Marc Rzepczynski was nearly unhittable over seven innings and the Toronto Blue Jays blanked the Angels, 3-0, in the opener of a three-game series on Friday night at Angel Stadium.
Summoned from triple-A Las Vegas to make Friday's start, Rzepczynski (1-1) scattered two hits to record his first win since beating these same Angels last Aug. 21. The left-hander collected six strikeouts and did not issue a walk, but did hit consecutive batters in the third inning. He lowered his earned-run average from 7.15 to 4.42.
Rzepczynski started in place of Brandon Morrow, who had his turn in the rotation skipped to give him extra rest after his last outing. Morrow set career highs with 17 strikeouts and 137 pitches Sunday, when he came within one out of a no-hitter in a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay.
Scott Downs worked around a two-out single by Los Angeles' Bobby Abreu in the eighth and Kevin Gregg tossed a flawless ninth to complete the three-hit shutout and earn his 26th save. The Blue Jays have won five of seven.
"We really like Marc. He kept the ball down and didn't try to overthrow," said Toronto Manager Cito Gaston. "Give both pitchers credit tonight. We got some key hits and won the game."
The Angels' Scott Kazmir (8-10) absorbed the loss after he gave up two runs on four hits and three walks in six innings. The Angels had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"We were off balance. Even when we hit the ball hard, it was on the ground to someone," said Angels right fielder Torii Hunter.
Toronto got on the board in the second, which Adam Lind led off with a triple. Lyle Overbay drew a one-out walk, and Lind came home on a Edwin Encarnacion single.
Vernon Wells walked to begin the fourth, took second on a wild pitch by Kazmir, moved to third on a Lind single and scored on Aaron Hill's sacrifice fly.
Fred Lewis made it a 3-0 game in the seventh against Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez, stroking a two-out double to plate Encarnacion.