ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Matt Chapman is used to wild getaway games at Angel Stadium.
But the Toronto third baseman said Sunday was one of the more unique ones he has experienced.
Chapman and No. 9 batter Kevin Kiermaier each drove in five runs as the Blue Jays rallied for a 12-11 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in 10 innings.
“It seems like every Sunday game I’ve played here in my career has been crazy,” said Chapman, who spent his first five big-league seasons with Oakland before getting traded to Toronto.
“It’s always long games that are back and forth. We just stayed in the moment.”
Chapman hit his first career grand slam in the sixth as the Blue Jays overcame an early-six run deficit. Toronto blew a three-run lead in the ninth as the Angels forced extra innings, but Kiermaier came through with a ground-rule RBI double in the 10th off Carlos Estévez (0-1) and scored on George Springer’s single to make it 12-10.
The Angels got one run back in the bottom of the inning and had the bases loaded with two outs before Tim Mayza got Shohei Ohtani to ground out to second on an 0-2 sinker to end the game.
“I love the way we just went after it,” manager John Schneider said after the Blue Jays took two of three in the series and finished 6-4 on their season-opening road trip. “It kind of got contagious a little bit, and then kind of just continuing to add on. It says a lot about those guys. They’re in it until the end.”
Los Angeles hit four home runs, including Ohtani’s third of the year.
Hunter Renfroe, Brandon Drury and Logan O’Hoppe also went deep for the Angels, who lost for the fifth time since 2020 despite hitting at least four home runs.
Renfroe, who had a two-run homer in the first, finished with four RBIs as the teams combined for 26 hits.
“I love what our offence is doing. I thought Reid (Detmers) was incredible for five innings. It just unravelled there in the sixth and we couldn’t get any outs in the seventh,” Angels manager Phil Nevin said.
Jordan Romano (1-0) got the win despite allowing three runs in the ninth.
The Halos had runners on first and second with one out before Romano struck out Trout. Ohtani was walked to load the bases before Anthony Rendon was hit in the back on a 98 m.p.h. fastball by Romano. Renfroe evened it with a two-run double down the left-field line.
The Blue Jays trailed 6-0 after starter Yusei Kikuchi gave up three home runs. But they got six runs in the sixth, with Chapman’s grand slam off Detmers starting the comeback and Kiermaier tying it with a two-run triple off Andrew Wantz.
“We all try to feed off each other and make plays and do whatever we need to do,” said Kiermaier, whose two-run double in the seventh extended Toronto’s lead to 10-6.
“There were some interesting moments, but at the end of the day we shook hands and we’re here celebrating a great flight back to Toronto.”
BATTLE OF COUNTRYMEN
Ohtani, who went to the same high school as Kikuchi in Japan, had a two-run homer to centre in the third to extend the Angels’ lead to 5-0. It was the third time Ohtani has taken Kikuchi deep in the majors.
QUITE THE TRIP
Chapman leads the majors with a .475 batting average, and in hits (19) and doubles (seven). He is also tied at the top with 14 RBIs and is second in extra-base hits with nine.
Blue Jays: RHP Alek Manoah (1-0, 4.35 ERA) will make his third start of the season in Tuesday’s home opener against Detroit.
Angels: LHP José Suarez (0-1, 12.46 ERA) faces the Washington Nationals for the first time on Monday.
Joe Reedy, The Associated Press