TORONTO -- With his first victory in more than a month, Toronto left-hander Marc Rzepczynski may have cost himself some friends back home in Southern California.
Aaron Hill and Vernon Wells hit solo homers, Rzepczynski won for the first time in six starts and the Blue Jays held on to beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-4 on Friday night.A childhood fan of the Angels, Rzepczynski didn't get much encouragement from his old pals before facing the AL West leaders."Some of my buddies were like 'We don't want to root for you,' because they're die-hard Angels fans," Rzepczynski said. "I'll have to give them a call and say 'Sorry I beat them."Rzepczynski (2-3) allowed one run and three hits in a career-high 6 1/3 innings to win for the first time since July 18 against Boston. He walked one and struck out six.Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia came away impressed in his first look at the 23-year-old lefty."He had good life on his fastball, good movement," Scioscia said. "He got the slider under a lot of right-handed swings, moved the ball around and threw a lot of strikes tonight. He pitched well."Angels catcher Mike Napoli hit a three-run homer off Casey Janssen in the ninth but Janssen got pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu to ground out, stranding Howie Kendrick at second, for his first save."It's pretty tough but we're going to have to bounce back tomorrow," Napoli said.The Angels lost their second straight following a five-game winning streak. The Blue Jays stopped a five-game skid.Los Angeles is 9-17 in Toronto since the start of the 2003 season.Rzepczynski was in trouble in the first when a single, a walk and a double steal put runners at second and third with two outs. He escaped when Juan Rivera lined out sharply to third.He was nearly perfect after that, setting down 10 in a row in one stretch and facing just one batter over the minimum through the next five innings. Rzepczynski was replaced by Josh Roenicke after Rivera hit a one-out double in the seventh. Rivera scored one out later on a double by Kendry Morales.Toronto jumped ahead with a four-run first off Angels rookie right-hander Sean O'Sullivan. Hill got it started by hooking a one-out homer around the left-field foul screen, his 29th. After Adam Lind lined out, Lyle Overbay singled and scored on Wells' double to left-center. Travis Snider walked, bringing pitching coach Mike Butcher to the mound, but the visit didn't help.O'Sullivan walked Randy Ruiz walked before Jose Bautista capped the rally with a two-run single to center, snapping an 0 for 13 slump.The first inning took 39 minutes and saw the two starters combine for 65 pitches, 44 by O'Sullivan.Scioscia had seen enough of O'Sullivan after Marco Scutaro drew a five-pitch walk to begin the second, calling right-hander Matt Palmer out of the bullpen."If I'm going to pick one thing, he is just trying to get back into too many counts and guys are getting some pretty good looks off him," Scioscia said. "That's it in a nutshell."The Angels hope left-hander Joe Saunders, out since Aug. 8 with a sore shoulder, will be ready to rejoin the rotation next week, meaning O'Sullivan may not get many more chances to turn things around."We'll look at a couple of things moving forward as to where our rotation is going to be," Scioscia said. "Joe is obviously on the horizon and we'll take it one step at a time."Angels relievers have worked 10 2/3 innings the past two games, and Scioscia said he may be forced to add another arm to ease the strain on his bullpen.O'Sullivan (3-2), who is winless in four starts, allowed four runs and four hits in one-plus inning, the shortest of his nine career outings. He walked three and struck out one."I don't think my spot has been guaranteed here all year," O'Sullivan said. I'm just going from start to start right now. I guess I'm not doing a real great job for myself."Wells hit a solo drive into the second deck in left off Palmer in the third, his 13th.
Saunders threw a three-inning simulated game earlier Friday and reported no problems, Scioscia said. ... Angels OF Torii Hunter returned to the lineup after sitting out Thursday to rest his right adductor muscle strain. Hunter is not expected to play Saturday. ... Toronto 3B Edwin Encarnacion, who left Thursday's game with a sore left knee, did not play Friday and is day to day.