TORONTO — The Angels left all their troubles on the other side of the border.
After bringing a six-game losing streak into Canada, the Angels’ completed a three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays with an 8-3 victory on Sunday afternoon.
It was the Angels’ first road sweep of the season, and the first time since April that they won a road series against a team with a winning record at the time.
The Angels outscored the Blue Jays 22-3, combining clutch hitting with strong pitching with steady defense.
Essentially, they did everything right this weekend that they have done wrong for most of this disappointing season.
Luis Rengifo and Shohei Ohtani hit a pair of two-run homers, and Mike Trout and Kurt Suzuki added solo shots to provide most of the offense. Ohtani and Trout each hit their 28th homers of the season. Eight of the nine Angels starters had at least one hit.
Rengifo put the Angels on the board with a third-inning two-run homer, his 10th of the season.
Coincidentally, Rengifo hit the homer against right-hander Ross Stripling, who the Angels were on the verge of acquiring in a 2020 trade that would have sent Rengifo to the Dodgers. The deal ended up getting nixed by owner Arte Moreno, so the Angels held on to Rengifo and the Dodgers instead traded Stripling to the Blue Jays six months later.
At the time, Rengifo had just barely begun his big league career. He spent the next two seasons bouncing between Triple-A and the majors before finally settling in as a regular this summer.
Since June 29, Rengifo has hit .296 with seven homers and a .794 OPS.
The lead provided some cushion for Angels starter Tucker Davidson, who struggled with his control but avoided serious damage in his four-plus innings.
Davidson walked five, continuing a problem that’s been present throughout his brief big league career. He now has issued 6.1 walks per nine innings in 56 major league innings.
One of his walks was erased in the third when shortstop Andrew Velazquez and second baseman David Fletcher combined on a slick double play, with Velazquez diving to his right and Fletcher making a quick turn.
In the fourth, Davidson issued back-to-back walks and then Matt Chapman drilled a ball off the wall in left-center. Center fielder Mike Trout played the ricochet perfectly and fired the ball in, holding the Blue Jays to one run on the play. Whit Merrifield then hit a grounder up the middle, but Fletcher snagged it and threw him out at first.
The Angels turned another double play to escape a jam in the fifth inning.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays could not make the plays. Center fielder George Springer had the third out in his glove on a dive in the seventh inning, but the ball popped out when he hit the ground. It went as a run-scoring double for Trout, and then Ohtani followed with a two-run homer.
Ohtani also had two other singles, just a day after he threw a season-high 109 pitches in seven scoreless innings.
In the eighth, the Angels got another run when first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. simply missed a perfect throw from shortstop Bo Bichette that would have been the third out.
More to come on this story.