TORONTO – Edwin Jackson isn’t fooling anyone with his pitching performance this season.
Least of all himself.
The Blue Jays right-hander allowed seven runs on six hits, including three homers, over just 2/3 innings Monday in a 10-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
“I think my pitching’s just been horse (expletive), to be honest,” Jackson (1-5) said bluntly. “Since I’ve been here it’s point blank. Execution has been terrible.
“I know I’m better than that, I know that’s not who I am but that’s what I’ve shown since I’ve been here.”
Shohei Ohtani hit one of the three Angels (36-37) homers in the seven-run second, capping the offensive outburst with a three-run drive.
Justin Upton homered on Jackson’s first pitch of the game, Cole Kalhoun added another solo shot two pitches later and Mike Trout hit a bases-loaded double.
Jackson, who also walked two batters, had his night ended after just 38 pitches.
“Every mistake I made in the zone they hit, which is what they’re supposed to do,” Jackson said.
The dismal inning followed a clean first frame from Toronto opener Derek Law, who struck out two of the three batters he faced.
It was the second time this season that Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo used the Law-Jackson combination to start a game. Toronto beat the Baltimore Orioles with it last week, and Montoyo said before the game he’d continue the experiment as long as it worked.
“Edwin was so good last year that we keep waiting for him to find it. He hasn’t been able to find it,” Montoyo said after the loss. “I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but that’s just what it is.”
Angels superstar Trout had four hits and drove in three runs total, including a solo shot in the sixth off reliever Nick Kingham for his 20th homer of the season. Wilfred Tovar and Justin Bour added an RBI apiece.
Luis Garcia opened the game for Los Angeles, followed by six innings from Felix Pena (5-1), who allowed four runs, six hits and three walks with five strikeouts.
Rookie Cavan Biggio homered twice for the Blue Jays (26-46) and Randal Grichuk also went deep.
Grichuk’s blast was a two-run homer in the seventh while Biggio’s second — also a two-run shot — sliced the Jays’ deficit in half at 10-5 in the eighth inning and ended Pena’s night.
The game marked Biggio’s second multihomer performance of his young career, joining J.P. Arencibia as the only batters in team history with two multihomer games over their first 19 contests. Biggio, who also walked twice Monday, is batting .421 over his last five games.
“I think just getting settled in and really slowing the game down,” Biggio said of what’s working for him at the plate. “My main goal is to hit the ball hard and get on base and when they make a mistake I just try to do the best I can do and I think that’s when you see that come into play.”
Biggio hit his first homer in the first inning, launching the ball to centre field below a We The North banner on the second-deck facade that the Blue Jays put up to acknowledge the Raptors’ NBA championship. The team also etched a white Raptors logo onto the dirt of the mound at Rogers Centre.
Toronto held a parade for the Raptors earlier in the day and the Blue Jays played a video tribute for the basketball team between the first and second innings, which was met with loud applause from the sparse crowd of 15,227.
The Blue Jays used six pitchers in total — four after Jackson — with Sam Gaviglio eating up 3 1/3 innings.
Toronto also turned to David Phelps, who made his season debut with a hitless seventh inning. Toronto activated the 32-year-old reliever from the injured list earlier in the day. He was recovering from the Tommy John surgery he had in March, 2018 and hadn’t pitched in a major league game since August, 2017.
“For me it’s more frustrating to go out and have to kill the bullpen,” Jackson said. “They did great coming in today having to clean up my mess. What I’ve been doing is unacceptable in my eyes.”
NOTES: Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez exited the game with a left wrist sprain before the seventh inning. He had slammed into the centre-field wall trying to make a play earlier in the night and the team said X-rays were negative.
© 2019 The Canadian Press