The Los Angeles Angels found ways to lose late during their longest skid in more than two years, but they left little doubt ending it early against a struggling pitcher.
Things could be a little more difficult when the Angels face one coming off the best performance of his brief major league career.Todd Redmond takes the hill as the Toronto Blue Jays try for their sixth win in nine games Friday night while looking to deal the Angels a seventh loss in their last eight.Following three straight walk-off losses in Texas, Los Angeles (49-58) snapped its six-game skid -- the team's longest since June 2011 -- with an 8-2 victory in Thursday's series opener.J.B. Shuck drove in three runs and Mark Trumbo went 2 for 4 with his 24th home run as the Angels tagged reeling Josh Johnson for seven runs and 10 hits in 2 1/3 innings. Johnson fell to 1-8 with a 6.60 ERA."This is a team that's not going to stop working hard, no matter what we're facing," Trumbo said of his team, which is in fourth place and 13 1/2 games back in the AL West.The slugging first baseman has hit .311 with three homers in his last 11 games. He's also batting .393 with four homers and nine RBIs in his last seven against the AL East-worst Blue Jays (50-58).After averaging 2.9 runs and hitting .237 over their previous 14 games, the Angels have shown improvement at the plate -- even without the injured Albert Pujols -- by scoring 6.7 per game and batting .299 in their last three.They'll attempt to continue that trend against Redmond (1-1, 3.81 ERA), who is coming off by far the best of his five career starts.The right-hander allowed one run and three hits over six innings, striking out 10, in the Blue Jays' 2-1 walkoff win over Houston on Sunday."I just come up here and try to keep the guys in the game so we can have a chance to win," Redmond told the team's official website.Redmond, who has never faced the Angels, has 22 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings over his last three outings.Los Angeles starter Tommy Hanson (4-2, 5.15) couldn't hold an early five-run lead in his last start, yielding five walks and five runs over 4 2/3 innings in a 10-6 loss at Oakland on Sunday.That was the right-hander's second start after spending more than a month on the disabled list with a strained right forearm. He's fanned 15 in 10 innings but hasn't factored in the decision in either outing.Hanson, however, pitched well in his only start against Toronto, allowing two runs and five hits over eight innings in a 5-2 win June 9, 2012, while with Atlanta.Jose Bautista homered off Hanson in that contest and has five homers in his last 14 games overall. Colby Rasmus has gone 1 for 7 when facing Hanson, but he's batting .409 over his last 17 games.Toronto could be without Melky Cabrera after he left Thursday's contest in the fourth inning due to irritation in his left knee.
Jose Bautista's long fly ball that J.B. Shuck caught while jumping into the stands in the 4th inning traveled 355 feet. It would have been a home run in 25 Major League ball parks. There have been 135 home runs hit this season that traveled less than 355 feet.