TORONTO -- The Blue Jays had two walk-off grand slams in their first 40 years of existence. Steve Pearce has two in the last four days alone.Pearce's latest blast off Angels closer Bud Norris capped one of the most dramatic comebacks in Toronto franchise history. The Blue Jays rallied from
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays had two walk-off grand slams in their first 40 years of existence. Steve Pearce has two in the last four days alone.
Pearce's latest blast off Angels closer Bud Norris capped one of the most dramatic comebacks in Toronto franchise history. The Blue Jays rallied from six runs down in the ninth inning to steal a victory away from the Angels with an 11-10 win -- the club's biggest comeback when trailing entering the ninth inning.
"It's just as good," said Pearce, who wasn't willing to rest on his Thursday heroics. "It's, 'What have you done for me lately?' You've got to go up there and attack that at-bat. I went up there and just looked for my pitch. He missed a couple pitches pretty bad early, so I was able to sit on my pitch and unload on it."
It was the second walk-off grand slam allowed by Norris in the last week, as he also surrendered a game-winning blast to Indians slugger Edwin Encarnacion on Tuesday. Entering Sunday, the Angels had not lost a game they led by more than three runs all season.
"Can't sum it up yet. It's humbling," Norris said. "Something to learn from. A lot's been going on in my head and everything else, but in the heat in the moment, I have to stay focused on what I can control, and that's one pitch at a time. I made some really good pitches, some bad pitches and one that I didn't make tonight really got punished."
Blue Jays starter Cesar Valdez was hit early and often, and lasted just two-plus innings after pitching six strong in his rotation debut earlier in the week. The journeyman right-hander was charged with six earned runs on seven hits before the bullpen limited the damage long enough to keep Toronto within its unexpected striking distance.
Jose Pujols was in vintage form for the Angels, snapping an 0-for-24 skid with his first multi-home run game of 2017. The Angels' offense finished the day with 14 hits, giving them 23 runs on 32 hits over the series.
"Albert, he put it together today," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Some of the pitches maybe he was missing before, he didn't miss this afternoon. He hit the ball hard all afternoon."
Despite taking two of three from the Blue Jays, the Angels (51-55) went 2-4 over their six-game road trip and dropped 5 1/2 games behind the Royals for the second American League Wild Card spot.
Jesse Chavez gave the Angels five innings against his old team, allowing four runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Angels right fielder Kole Calhoun exited the game in the third inning with right hamstring soreness. He will undergo an MRI exam on Monday in Southern California.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Kevin starts the comeback: Kevin Pillar got the comeback started in the bottom of the ninth, tying a career high with his 12th home run of the season to bring the Blue Jays within four. The shot scored Ryan Goins, who opened up the inning by working a walk. Rob Refsnyder then hit a ground-rule double, Ezequiel Carrera -- who led off the first with a homer -- singled and Russell Martin hit an RBI single to set the stage for Pearce.
"The crowd started to get into it," Pearce said. "When [Martin's grounder] gets past the third baseman and that's a hit, and Carrera had a great at-bat, it was just a great inning for everybody."
Extending an ugly 3rd: Valdez ran into trouble in the top of the third, but had a chance to limit the damage with runners on first and second and none out. Calhoun grounded to second baseman Refsnyder, but his short throw to Goins covering the bag at second was slightly high and wide, pulling Goins off the bag. Instead of a double play, the Angels had the bases loaded. Three runs scored after that play to give Los Angeles a five-run inning.
"I think we're just flat-out tired of losing. We still feel like we have a chance." - Pillar, on the ninth inning
"It's a bad way to end a road trip. It's something you don't like. It makes the flight long." -- Chavez, on the Angels' tough loss
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
• Pearce is just the third player in MLB history to hit two walk-off grand slams in the same season. Jim Presley did it with the 1986 Mariners, and Cy Williams pulled it off for the 1926 Phillies. More >
• Carrera's leadoff homer was the first of his career and the second this season for Toronto. Jose Bautista also did it on June 28 vs. Baltimore.
• Pujols grounded into his 350th career double play, tying him for the all-time MLB record with Cal Ripken Jr.
Pearce sent a deep drive to center field in the bottom the third, and both he and the Blue Jays dugout thought it was gone. The umpires ruled it had gone off the wall for a double on the field, and after review, that was confirmed.
In the fifth, Kaleb Cowart was called out at first after hitting a grounder to Refsnyder, but the Angels challenged the call after replay showed that Cowart's foot had touched the bag ahead of Refsnyder's throw. The call was overturned following a brief review, keeping the inning alive for the Angels.
Angels: After Monday's off-day, the Angels will host the Phillies on Tuesday for the first of three Interleague games at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (4-12, 5.07 ERA) will start the opener and make his 24th career appearances against the Phillies.
Blue Jays: Marco Estrada (4-7, 5.43 ERA) will open Toronto's series in Chicago against the White Sox at 8:10 p.m. ET Monday. The right-hander looked much better his last time out, with the only damage being a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
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Keegan Matheson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Toronto.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.