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Short memory helps Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jesse Chavez come back to beat Toronto Blue Jays

By Joe Haakenson, The Sports Xchange
Short memory helps Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jesse Chavez come back to beat Toronto Blue Jays
Jesse Chavez made the most of his return to the mound, leading the Angels past the Blue Jays Monday night. Photo courtesy Los Angeles Angels via Twitter.

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jesse Chavez made the most of his do-over.

The Los Angeles pitcher was called upon Friday in the first game of a series with the Toronto Blue Jays after the Angels had gone through their entire bullpen entering the 13th inning.

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So Chavez, who pitched in 39 games as a reliever for the Blue Jays last season, obliged. He got the first two outs of the inning before finding trouble, eventually giving up a game-deciding, three-run homer to Jose Bautista.

On Monday, he got the opportunity to start fresh, and responded with six strong innings as the Angels held on for a 2-1 win at Angel Stadium.

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"There were a couple mistakes I made the other night that made that inning elongate," said Chavez, who gave up only a solo homer to Russell Martin on Monday. "I took my memory bank and just reminded myself of not letting the same thing happen again."

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He certainly didn't let Bautista get him again, walking the Toronto right fielder the first two times he faced him before getting him on a flyout in Bautista's third at-bat. In all, Chavez (2-3) gave up four hits and walked four while striking out seven.

David Hernandez, acquired earlier in the day in a trade with the Atlanta Braves, got two outs in the eighth inning in his Angels debut. Bud Norris pitched the ninth for his second save.

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The Angels' defense was solid in support of the pitchers, something manager Mike Scioscia said is a must if his team is going to contend.

"I want to talk about the defense and what we did on the mound because that's the style we need," Scioscia said. "We need to control the game on the defensive end, and we did a pretty good job in this series. Not just making plays in the field, but our pitcher-catcher relationship, making sure we're hitting our spots, all the things that are going to be important for our first line of defense, which is your pitcher on the mound."

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The Angels' offense couldn't muster much against Toronto starter Francisco Liriano but was able to do enough. Mike Trout tripled and scored on an Albert Pujols single in the fourth, and an RBI groundout by Yunel Escobar in the fifth provided the Angels with the winning margin.

The Blue Jays had a potential rally snuffed out in the seventh inning after Chris Coghlan led off with a single against Angels reliever Yusmeiro Petit. Coghlan appeared to steal second on a pitch to Devon Travis, but plate umpire Toby Basner ruled batter's interference on Travis.

Replays showed that Travis hit Angels catcher Martin Maldonado in the back with the follow-through on his swing. That meant Travis was ruled out and Coghlan had to return to first base.

Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale, running the game for Toronto after manager John Gibbons was ejected one inning earlier, came out to argue to no avail. The inning fizzled from there.

Gibbons was ejected after arguing balls and strikes with Basner when Martin was called out on strikes to end the sixth inning. It was the second ejection for Gibbons in two days. He was booted from the Sunday game for arguing a quick-pitch call on Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman.

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After the game, Gibbons seemed to indicate his ejection was warranted.

"We can tell up and down, but you can't tell in and out," Gibbons said of pitch location. "I thought it was kind of a moving zone. ... You know, I defend my guys, I always will. It's frustrating."

Liriano (1-2) got the loss despite giving up just two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"His stuff was good, but ball-strike ratio, he put himself in some jams," Gibbons said. "But he could throw his slider when he was behind in the count, and he held them in check and gave us a shot."

NOTES: The Angels acquired RHP David Hernandez from the Atlanta Braves in a trade for a player to be named or cash considerations. In seven games with Triple-A Gwinnett this season, Hernandez had a 1.12 ERA with four saves in eight innings pitched, with two walks and nine strikeouts. To make room on the roster for Hernandez, the Angels optioned RHP Daniel Wright to Triple-A Salt Lake. ... The Angels and Blue Jays have played each other 410 times since Toronto first entered the league in 1977. Each team has won 205 games.

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