The Tampa Bay Rays welcomed in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this week to wrap up a season-long, 11-game home stand. The Angels, much like the Rays, were expected to take another step this season but have disappointed greatly. The Rays were coming off being swept in a four-game, ugly series v the Detroit Tigers in which the bullpen couldn’t get anyone out. Could they rebound against a struggling Angels team? Something had to give…and it wasn’t quite how the Rays drew it up.
Rays 4 Angels 2
Matt Moore continued to put quality starts together since the beginning of June with his sixth straight game of six or more innings on the mound. The Rays offense (and bullpen) did the rest as they held on to win game one, 4-2, against Nick Tropeano. Brad Miller and Logan Morrison would each hit solo home runs for the Rays to lead the offense while reliever, Ryan Garton, would get his first career save at the Major League level, pitching the final two outs in the ninth inning after solid relief outings by Erasmo Ramirez and Dana Eveland led to him to close it out. Steven Souza Jr also went 2-for3 with an RBI in the win, as well.
W: Moore (5-5) L: Salas (3-6) S: Garton (1)
Angels 13 Rays 5
The Rays took a 5-4 lead into the sixth inning before the wheels came off of starter Jake Odorizzi. The righty would end his night after 5.1 innings and allowing a season-high seven runs on nine hits. Relievers Tyler Sturdevant and a returning Alex Colome would pitch shutout ball for 2.2 innings before the tandem of Enny Romero and Dana Eveland would give up six runs in the ninth to deliver the final blow to the Rays as they fell in game two. Logan Morrison would hit his second home run in as many games, giving him 10 on the year, and Nick Franklin would finish 3 for 4 with two RBI in the loss. C.J Cron would hit two home runs for the Angels to power their offense.
W: Guerra (2-0) L: Odorizzi (3-4)
Angels 7 Rays 2
For the fourth time this season, the Rays defense would commit three errors and Drew Smyly would get rocked in just four innings of work. The lefty gave up seven runs, four earned, on eight hits and four walks. The bullpen would pitch five innings of shutout baseball the rest of the way, including three innings of work out of Matt Andriese who continues to thrive in any role this season. Mike Trout would hit his 18th home run of the season for the Angels while Logan Forsythe hit his seventh for the Rays in the loss. Tampa Bay had now dropped to 3-18 in their last 21 games to match the worst such stretch in franchise history and the first time since 2004.
W: Weaver (7-7) L: Smyly (2-10)
Angels 5 Rays 1
Before the finale, the Rays presented closer, Alex Colome, with his official AL All Star jersey during a pre-game ceremony. Blake Snell would then take the mound hoping to salvage a split in the four-game series. Snell would go toe to toe with Angels lefty, Hector Santiago, all the way into the sixth inning of a scoreless ballgame before Albert Pujols would break the tie with an RBI single scoring former Ray, Yunel Escobar from second. C.J. Cron would ground into a controversial fielder’s choice as Pujols didn’t seem to try to get away from the throw around the bag at second by Logan Forsythe who wound up throwing over the head of Nick Franklin at first. The run scored and the Angels took a 2-0 lead. Ryan Garton would pitch into the eighth inning in relief of Snell in the sixth and get through 1.1 innings before giving way to Dylan Floro who made his major league debut, only to give up a hit to Albert Pujols and then a sac fly by Cron to extend the Angels lead to 3-0. The inning would get worse as the Angels executed a double steal, Trout of home and Pujols of second to take a 4-0 lead into the bottom of the eighth. Brad Miller would lead off with his 13th home run of the season, extending his career year. Another run across for the Angels in the top of the ninth off Floro and the Rays offense was stifled by Fernando Salas in the bottom of the inning to lock up a three games to one series win for the Halos.
W: Santiago (6-4) L: Snell (1-4)
Manager Kevin Cash on Pujols non-slide at second: “The way the rule is written there can be a little bit different interpretation. From my judgement I thought he affected Logan’s throw.”
Cash on All Star Break: “I think the break is welcomed but we have three games left to concern ourselves with and then hopefully we’ll all go enjoy our break.”
The Rays travel to Boston to face the second-place Red Sox for a three game series heading into the All Star Break.
7/9 – Matt Moore (5-5, 4.54) v Rick Porcello (10-2, 3.82)
7/10 – Jake Odorizzi (3-4, 4.33) v David Price (8-6, 4.64)
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