- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

TORONTO (AP) - Los Angeles Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs has been going through a tough stretch, and it was more of the same on Tuesday night.

Russell Martin had three hits and two RBIs, R.A. Dickey pitched 6 2/3 innings for his first home win since July 10 and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Angels 7-2.

Skaggs (1-3) allowed four runs and four hits in four-plus innings and is winless in five starts. His five walks were a season-worst.

“Unfortunately, kind of the same stuff we’ve seen the last couple of starts,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Whether it’s a release point issue, whether it’s a mechanical adjustment or whatever it is, he’s a hair off right now and he’s not able to make the pitches he needs to. He’s not missing by a lot but he’s missing by enough where he’s putting himself in bad counts.”

Skaggs has allowed four earned runs or more in each of his past four outings. He struck out two batters Tuesday, a season-low.



“Just not the results that I want,” Skaggs said. “I’ve got to be better out there. It’s getting a little frustrating.”

The Angels lost their 11th straight road game, their longest such skid since a 14-game streak in 1969.

Nick Buss hit his first major league home run, but Los Angeles lost for the fourth time in six games. The Angels have lost 15 of 18 overall.

Toronto remained tied with Boston for first place in the AL East. The Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 2-1.

Dickey (9-13) came in 2-8 with a 5.57 ERA in 13 home starts but held the last-place Angels in check, allowing two runs and six hits.

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Dickey was “fantastic” after giving up a two-run homer to Buss in the second.

“Then he kind of put it in cruise control,” Gibbons said.

Martin had an RBI single in the first, drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the third, singled and scored in the fifth, and doubled over the head of center fielder Mike Trout in the seventh. Martin is 12 for 27 with nine RBIs in his past five games.

“He’s smoking hot right now,” Gibbons said.

Michael Saunders hit his 21st home run, a solo shot off A.J. Achter in the eighth, and Edwin Encarnacion and Darwin Barney each reached base three times as the Blue Jays won their fifth straight over the Angels. Toronto has outscored Los Angeles 51-16 in that span.

“Down the stretch every game is important,” Barney said. “I don’t think we’re taking anyone lightly.”

Trailing 2-1, Toronto loaded the bases with no outs against Skaggs in the third. Barney scored the tying run when Martin walked and Encarnacion put the Blue Jays in front by scoring on Troy Tulowitzki’s double play groundout.

Buss finished 2 for 4, adding a bunt single in the ninth. He recorded multiple RBIs for the first time.

“He looks very comfortable at the plate,” Scioscia said. “He’s certainly not overmatched. He’s hitting the ball hard. He looks like he belongs here.”

WALK THIS WAY

Trout drew his AL-leading 86th walk in the third. Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt entered play Tuesday as the ML-leader with 92 walks, one more than Washington’s Bryce Harper.

JOEY BATS ALMOST BACK

Blue Jays OF Jose Bautista (left knee) is expected be activated off the 15-day DL as soon as he is eligible on Thursday. Gibbons said Bautista will be used at DH often to protect his knee.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis was not available after getting a cortisone injection in his sore right ring finger. Barney started in his place. … OF Kevin Pillar (sprained left thumb) was activated off the 15-day DL and started in center field. RHP Ryan Tepera was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to clear a spot for Pillar.

UP NEXT

Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker (7-13, 4.14) is 1-1 with an 8.38 ERA in two career games against Toronto.

Blue Jays: RHP Marco Estrada (7-5, 3.20) allowed a season-high five earned runs against the Yankees on Aug. 16. It was the third time in 21 starts this season Estrada has allowed more than three earned runs.

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