TORONTO (AP) - Edwin Encarnacion channeled his inner Carlton Fisk and crushed a game-winning homer for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Encarnacion homered in the 12th inning and the Blue Jays beat Los Angeles 4-3 on Thursday night, dealing the Angels another blow in their chase for a playoff berth.
Encarnacion led off the 12th with a drive down the left field line off Garrett Richards (0-2), his 17th homer of the season. He watched his shot as he moved sideways to first, and with his right arm kept trying to wave it fair. The ball ended up just inside the foul pole.
``I had to,' Encarnacion said of his gesturing. ``I didn't want the ball to go foul.'
Out in left field, former teammate Vernon Wells figured Encarnacion needn't have worried.
``I knew how hard he hit it, just the sound of it,' Wells said. ``My hope was it was going to go foul but I think he hit it too hard.'
Encarnacion said he's seen replays of Fisk's famous drive over Fenway Park's Green Monster from the 1975 World Series.
``Oh yeah, long time ago,' he said. ``It looked like that one. I didn't try to be like him. I was just happy.'
Shawn Camp (5-3) worked one inning for the win as the Blue Jays improved to 11-0 in extra inning games at home.
``More than anything it tells you about that group in the clubhouse,' manager John Farrell said. ``They won't stop, they won't cash it in, they don't quit at any point in the game.'
Toronto is the first team in recorded history to win 10 or more extra-inning home games without a defeat.
The defeat dropped the Angels three games behind idle Boston in the wild card race. Tampa Bay, which won in New York earlier in the evening, closed to within two games of the Red Sox.
``We just let it slip away from us today,' infielder Howie Kendrick said.
Despite failing to gain ground, manager Mike Scioscia tried to put a positive spin on the situation.
``These guys have played hard for a long time and we're playing well,' Scioscia said. ``We just didn't get it done tonight.'
The Angels close their season with a six-game homestand, starting with three against Oakland followed by three against West-leading Texas.
``At this point, we can't lose any more games,' right-hander Ervin Santana said. ``Now we have to play hard, finish strong and see what happens.'
Toronto put the winning run at third base in the ninth but couldn't score. Jose Bautista hit a one-out single off Scott Downs and Adam Lind followed with a walk. Jordan Walden came on and got Encarnacion to ground into a fielder's choice, with Lind forced out at second. Kelly Johnson worked the count to 3-2 before flying out to left, sending the game to extra innings.
Angels infielder Alberto Callaspo opened the scoring with a home run to right off Henderson Alvarez in the second, his sixth.
Toronto tied it with a two-out rally in the fifth when Eric Thames doubled and scored on a base hit by Bautista. Lind singled to put runners at first and second but Encarnacion flied out.
The Angels immediately reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth. Erick Aybar led off with a single and scored on Kendrick's triple. One out later, Kendrick scored on Torii Hunter's groundout to shortstop.
Santana left after Thames homered to right to begin the seventh, his 12th of the season and second in two days.
``They've got a lot of power,' Santana said. ``Anything hanging there is going to be out.'
Bobby Cassevah came on and walked Bautista before Lind hit a sharp grounder that bounced away from first baseman Mark Trumbo for an error and rolled into shallow centerfield. Bautista moved to third but Lind was thrown out trying to advance to second. Cassevah's next offering was a wild pitch that allowed Bautista to score, tying it at 3-all.
Encarnacion chased Cassevah with a double but Hisanori Takahashi came on and got Colby Rasmus and Kelly Johnson to fly out.
Santana, who came in 0-3 with a 4.74 ERA in his previous three starts, allowed two runs and six hits in six-plus innings but didn't figure in the decision. He walked five and struck out five.
Alvarez allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings. The right-hander, who has not won in four starts, walked none and struck out four.
``Once again, the poise continues to shine through,' Farrell said. ``He's a very talented kid.'
The Blue Jays lost their designated hitter when Bautista entered the game defensively in the ninth. Ninth-hitter Adam Loewen started in right but was replaced by pinch hitter J.P. Arencibia in the eighth. Bautista took over in right.
NOTES: The Angels finished 41-40 on the road, their sixth winning record in eight seasons. ... Los Angeles is 8-13 in extra innings. ... Farrell said Encarnacion, Mark Teahen and Chris Woodward will split time at third base in the final week of the season following rookie Brett Lawrie's injury. Lawrie suffered a fractured finger when he was hit by a ground ball during batting practice Wednesday. ... Toronto finished its home schedule with a record of 42-39. ... The game drew a crowd of 22,769, bringing Toronto's season attendance to 1,818,103, their highest since 2009.
The Associated Press News Service
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