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Tellez matches Trout with 2 HRs in loss

Blue Jays unable to keep pace with homer-happy Angels
@baseballexis
June 20, 2019

TORONTO -- Though the present hasn’t always been pleasant for the Blue Jays, this season is certainly giving fans a glimpse of a bright future. Wednesday was Rowdy Tellez’s turn in the spotlight, when the 24-year-old first baseman notched the second multi-homer game of his young career and drove in

TORONTO -- Though the present hasn’t always been pleasant for the Blue Jays, this season is certainly giving fans a glimpse of a bright future.

Wednesday was Rowdy Tellez’s turn in the spotlight, when the 24-year-old first baseman notched the second multi-homer game of his young career and drove in four runs for the home team in an 11-6 loss to the Angels at Rogers Centre.

Box score

Tellez got Toronto on the board with a game-tying three-run home run in the second inning. The long ball was his 12th of the season and his fourth off a left-handed pitcher. He also became just the fourth left-handed hitter to homer off of Andrew Heaney, joining Shin-Soo Choo, Anthony Rizzo and David Ortiz.

“He was struggling, so it was good to see him coming back and having a good game,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Hopefully he’ll keep it going now, and he’ll get hot, because Rowdy is one of those guys when he gets hot, he can carry a team, because he’s done it in the past. So that was good to see. Great game from him.”

The California native added his 13th homer of the year in the eighth frame, tying him with Randal Grichuk for the team lead. Including the time Tellez spent in the big leagues at the end of last year, the rookie now has 17 career homers, the most in franchise history for a Blue Jays batter within his first 85 games.

Another offensive highlight for Toronto, Eric Sogard cut into the visitors’ lead in the fourth with a two-run single, his first of two hits on the night. In 56 career games against the Angels, the 33-year-old infielder has hit .288 (49-for-170) with one home run, eight doubles and 17 RBIs.

But the offence wasn’t enough for the Blue Jays to dig out of the hole they found themselves in early. Starter Aaron Sanchez entered Wednesday’s game looking to snap a string of seven straight losing decisions, and instead extended the streak.

“You just continue to pitch,” Sanchez said. “That’s all you do, take the ball and go out there. You take the good from your starts, you flush the bad and you keep moving on. I’ve been on the other side, where I’ve won 10 games in a row, so it is what it is. It’s a tough game as it is, so you just keep plugging and keep working, and things will turn. I’m not worried.”

The 26-year-old right-hander was undone by Mike Trout, who homered twice against him -- one a grand slam -- and drove in seven total runs. Sanchez allowed seven runs (six earned) on nine hits with two walks, and finished 3 2/3 innings.

“It’s an in-game adjustment, and he’s got to get ahead,” Montoyo said. “That goes for any pitcher. You have to get ahead in the count. When you pitch behind in the big leagues, and even more against good lineups, they’re going to make you pay.”

The Blue Jays have notched only 12 wins in their past 46 games and ahead of Wednesday’s contest, the team was hitting a Major League-low .206 at home with a .333 win percentage at Rogers Centre, which ranked 28th among baseball’s 30 teams.

“One thing that happened today,” Montoyo said. “The whole time on the bench, even though we were behind everybody was pulling for each other, and I love that about this club. I know we’ve been losing a lot, but everybody was pulling for each other. … They don’t give up. We don’t give up.”

Alexis Brudnicki is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @baseballexis.