TORONTO – Angels closer Bud Norris gave up a walk-off grand slam to Blue Jays left fielder Steve Pearce in the bottom of the ninth inning, squandering a six-run lead and cementing an 11-10 loss to Toronto on Sunday afternoon at a sold-out Rogers Centre.
For Norris, it was the second time in a week that someone hit a grand slam to win a game against his pitching.Cleveland Indians first baseman did it on Tuesday in the 11th inning of a tie game.
“Can’t sum it up yet,” Norris said when asked how difficult this week has been for him. “It’s humbling. It’s something to really learn from. A lot’s been going on in my head and everything else, but in the heat of the moment, I have to stay focused on what I can control, and that’s one pitch at a time. I made some really good pitches, I made some bad pitches, and the one I didn’t make tonight really got punished.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Sunday’s slam was the second for Pearce in just four days. He won the game for the Blue Jays on Thursday in the 10th inning of a tie game against the Oakland Athletics.
The Angels led 10-4 heading into the final stanza when things began to go awry. Blue Jays center fielder Kevin Pillar hit a two-run homer, and three consecutive hits followed before Toronto recorded an out.
Toronto designated hitter Kendrys Morales walked to load the bases for the Blue Jays before Pearce came to the plate. Pearce saw two balls whiz by before sending Norris’ 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall for the win.
“(Pearce) was patient in that situation, waiting for a pitch, and didn’t miss it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “That’s a good at-bat on his part.”
Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols hit two home runs and had four RBIs, while three different Toronto players each had one home run, two of which came in the bottom of the ninth.
The Angels scored five runs in the top of the third inning to break the game open and lead 7-1. The Blue Jays countered with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
Los Angeles opened up a 10-4 lead with two sacrifice fly balls and a Pujols home run.
Angels: RF Kole Calhoun left Sunday’s game with right hamstring soreness. He will undergo an MRI today in Los Angeles.Calhoun said he felt his hamstring get tight while running to first base.
“Definitely concerned anytime you gotta come out of the game,” Calhoun said. “(Today) is gonna tell us a lot more.”
Blue Jays: An MRI revealed ligament damage in Troy Tulowitzki’s right ankle.It had been previously diagnosed as a sprain.
Tulowitzki currently sits on the 10-day disabled list. Hesuffered the injury in Friday’s loss to the Angels.
Angels: Pujols’ two home runs Sunday marked the first game this season that he hit multiple home runs in a game. … It was the first time this season that the Angels bullpen gave up a three-run lead.
Blue Jays: 3B Russell Martin became the fifth Canadian to play 1,500 games in the MLB. … RF Ezequiel Carrera hit his first career leadoff HR…. Toronto’s six-run comeback was the largest deficit overcome in club history when trailing after eight innings.
Angels: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday.
Blue Jays: At Chicago White Sox today.