearing knock was his 604th career double, tying him with Paul Waner for 13th on the all-time list. He now has 1,831 RBIs, which is tied with Manny Ramirez for 18th among all-time RBI leaders.

Video: TOR@LAA: Pujols clears the bases on double down line

UNDER FURTHER REVIEW
The Blue Jays challenged whether Marte's run-scoring double in the eighth was fair or foul, and the call on the field of a hit was upheld. The ball hit the wall in left field just inside the foul line, scoring a run and tying the game at 5.

Video: TOR@LAA: Marte ties the game after calls confirmed

WHAT'S NEXT
Blue Jays: Casey Lawrence will make his first career Major League start when the Blue Jays take on the Angels on Saturday night. The right-hander has made two relief appearances with the Jays. First pitch is scheduled for 9:07 p.m. ET.

Angels: Left-hander Tyler Skaggs will make his fourth start of the season on an extra day of rest on Saturday when the Angels continue their four-game series with the Blue Jays. Skaggs struck out nine over seven scoreless innings in his last start against the Royals, lowering his ERA to 5.19 this season. First pitch is scheduled for 6:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.