Toronto falls behind Buehrle's shaky start
Gose notches first career grand slam, but Blue Jays come up short
TORONTO -- Mark Buehrle's recent success came to an abrupt end Tuesday night.
The typically reliable veteran had trouble locating the strike zone and was hit hard as the Blue Jays fell, 12-6, to the Angels in front of 19,079 fans at Rogers Centre.
Buehrle entered the game with a 6-0 record and 2.02 ERA over his past nine starts, but he did not resemble that pitcher in a humid night game in Toronto. The 14-year veteran allowed a season-high 12 hits, and he tied a season high in allowing eight earned runs in only four-plus innings.
"You can't be on every time," Buehrle said after the game. "You're going to have your bad day at the office, and today was one of those."
Buehrle's line was inflated by a four-run first, where a wall-scraping home run, a walk, a poorly taken route on a double to right and a trio of lightly hit singles did all the damage.
The veteran left-hander allowed more earned runs in that inning than in his previous three outings combined. After allowing just six earned runs over his past five games, and three in his previous three, he was taken advantage of by the Angels early and often.
But no matter the fortune Buehrle may have had in the opening frame, the Angels later erased any doubt how they were seeing the ball on this night.
Mark Trumbo hit a home run to lead off the fifth inning, his third of five consecutive hits, and Josh Hamilton followed with a moonshot off the foul pole in right to extend the Angels' lead to three. Buehrle then surrendered two loud doubles and a run before leaving with none out in the inning.
"I think that fifth inning was probably the worst four-hitter stretch I've ever had in my career with the way they hit the ball," Buehrle said. "I think seven or eight pitches, and four of them got crushed. I mean, it's one of those things, if you're up in the zone, they're going to do damage to it.
"First inning there was a couple that they put good wood on, and a couple of bloops, found the hole. And then that fifth inning, they pretty much just crushed everything I threw up there. I mean, there's times when you make pitches and they're putting them in play and finding holes, and then there's time you're missing pitches and they're making you pay for it."
Chad Jenkins came on in relief to finish off the inning without any further damage.
"The whole game I wasn't making pitches; everything was up, falling behind in the count," Buehrle said. "I feel like I have been pitching so well for so long that you kind of have a bump in the road once in a while, and today was that day."
The biggest beneficiaries of the humid weather -- and the poor outing from the Blue Jays starter -- were Trumbo and Hamilton. The heart of the Angels' lineup combined to go 8-for-10 on the night, with two home runs, six RBIs and seven runs scored.
Particularly impressive was Trumbo, who became the first Angels player to have five hits and five runs in the same game, also tying the franchise record for most extra-base hits with four.
"This is a special night, obviously," Trumbo said. "There's been nights when you go home wondering what happened. But at the end of the day, if you're lucky enough to be in there every day, hopefully you're able to contribute. I definitely was able to do that tonight."
"It was unbelievable, man," Hamilton said. "Every time he went up there, you expected something good to happen."
While Buehrle struggled on the mound, the Blue Jays did find their way into the game in a hurry in the second.
Adam Lind led off the frame with a single that landed just in front of Hamilton in right field. Toronto added two seeing-eye singles up the middle to load the bases for Anthony Gose.
Gose, 23, then hit a line drive on the first pitch he saw from Angels starter Jerome Williams over the wall in right for his first career grand slam to knot things at 4.
"Pretty good," Gose said when asked how it felt, adding that immediately afterward he was thinking "just don't do anything dumb, get around the bases."
But the Angels got the lead right back in the third, and by the time Chris Iannetta hit his ninth home run to put Toronto down by seven in the sixth, the game was essentially over.
"The biggest thing I was most frustrated with is we come back and tie it, and then go back out there and give up another run the next inning," Buehrle said.