There are occasions in baseball that define players beyond their salaries or statistics, moments that are about emotions and not numbers.

For one night, Vernon Wells could escape the constant reminders of how low his batting average is, or how high his salary is. On this night, he had the happiest of homecomings.

"It's something I'll be able to tell my kids about," Wells said, "when they forget I played this game."

First game back in Toronto, after 12 years with the Blue Jays . First at-bat. First pitch.

Home run.

Wells put the Angels ahead for good, in a 5-1 victory for which more credit went to Ervin Santana than to Wells. Santana pitched his third complete game in four starts, closing within two outs of a shutout until Eric Thames homered in the ninth inning.

In his last five starts, he is 5-0 with a 1.29 earned-run average, those three complete games and a no-hitter. He has not lost since June 21.

"He has been unreal," Wells said. "He has been the best pitcher in the game the last few starts."