These are quirky exchanges between the Angels and the Toronto Blue Jays.
Devon White exasperated the Angels, then hit .282 with 17 home runs for a divisional champion last year. Junior Felix joined the Angels with a reputation as a malcontent and leads the American League in runs batted in.
Former Angel Dave Winfield is hitting .360 for the Blue Jays. And then there is the Rene Gonzales, whose two-run homer in the seventh inning helped the Angels to a 4-1 victory over Toronto before 36,383 Friday at Anaheim Stadium, ending the Blue Jays’ five-game winning streak.
Gonzales was a utility infielder for the Blue Jays last season, but they didn’t try to re-sign him after he hit .195 in 71 games.
They thought they would find someone with a little more offense.
Gonzales apparently found some over the summer. Before this season, he had six homers in 740 at-bats. This year he has four in 42.
The Angels are getting offense from unexpected sources, but they are still not getting the pitching they expected.
Chuck Finley, off to a slow start after off-season toe surgery, got his second consecutive no-decision after pitching six innings and leaving with the score tied, 1-1. The Blue Jays’ one run was his doing. He walked it in, after walking the previous batter to load the bases in the second inning.
Finley has pitched no longer than six innings in his three starts and has a record of 1-1.
Finley’s control eerily escaped him in the second inning.
The Blue Jays put runners on first and second with singles by Pat Tabler and Candy Maldonado. Tabler’s high-bouncing grounder to shortstop was first ruled an error on Gary DiSarcina, but later was changed to a hit.
Finley loaded the bases by walking Pat Borders on four pitches. When he threw his fifth and sixth consecutive balls to fall behind No. 9 hitter Manny Lee, pitching coach Marcel Lachemann headed for the mound.
After the session, Lachemann returned to the dugout, and Finley turned back to Lee. His next two pitches also missed, and the Blue Jays had a 1-0 lead.
When Finley finally got a ball over the plate with his first pitch to Devon White, he was met with sarcastic applause.
Finley saved a run by fielding White’s tap back to the mound and throwing home to get Maldonado.
But when he got the first pitch to Roberto Alomar over for a strike, the crowd’s sarcastic cheer rose again. The count went full before the inning ended when Alomar’s fly to left the bases loaded.
Finley recovered his control in the next inning, allowing only a one-out single to Winfield and ending the inning on a double play.
Winfield’s hit extended his hitting streak to 16 games, tying the longest of his 19-season career as well as tying teammate Joe Carter for the longest in the major leagues.
Hubie Brooks, who was one for his past 16, got the Angels even, 1-1, when he led off the fourth inning with a line-drive home run to left, his fifth of the season.
Finley got double plays in the third, fourth and fifth innings, facing no more than four batters in any one.
After six innings, though, Finley had thrown 93 pitches, and Manager Buck Rodgers brought in Mark Eichhorn to start the seventh with the score tied, 1-1.
Eichhorn (1-2) finished the game and earned the victory.
Dave Stieb (1-3) allowed four runs in seven innings.