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Blue Jays aren't catching any breaks

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Monday wasn't the Blue Jays' night. For the seventh time in this young season, Toronto lost a one-run game, this time a 2-1 setback in the series finale against the Angels.

The contest was plagued with close calls in the Angels' favor, tough-luck plays and a number of missed opportunities. The Blue Jays put at least one runner on base in every inning, but two were caught stealing, two were erased by double plays, seven were stranded and a stolen base was called back on batter's interference. Toronto outhit the Angels, 7-5, but came away with only one run to show for it -- on a home run by Russell Martin in the fourth inning.

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ANAHEIM -- Monday wasn't the Blue Jays' night. For the seventh time in this young season, Toronto lost a one-run game, this time a 2-1 setback in the series finale against the Angels.

The contest was plagued with close calls in the Angels' favor, tough-luck plays and a number of missed opportunities. The Blue Jays put at least one runner on base in every inning, but two were caught stealing, two were erased by double plays, seven were stranded and a stolen base was called back on batter's interference. Toronto outhit the Angels, 7-5, but came away with only one run to show for it -- on a home run by Russell Martin in the fourth inning.

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"I feel like it's been a rough beginning of the season," Martin said. "A lot of plays haven't gone our way, a lot of calls haven't gone our way. But you know, those are things that happen in a baseball season. It just seems like it's magnified now because it's happened early and our record isn't too good."

Video: TOR@LAA: Maybin slides into home on fielder's choice

The Angels plated the game-winning run on a tight call that would stand after a replay review in the fifth inning when Cameron Maybin scored on Yunel Escobar's RBI fielder's-choice grounder. Maybin beat second baseman Devon Travis' throw home and narrowly avoided Martin's tag. It appeared Maybin may have missed the plate as he slid home, but he did step on it before heading back to the dugout and was never tagged by Martin.

The Angels' first run also involved a bit of luck, as Mike Trout connected for a triple that -- with a 79.4-mph exit velocity and a 35-degree launch angle -- had just a 3 percent hit probability, per Statcast™. Trout's hit likely would have been a double, but Jose Bautista slipped on the warning track as he went to throw, allowing Trout to stretch it to a triple. He came around to score the Angels' first run on Albert Pujols' RBI single.

Video: TOR@LAA: Trout triples to right, breaks belt on slide

Another close call led to manager John Gibbons being ejected for a second consecutive game. Gibbons was tossed in the sixth inning after arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Toby Basner. Martin took a called third strike from Angels starter Jesse Chavez that appeared to be well outside the zone.

"It seemed like he had just called the previous pitch a ball that was almost in the same exact spot," Martin said. "It's just one of those nights where it looked like he was scuffling a little bit back there. I know he's giving his best effort, but it doesn't help us when guys make mistakes. So a little frustration there, but everybody has off nights."

Video: TOR@LAA: Gibbons gets thrown out by home-plate umpire

Starter Francisco Liriano and the Blue Jays' bullpen kept the game within reach, but Toronto couldn't manufacture runs.

"[Liriano] held them in check. He gave us a shot," Gibbons said. "The go-ahead run, we had a shot at the plate, short-hopped it, but those things make a difference in close games.

"We're not clicking as a unit. That's the bottom line."

Despite the early season struggles -- at 5-14, Toronto has the fewest wins in baseball and hasn't had back-to-back victories since sweeping the Rangers in last year's American League Division Series -- the Blue Jays aren't yet hanging their heads.

"It's not like we're getting crushed out there. We're losing a lot of one-run ballgames, so as a team we just have to keep our head up and keep competing," Martin said. "We don't feel sorry for ourselves. We feel like we're competing all the way through, we're just not getting victories."

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles. He covered the Blue Jays on Monday.

Toronto Blue Jays