Tempers flare in Angels' 10-6 loss to Blue Jays

Tempers flare in Angels' 10-6 loss to Blue Jays
Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, seen here earlier this month, had some choice words for the Angels dugout after striking out in Monday's game. (Tony Dejak / Associated Press)

There was plenty of action Monday on the plush new carpet of Rogers Centre, where a sluggish Angels offense stirred to life but a usually stout pitching staff was shaken, giving up more runs in a 10-6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays than it did in the previous six games combined.

Not all of it was confined to the playing field.


A Josh Donaldson strikeout during a tense, game-turning sixth inning led to a heated exchange between the Blue Jays third baseman and the Angels, with Donaldson making what Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher called "a classless gesture" toward the Angels dugout.

With the Angels clinging to a 5-4 lead, reliever Mike Morin threw an 0-and-1 fastball that Donaldson took for a ball, leaning into and then jerking away from the pitch.

According to Butcher, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia told plate umpire Manny Gonzalez that Donaldson was ducking the pitch. At that point, Donaldson "started yelling in our dugout, and we yelled back," Butcher said.

Morin struck out Donaldson for the second out, but Donaldson, an Angels nemesis when he played for Oakland from 2012 to 2014, continued to bark at the Angels from the Blue Jays dugout. Butcher could be seen on television telling Gonzalez to "shut him up." TV cameras then showed Donaldson making a lewd gesture and yelling vulgarities.

"His actions and gestures speak for themselves," Butcher said.

Donaldson was irked by comments from the Angels during his at-bat.

"There was obviously something said to me, and I don't just banter or go on a rant like that for anything," Donaldson said. "I'm not here to try to bad mouth. People saw what happened. I played against these guys for a long time; they know the competitor I am. I think we just got caught up in the heat of the moment."

Said Scioscia: "A lot of guys took exception to [Donaldson] yelling at our dugout. We weren't even talking to him. We were talking to the umpire."

Asked whether he was rattled or distracted by the exchange, Morin said, "No, that didn't have anything to do with the following hitters."

Morin, who had walked only two batters in 13 1/3 innings this season, walked Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, both on four pitches, to load the bases.

"I can't remember the last time I've thrown eight balls in a row," Morin said. "I'm usually pretty good at throwing strikes."

Scioscia replaced Morin with right-hander Vinnie Pestano, who had held right-handed hitters to three hits in 19 at-bats this season but hadn't pitched since May 9.

Russell Martin worked a full count before lining a two-run single to center field for a 6-5 Toronto lead. Danny Valencia followed with a two-run double to right-center field to make it 8-5, and Bautista hit a two-run home run into the third deck in left field against Cesar Ramos for a 10-5 lead in the seventh inning.

"It's my job when the phone rings and my name is on the other end to be ready," Pestano said. "That's why we play catch every day, why we throw on flat ground. It's nobody's fault but my own. … I was put in a situation to do a job, and I didn't do it. That's on me."

Starter C.J. Wilson, who was rocked for four runs and six hits in the second inning, felt much like Pestano. The left-hander received only 14 runs of support in his first seven starts, but the Angels banged out 12 hits Monday, including home runs by Albert Pujols, David Freese and Chris Iannetta, and erased that 4-0 deficit.

"The offense scored a lot of runs, more than I've needed recently to win a game, but I didn't hold up my end of the bargain," Wilson said. "I've got to go longer than five innings. The way the bullpen has been throwing, Scioscia had every bit of confidence the bullpen was going to close the door. It wasn't our day today."