Angels look to continue success against Blue Jays

mlb3ANGELS (35-37) AT BLUE JAYS (26-45)
7:07 p.m. ET; SN, SN1, FS-W, MLB.TV

The Los Angeles Angels continue their 11-game road trip Monday night when they open a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Angels split a four-game series to start the trip, losing 6-5 to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday afternoon.

The Blue Jays will return from a 3-3 trip after salvaging the finale of a three-game series against the Houston Astros($10) on Sunday with a 12-0 victory. Toronto won two of three from the Baltimore Orioles($18).

The Angels are expected to go with an opener Monday as right-hander Luis Garcia (1-1, 4.74 ERA). Felix Pena is expected to follow Garcia, who will match up early against Blue Jays right-hander Edwin Jackson (1-4, 10.22).

The Angels swept a three-game series from the Blue Jays from April 30-May 2 at home.

The Angels dropped to two games below .500 with the loss Sunday. Their last seven chances to return to .500 since the middle of April have all ended in defeats.

“We split a series with a good team, which I think is pretty good,” Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. “We could easily have taken three out of four from these guys, and now we’re going to heat into Toronto and hopefully get this thing going and start getting hot again.”

They should have some positive developments this week with the return of two players from the injured list.

Left fielder Justin Upton is expected to join the Angels for the game Monday. He has yet to play this season after suffering a sprained toe just before Opening Day.

Upton was 7-for-21 in six games during a minor league rehabilitation assignment.

Shortstop Andrelton Simmons also could return to the lineup this week, possibly during the series in Toronto. Simmons has been out more than a month with a sprained left ankle.

“It would be nice to get the band together,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “I don’t want to say back together because they haven’t really been together.”

The Blue Jays dished out some payback Sunday hitting five home runs after they were outscored 22-4 while losing the first two games of the series at Houston.

Trent Thornton, who was traded by the Astros to the Blue Jays for Aledmys Diaz in November, struck out seven in 6 2/3 innings to earn his second-career major league win.

“It wasn’t personal at all,” Thornton said. “You’re just playing against a bunch of your friends, so you want to do better than them. That was a lot of fun.”

Former Astros outfielder Teoscar Hernandez hit two homers and had four RBIs. One of the home runs was against Tyler White, who moved from first base to the mound to pitch the ninth.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. also had four RBIs, two on a home run.

Jackson will make his sixth start as a Blue Jay. He won both starts against the Angels last season and had a 1.42 ERA over 12 2/3 innings. He is 6-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 14 career games (11 starts) against the Angels.

Garcia is 0-0 with a 4.15 ERA in eight career relief appearances against Toronto. He allowed two hits while striking out two in one inning against Toronto on May 2. This will be his second appearance as an opener this season and his 28th outing overall.

–Field Level Media

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