TORONTO - Ricky Romero not only won for the 11th time this season, but continued to make his case as an American League rookie-of-year candidate in the Toronto Blue Jays 8-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Romero (11-5) held the American League West leaders to two runs and eight hits over six innings before a crowd of 23,935 at the Rogers Centre as the struggling Blue Jays took the three-game series 2-1.
"He'll probably tell you didn't have his best location," said Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. "But he held that team to two runs, that's pretty good."
Randy Ruiz drove in three runs with a second-inning double, Travis Snider had three hits including his fifth home run and Adam Lind also had three hits for the Blue Jays who took the first and third games of the series.
"We got a lot of 1/8big hits 3/8 today, especially with two outs," said Gaston. "That was a big hit by Ruiz with a couple of outs, it cleared the bases. It's something you'd like to see happen every day, not every once in a while."
It was only the third winning series in the past 10 for the Blue Jays who are 2-4 on the home stand. The Blue Jays will have ace Roy Halladay starting on Monday in the opener of a three-game home series against the Tampa Bay Rays who will start their own rookie-of-the-year candidate Jeff Niemann.
"A lot of the guys, they jokingly say 'Rookie of the year, rookie of the year,' but I try not to look at it like that," said Romero. "If I win it, it's going to be an unbelievable accomplishment for me personally, but I've just got to take it start by start."
Angels starter Trevor Bell (1-1) gave up six hits, four walks and six runs in 1 2/3 innings to the Blue Jays who won their first series since Aug. 7-9 at home when they took two of three from the Baltimore Orioles.
Romero who is from Los Angeles said he hoped to impress friends and family watching from home.
"I went to school in Orange County and there are a lot of Angels fans there so I actually had a lot of people watching back home," he said. "It was a pretty special day for me and I had a lot of phone calls from my mom telling me that everyone was going to be watching."
Romero has won eight of his past 10 decisions and the 11 games tied him with Mike Timlin (1991) on the club's all-time list for rookies.
"I was definitely impressed," said Angels centre-fielder Torii Hunter. "He's got a live fastball, a good short arm and good motion with his change-up, like Johan Santana."
After giving up five earned runs in 3 2/3 innings to the Boston Red Sox in his previous start, a no decision, it was decided that Romero should not throw a bullpen session between starts, which would be the normal procedure.
"I threw on flat ground and that was it," said Romero. "Last week I ran out of gas pretty quick and my velocity was down a little bit. People were wondering what was going on so I wanted to come back and kind of show them that I'm still good."
The Blue Jays scored three in the first in a rally started by Adam Lind's two-out single. Lyle Overbay doubled to score Lind, Vernon Wells singled him home and Jose Bautista followed Ruizs walk with a run-scoring single.
Designated hitter Ruiz, a 31-year-old career minor-leaguer trying to grab a big-league job for next year, drove in three runs with a double down the right-field line with two out in the second. Marco Scutaro led off with a walk, Aaron Hill singled and after the count reached 3-0 on Wells, he was walked intentionally.
Ruizs double came on the first pitch and Rafael Rodriguez replaced Bell.
Snider hit his fifth homer of the season to lead off the bottom of the third. Snider, Raul Chavez and Scutaro hit two-out singles to produce a fifth-inning run.
The Angels broke through against Romero for two runs in the sixth on singles by Vladimir Guerrero, who had three singles in the game, Juan Rivera, Kendry Morales and Erick Aybar.
Rivera singled in a run against Josh Roenicke in the seventh.
Notes: Left-handed reliever Scott Downs is expected to the reinstated Monday from the 15-day disabled list where he was placed after aggravating a left toe injury on Aug. 1. . . The Blue Jays conclude the nine-game home stand with a three-game series against the Rays who are in the midst of the American League wild-card race. Halladay (13-6, 2.78 earned-run average) will start Monday against Niemann (11-5, 3.71 ERA).