ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Bo Bichette hit a three-run homer in the seventh inning and the Toronto Blue Jays overcame a two-run deficit to spoil the Los Angeles Angels’ home opener with a 4-3 victory Friday night.
Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. each had two hits as the Blue Jays opened the final series of their season-opening, 10-game trip with their fourth consecutive win. Chris Bassitt (1-1) and three relievers combined on a three-hitter.
Mike Trout homered on the first pitch he saw and Shohei Ohtani had the other two hits for the Angels, who lost for only the second time in six games. The rest of the Halos’ lineup went 0 for 21, which meant the Angels became the first team to get extra-base hit by a pair of former MVPs while their teammates all went hitless in the same game since Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris and the Yankees did it on May 6, 1962, according to OptaSTATS.
Bassitt gave up two hits and five walks over six innings, improving significantly on his miserable Toronto debut in his season-opening start in St. Louis despite Trout’s 441-foot shot in the first.
“I thought, ‘OK, I gave them two runs,’” Bassitt said. “‘It’s going to take a lot more than two runs to beat (Toronto).’ This lineup is unbelievable. This defense is unbelievable, and I trust everyone here. To beat me with just two, it’s not going to happen with this lineup.”
Patrick Sandoval yielded six hits over six innings in his second straight strong start for the Angels, but two relievers wasted a 3-1 lead within two outs of his departure.
Jimmy Herget (0-1) gave up a two-out single to George Springer before Bichette hit his second homer of the season, turning the Jays’ two-run deficit into a one-run lead with an impressive swing at a low curveball.
“Just trying to see it,” Bichette said. “He’s got a weird delivery, so you’ve got to stay in there, see the ball well, and I saw it pretty good.”
Three Jays relievers combined on three innings of one-hit ball, with Jordan Romano pitching the ninth for his fourth save.
Bassitt bounced back after he was penalized for a time violation before he threw his first pitch of the game to Taylor Ward, who subsequently drew a walk before Trout’s homer.
The delay was caused by a problem with Bassitt’s PitchCom equipment: He moved the device from his glove to his belt for this game after seeing Zack Greinke use it that way, but he says he accidentally reprogrammed or changed the system in the process. Catcher Alejandro Kirk took over calling pitches in the first inning before the equipment was fixed.
“In the dugout, everything was right, and then I got on the mound and everything was wrong,” Bassitt said. “The buttons weren’t in the right place, and I was pushing buttons that were saying pitches that I don’t even throw. Obviously, I have to take a lot more pride in that aspect. If I can change it, I need to know how to change it back.”
Trout drove in the 900th run of his career when he crushed his two-run homer. Toronto scored one run after loading the bases with one out in the fourth, but Los Angeles went up 3-1 on David Fletcher’s safety squeeze bunt moments later.
“Bassitt was really good after (Trout’s homer),” Angels manager Phil Nevin said. “There’s a reason he was one of the top free agents this offseason. After the ball he left down the middle to Mike … he threw a lot of strikes. Three hits against a team like that is probably going to end up in the result we got.”
Jordan Luplow went 0 for 3 as the designated hitter in his debut with the Jays, who claimed him off waivers from Atlanta just two days ago.
Angels: RHP Griffin Canning says he’s fully healthy after starting the season on the injured list. The Gold Glove winner missed the entire 2022 season with a back injury and hasn’t pitched in the majors since July 2, 2021. Canning is a candidate to be the Halos’ spot sixth starter, possibly next week.
Coming off six scoreless innings in his outstanding Angels debut in Oakland, Tyler Anderson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his home debut after leaving the Dodgers in the offseason. José Berríos (0-1, 12.71 ERA) goes for Toronto.
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Greg Beacham, The Associated Press