Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez fell behind in the count throughout his short stint on the mound and the Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels took full advantage.
"In the big leagues when you are facing good lineups like that, they are going to hit you pretty good and they did," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said of his starting pitcher.
Mike Trout hit a pair of home runs, including the sixth grand slam of his career, as the Angels defeated the Blue Jays 11-6 at Rogers Centre on Wednesday.
Trout hit his 21st and 22nd homers of the season for the Angels (38-37), which put him into a tie with Edwin Encarnacion of the New York Yankees for the American League lead. Justin Upton also homered for Los Angeles.
Noe Ramirez (3-0) picked up the win in relief, as starter Andrew Heaney didn't last the required five innings to record a victory. He allowed five runs and four hits over 3 2/3 innings of work. He walked four batters and struck out two.
Rowdy Tellez hit two homers for the Blue Jays (26-28). Sanchez (3-9) allowed six earned runs on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings. He also walked two batters.
"They just got hits when they counted, I guess," said Sanchez of his outing. "Falling behind in the count, things kind of get predictable and that's where I was tonight. They had their big blows."
The Angels opened the scoring when Tommy La Stella hit an RBI double in the second inning to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead over Toronto. Trout was the next batter up and took a full-count fastball from Sanchez deep to left field for a two-run homer.
"In the count, you know you're predictable, 3-2, he probably knows you are going to throw a heater," Sanchez said. "He knew in his first at-bat that I went in the same spot and he took me deep."
The Blue Jays responded in the bottom half of the frame. Tellez made contact with a 3-1 sinker from Heaney. The ball just cleared the 400 sign at centre field for a three-run home run which tied the game 3-3.
Trout hit his second home run of the game in the fourth inning. This time, it was a grand slam off an 0-1 fastball from Sanchez which would give the Angels a 7-3 lead.
"Great player," Sanchez said of Trout. "One of the greatest in the game. He did what he's supposed to do."
Sanchez retired the next two batters before he walked Kole Calhoun. He was removed from the game in place of reliever Justin Shafer.
The Blue Jats cut Los Angeles's lead later in the inning. Eric Sogard hit a two-run double which made it 7-5 Angels.
In the seventh, Luis Rengifo recorded an RBI on a fielder's choice. A throwing error by Jays relief pitcher Derek Law led to an additional run scored on the play to give the Angels a 9-5 lead.
Upton hit a solo homer in the eighth, which increased L.A.'s lead to 10-5.
Tellez hit his second homer of the game later in the inning which cut Los Angeles' lead to 10-6.
"He was struggling so it was good to see him having a good game," Montoyo said of Tellez. "Hopefully, he'll keep it going and he'll get hot. Because Rowdy's one of those guys that when he gets hot, he can carry a team because he's done it in the past."
Trout then drove in another run in the ninth inning, his seventh RBI of the evening, which gave the Angels an 11-6 lead.
Notes: The Blues Jays are 0-6 against the Angels this season. In his last 15 games in Toronto, Trout has reached base in all of them. Announced attendance was 16,225
David Alter, The Canadian Press