TORONTO - Canadian Brett Lawrie has played only nine major-league games but has already made an impact with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The 21-year-old from Langley, B.C., hit a one-out double in the ninth inning Sunday to score Colby Rasmus and lift Toronto into a 4-4 tie with the Los Angeles Angels. That paved the way for Edwin Encarnacion's run-scoring single in the 10th inning that earned the Blue Jays the 5-4 win.
“I'm sure every guy wants to be that guy in here,” Lawrie said. “I was just fortunate enough that it was my turn.
"I'm not going to come up in every situation like that and I was lucky enough to help the team out and that's why I was so fired up.”
Encarnacion singled with two out in the extra inning to score Yunel Escobar, who had a leadoff walk against Fernando Rodney (2-5) as Toronto won the rubber match of the three-game series.
Jose Bautista belted his 34th homer while Eric Thames had his seventh, both in the fourth against Dan Haren. Torii Hunter registered his 15th homer with a runner on in the first off Brett Cecil.
Lawrie is batting .355 with two homers and seven RBIs since being called up from triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 5.
“I'm not really going out there to try to do too much,” said Lawrie who also has impressed with his defence at third. “Not to play for myself, I'm going out there to play for these guys. I know if I go out there and do everything that I do every single day when I play the game then I'm going to be all right.
“If I go out there and play the game the right away, play for these guys, play for the fans and don't worry about the numbers that stuff is going to come back my way eventually.”
Lawrie has impressed with his intensity.
“That's who he is,” manager John Farrell said. “Guys come with individual personalities, that's an understatement.
"You don't want to take away from that, you want to channel it in the right way. He's a high-energy player and we're certainly not going to damper that.”
After Lawrie’s ninth-inning double against closer Jordan Walden, he took third for his first career steal. But J.P. Arencibia struck out before John McDonald popped out.
It was the eighth blown save for Walden in 34 opportunities.
"I missed with a couple of fastballs," Walden said. "I should have kept them down. One of those days, I guess."
Added Hunter: "We had the lead going into the ninth. That's how you want it. But it's never over till the fat lady sings and she didn't sing in the ninth.”
The Angels finished their trip to New York and Toronto with a 2-4 record. They'll return to California to face the Texas Rangers, the team they are chasing in the American League West, for four games starting Monday.
“We’d better not hang our heads because we have some important games coming up,” Haren said.
In the 10th, Escobar moved to second on Bautista’s walk and left-hander Hisanori Takahashi came in to face Adam Lind, who popped out to bring up Encarnacion.
“He’s very confident right now whether it's defensively at first, when he's played third,” Farrell said of Encarnacion who is batting .409 (18-for-44) on his 13-game hitting streak. “He feels very good at the plate and is obviously seeing the ball well.
"When you look at the total number of walks he has drawn since the all-star break it's a drastic difference from the first half. He's not expanding the strike zone, he's getting good pitches to hit, and he has done an excellent job for us.''
Jon Rauch (5-3) pitched the top of the 10th for the win.
Haren allowed five hits, three runs and no walks in his outing.
Hunter extended his hit streak to 12 games, his homer following a two-out single by Bobby Abreu.
The Angels made it 3-0 in the third when Peter Bourjos tripled before scoring on Alberto Callaspo’s sacrifice fly.
Haren retired the first 10 batters he faced before Thames and Bautista hit consecutive homers in the fourth to make it 3-2. It marked the seventh time this season Toronto hitters have belted back-to-back homers.
The Angels scored in the fifth on consecutive two-out doubles by Bobby Wilson and Bourjos.
The Blue Jays pulled to within 4-3 in the sixth. McDonald led off with a double, took third on Escobar’s lineout and scored on Thames’ groundout to short.
Former Toronto left-hander Scott Downs gave up an infield hit to McDonald to lead off the eighth. Escobar sacrificed him to second.
Davis batted for Thames and grounded to shortstop Erick Aybar, who threw out McDonald at third for the second out of the inning.
Davis injured his hamstring running to first and was replaced by Mark Teahen. Teahen went to second on Bautista’s single but Lind grounded out to first to end the threat.
“I felt good going up to the box,” Davis said “I think a couple of steps after my swing I kind of felt a pop in my leg and I guess the rest is history.”
Davis couldn’t say how long he might be out.
“I'm not sure because this never happened in my career,” he said. “This is a first for me.”
Abreu opened the ninth with a single against Frank Francisco and stole second and third around Hunter’s groundout. But Mark Trumbo grounded into an unusual double play on his grounder to third.
First, Abreu was caught in a rundown trying to score before Trumbo was caught in a rundown to between first and second for the third out.