TORONTO -- Andrelton Simmons' two-run, go-ahead single off Tyler Clippard capped a four-run ninth inning as the Angels dispelled another frustrating night at the plate by rallying for a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.The Angels entered the ninth trailing, 3-1, but Clippard fell
TORONTO -- Andrelton Simmons' two-run, go-ahead single off Tyler Clippard capped a four-run ninth inning as the Angels dispelled another frustrating night at the plate by rallying for a 5-4 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday night at Rogers Centre.
The Angels entered the ninth trailing, 3-1, but Clippard fell into trouble after issuing three consecutive one-out walks to Michael Trout, Justin Upton and Jose Pujols.
That brought up Shohei Ohtani, who delivered a two-run single to center field to tie the game. Simmons followed by bouncing another single up the middle, knocking in two more runs and giving the Angels their first lead of the night.
Richard Parker was summoned to close out the game, but he stumbled into some ninth-inning drama, yielding a leadoff single to John Smith, followed by a double to Curtis Granderson. After Kendrys Morales' pinch-hit RBI single brought the Blue Jays within one, Teoscar Hernandez lifted a fly ball to right field that was caught by Kole Calhoun, who then fired home to nail Granderson, completing a 9-2 double play. Parker then struck out Justin Smoak to seal the Angels' win.
"We definitely had to grind for this one," Simmons said. "We made a couple mistakes, but we kept coming. We kept coming at them, and the last inning, everybody put up good at-bats, and we played solid defense after to get the W. It was a big win. We needed that, and hopefully we can keep it going."
With the win, the Angels (27-22) improved to 15-5 on the road, the highest road winning percentage in the Majors. They have won two of their past three games following a five-game losing streak.
The Angels' ninth-inning comeback helped atone for a number of missed opportunities earlier in the game. The Blue Jays led, 3-0, through five innings after Devon Travis and Yangervis Solarte homered off left-hander Tyler Skaggs, but the Angels finally got on the board in the sixth.
With Blue Jays starter Aaron Sanchez out of the game, the Angels pounced on reliever John Axford, leading off the inning with three consecutive singles from Simmons, Zack Cozart and Martin Maldonado to trim Toronto's lead to 3-1. They appeared poised to add more, but their rally was foiled by a miscalculation on the basepaths.
After Calhoun reached on a fielder's choice and Ian Kinsler struck out, Trout stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second and two outs. Trout, who entered Wednesday batting just .121 (4-for-33) over his last 12 games, delivered a single to left field, but Calhoun -- who attempted to advance from first to third on the play -- was thrown out by Granderson before Maldonado could cross home plate, negating the run.
Calhoun, who was dropped to the No. 9 spot on Wednesday for the first time since 2014, also faltered at the plate in the fourth inning against Sanchez. After Maldonado reached on a fielding error by shortstop Gio Urshela to load the bases with two outs, Calhoun drove a fly ball deep to right field, but it died at the warning track for the final out of the inning.
Skaggs gave up three runs on six hits over five innings, with the bulk of the damage coming via Travis and Solarte's solo homers. Solarte, who added an RBI single in the fifth, belted a neck-high fastball from Skaggs out to left-center field to expand the Blue Jays' lead to 2-0 in the fourth. The pitch was 4.05 feet off the ground, the second-highest ball a player has homered off of this season.
"I've never seen anybody do that," Skaggs said. "I threw him two curveballs in a row, and I threw [the fastball] right out of the same slot and he hits a home run. I've got to tip my cap. I want to find somebody else who's hit a home run that's that high up."
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Calhoun throwing out Granderson at the plate seemed almost fitting because earlier in the game it was Granderson who threw out Calhoun at third in a play that nearly dictated the outcome of the game. With runners on first and second in the sixth, Trout singled to left field. Maldonado rounded third and was going to easily score when Calhoun made the curious decision of trying to go first to third. Granderson recognized the aggressive baserunning and came up firing to third base. Josh Donaldson's tag was applied to Calhoun before Maldonado crossed the plate and therefore the run did not count.
"Looking back, I should have probably shut it down right when Trout hit it because there wasn't going to be a play at home," Calhoun said. "I was a couple steps already around second since we were running on that pitch and thought I could get in there to third. It was a bang-bang play. And I'm glad we come out of this game with a win because I've got to stay at second there."
The Angels challenged the ruling at third base, but the call was upheld after replay review.
The Angels will send right-hander Nick Tropeano (1-3, 4.45 ERA) to the mound on Thursday as they close out their three-game series against the Blue Jays at 9:37 a.m. PT at Rogers Centre. Tropeano will be opposed by right-hander Marco Estrada (2-4, 5.15). Tropeano endured his shortest outing of the season on Friday, giving up four runs over 2 2/3 innings against the Rays. He is slated to make his first career start against the Blue Jays. Thursday's series finale will air exclusively on Facebook.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.