|4:07 PM PT5:07 PM MT6:07 PM CT7:07 PM ET19:07 ET23:07 GMT7:07 4:07 PM MST6:07 PM EST6:37 PM VEN3:07 UAE (+1)6:07 PM CT, June 18, 2019
Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario Attendance: 17,259
With Upton back, Jays on tap, Angels angling for .500
Justin Upton homered on the first pitch he saw this season Monday night, and the visiting Los Angeles Angels also started their four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays on the right foot with a 10-5 victory.
Upton, who had been on the injured list all season with turf toe on his left foot, also singled in his second at-bat. Both hits came during the Angels' seven-run second inning.
The Angels have won all four games they have played against the Blue Jays this season, including three in Anaheim April 30-May 2.
Los Angeles will start left-hander Tyler Skaggs (5-6, 5.00 ERA) in the second game of the four-game series Tuesday night against Toronto right-hander Marcus Stroman (4-8, 3.16).
A win on Tuesday would return the Angels to the .500 mark for the first time since they were 8-8 on April 15. It will be their eighth attempt to return to break-even.
Upton's presence should help.
"Everything feels pretty normal," the left fielder said. "Early on I was kind of guarding a little bit running in the outfield. I have gotten over that. I feel like I'm moving well and everything is back to normal."
The 31-year-old hit .257 with 30 homers and 85 RBIs in 145 games last season.
"The best thing you can do for your team is put the squad you expected to be out there, out there," Upton said. "Now it's up to us to play at the level we think we can play."
Outfielder Cesar Puello was designated for assignment Monday to make roster room for Upton.
The Angels had four hits, including a homer and three RBIs from Mike Trout on Monday.
"I'm glad he's in the other division," Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. "If he's not the best player in baseball, he's one of the best."
The Blue Jays had a season debut of their own Monday when right-hander David Phelps pitched around a walk in going one inning. He missed all of last season with the Seattle Mariners because of Tommy John surgery and opened the season on the injured list.
"The movement on his pitches is really good, and he looks healthy," Montoyo said.
"Over the last month or so, when I've been thinking about it or whatever, I get a little bit emotional," Phelps said. "It's been a good while since I've been on an active roster. The last game I pitched was Aug. 30, 2017, had surgery in September ... followed it up with Tommy John last spring."
In moves to provide space on the 25-man and 40-man rosters respectively for Phelps, right-hander Justin Shafer was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, and right-hander Elvis Luciano (elbow sprain) was shifted from the 10-day to the 60-day IL.
Skaggs will be making his second start this season against the Blue Jays. He earned the win May 2 when he pitched six innings, allowing four hits, three walks and two runs while striking out five. In six career starts against Toronto, he is 3-2 with a 3.93 ERA.
He allowed three runs in five innings Thursday to earn the win over the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of the Angels' 11-game road trip.
Stroman lost to the Angels May 1 when he allowed six hits and five runs (four earned) in 3 1/3 innings. In six career games (five starts) against the Angels, he is 1-2 with a 5.02 ERA.
--Field Level Media
Updated June 18, 2019