Brian Goodwin hit a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning, and Griffin Canning struck out six while pitching into the fifth inning of his major league debut in the Los Angeles Angels’ 4-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday night.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. went 0 for 2 with two walks while playing the first road game of his career in his Hall of Fame father’s home ballpark. The touted Toronto rookie drew a leadoff walk in the ninth inning, but Hansel Robles got three quick outs for his second save.
Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-run homer and Ty Buttrey (2-1) pitched the eighth for the Angels, who have won four of five after struggling through the previous two weeks.
The Blue Jays had retired 11 straight Angels before Goodwin connected off Ryan Tepera (0-1) for the fourth homer of his strong start with Los Angeles.
Brandon Drury hit his third homer in four games for the Blue Jays, who had won three straight and nine of 12.
Canning retired his first 10 batters and struck out five straight at one point during the most anticipated Angels pitching debut in several years. The Orange County native tired later, but still left the Angel Stadium field to a standing ovation in the fifth after pitching four-hit ball.
The former UCLA star is the most promising rotation prospect to emerge purely from Los Angeles’ once-ravaged farm system in recent seasons, and Angels fans were aware of the significance of the moment.
Those fans also gave several warm ovations to Guerrero, who spent his summers in Orange County during his father’s six seasons with the Halos. Vladimir Jr. has fond memories of Angels games and Disneyland trips before he began the baseball career that led to his ballyhooed big league debut last week in Toronto, where he went 3 for 12 with a double in his first three games.
Vladimir Sr., who chose the Angels’ cap for his Hall of Fame plaque, didn’t attend the opener in Anaheim, saying he wanted the spotlight to be solely on his son.
Vlad Jr. struck out and grounded out to shortstop in his two at-bats against Canning, who didn’t allow a baserunner until Freddy Galvis’ one-out single in the fourth. Toronto eventually scored on Canning’s wild pitch, but Canning escaped the bases-loaded jam.
Andrelton Simmons singled off Clay Buchholz in the fourth and stole second before scoring on a single by Tommy La Stella, who then came home on Lucroy’s second homer for his new team.
But Drury followed up his 11th-inning homer against Oakland on Sunday with a solo shot to right leading off the fifth inning. Teoscar Hernandez then doubled and scored on pinch hitter Billy McKinney’s groundout.
Angels star Mike Trout went 0 for 3 but drew a walk in the third inning to reach in his 27th consecutive game to start the season, matching Darin Erstad’s franchise record from 2000.