Angels handle Jays, trail Red Sox by 2½ in wild-card race

TORONTO -- After a painful last pitch, victory was particularly sweet for Dan Haren and the Angels.

Haren's start ended after he was hit by a line drive on the final out of the eighth inning, Peter Bourjos and Vernon Wells homered, and Los Angeles beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-2 on Wednesday night, closing within 2½ games of Boston in the wild-card race.

"We've put ourselves in a position where if someone stubs their toe, we've got a chance," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.

Haren (16-9) was struck on the inside of the left wrist, his non-throwing arm, by Eric Thames' liner. The ball caromed to Maicer Izturis at second base, who threw to first for the third out as Haren fell to the ground in pain. He was able to walk off but headed straight down the tunnel to the clubhouse.

"When I first got hit there was a pretty good deal of pain," Haren said. "The initial reaction is you're just scared of breaking something, or something bad. After a few seconds the feeling came back into my hand and I could feel it was going to be all right. It definitely hurt, though. He smoked it."

The impact left stitch marks on Haren's arm, about an inch below the wrist. He was examined by Blue Jays doctors and X-rays were negative.

"Right now it looks like it's just a bad bruise," Scioscia said. "It's on his glove hand so he can probably nurse it through these next couple of days, get some treatment on it and be ready to go for his next start."

Haren allowed one run and four hits over eight innings for his first road victory since winning at Detroit on July 30. The right-hander, who walked two and struck out four, had gone 0-3 in five road starts since then.

The Red Sox lost to Baltimore moments after Los Angeles wrapped up its win, while Tampa Bay was swept by the Yankees in a doubleheader, leaving the Rays and Angels tied for second in the wild-card standings, 2½ games behind Boston.

"We need help, no doubt, but we need to keep winning," Scioscia said.

Kelly Johnson hit an RBI double off Hisanori Takahashi in the ninth, but the Angels won for the third time in four games.

Bourjos had three hits, including a solo shot in the third, and came within a double of the cycle.

"He showed his tools," Scioscia said. "He showed his power, his speed. He stole a base, had great range in the outfield, went gap to gap."

Wells added a two-run blast in the eighth as Los Angeles won for the third time in four games.

"I like the way we've played the last few days," Haren said. "We could have easily folded after losing two of three in Baltimore and then the first game here. Just like the team has done all year we've stayed together and played good baseball."

The Angels opened the scoring in the third when Bourjos hit a leadoff triple to left and scored on a one-out single by Izturis.

With the triple, Bourjos became the first player in Angels history with at least 25 doubles, 10 triples, 10 homers and 20 stolen bases in a single season.

Bourjos doubled the lead with a solo drive to left in the fifth, his 12th.

Los Angeles added two more in the sixth off reliever Jesse Litsch. Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo hit back-to-back doubles and Alberto Callaspo was intentionally walked to load the bases for Wells, who hit a two-run single through the left side.

The Angels tacked on three more in the eighth against right-hander Casey Janssen. Callaspo hit a one-out single and Wells followed with a two-run shot to right, his 24th and second in as many days against his former team.

"Anything you can do to help this team win is good," Wells said. "But yeah, obviously it feels good doing it here."

Bourjos singled, stole second and scored one out later on a base hit by Izturis.

Toronto loaded the bases with two outs in the fourth when Adam Lind walked, Edwin Encarnacion singled and Johnson walked, but catcher J.P. Arencibia grounded out on Haren's first pitch.

The Blue Jays finally broke through against Haren in the sixth when Thames led off with a second-deck drive to right, his 11th.

Making his third start of the season, Toronto right-hander Dustin McGowan (0-1) allowed two runs and five hits in five innings. He walked none and struck out a season-high eight.

"It was good," said McGowan, who is coming back from two shoulder surgeries. "It seems to get better every time. Just pounded the zone. Avoided the walk which kind of killed me in other starts."

Game notes
Blue Jays rookie 3B Brett Lawrie broke his right middle finger while fielding grounders during batting practice and will miss the rest of the season. Lawrie also broke his left hand on May 31, when he was hit by a pitch while playing with Triple-A Las Vegas. Lawrie was scratched from the lineup and replaced by Encarnacion. ... Bourjos has hit seven homers in his past 29 games. ... Angels 2B Howie Kendrick got the day off. ... Thames' homer was the 45th by a Blue Jays rookie this season, three shy of the club record set in 2002.