The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Los Angeles Angels 10-3 Saturday night at Tropicana Field as the offense came alive to record sixteen hits and score ten runs. Rays' starter Chris Archer pitched six innings while recording nine strikeouts to earn his seventh win of the year while CJ Wilson, in his first start for the Angels since returning from the disabled list, allowed six runs in only one and a third innings while taking the loss.
Brandon Guyer, hitting third against the lefty Wilson, provided the Rays with their first baserunner of the game by working a two out walk in the bottom of the first inning. Evan Longoria's haircut then gave the Rays a 2-0 lead by hitting a home run into the stands in left field.
The Rays extended their early lead in the bottom of the second inning with a barrage of bunts. James Loney started the party by extending his on base streak to 21 with a one out single to center. Curt Casali walked to give the Rays a real threat. Logan Forsythe drove in Loney and moved Casali to third with a single to center. Then came the bunts. Desmond Jennings laid down a bunt back to Wilson who could not throw Jennings out after looking at home, where Casali was scoring. Ben Zobrist then collected his first of four hits on a bunt that loaded the bases with only one out. Guyer chased Wilson from the game with a single to center that scored Forsythe and Jennings and gave the Rays a 6-0 lead. Cory Rasmus came on in relief of Wilson and retired Longoria and Sean Rodriguez to end the innings with only four runs allowed.
The Angels sliced the deficit in half in the top of the fourth by scoring three runs against Archer. Albert Pujols got things started with a blooper that fell in right field for a hit. After an Archer strikeout of Josh Hamilton, Erick Aybar walked to give the Angels two baserunners. Howie Kendrick scored Pujols with a ground rule double to right field that gave the Angels two runners in scoring position. David Freese scored Aybar on a groundout to make the score 6-2 in favor of the Rays. CJ Cron singled to left, moving Kendrick up to third. Catcher Hank Conger then doubled to right, scoring Kendrick and moving Cron to third. Archer finally got out of the inning by striking out Kole Calhoun.
The Rays failed to score in the bottom fourth after putting two men on when Longoria grounded into a double play after Zobrist and Guyer singled to give the Rays a threat.
Curt Casali was guilty of ending another possible scoring opportunity when he grounded into a double play with runners on first and third.
Longoria grounded out to end yet another scoring chance for the Rays in the bottom of the sixth. Zobrist singled to shortstop and stole second after being picked off by Angels pitcher Michael Roth. Roth threw over the first base as Zobrist took off for second. First baseman Cron's throw to second was not on target and the tag could not be made as Zobrist slide safely into second. Guyer was then hit by a pitch and almost picked off as he dove back into first. The play was reviewed but the call of safe stood. Longoria then grounded out to end the inning.
Joel Peralta pitched a clean top of the seventh in relief of Archer, who threw 109 in six innings, that featured a strikeout of Mike Trout on a fastball.
Brad Boxberger ran into one out trouble in the top of eighth, walking Hamilton and Aybar before ending the inning with strikeouts of Kendrick and Freese.
The Rays added some extra insurance in the bottom of the eighth. Logan Forsythe started the inning with a towering home run to left. Jennings continued the rally with a single to left. Zobrist, recording his fourth hit of the night, brought him home with a double to to left and moved to third on an error charged to shortstop Aybar. Kevin Kiermaier on in right field as a defensive substitute, struck out for the first out of the inning. The Angels decided to intentionally walk Longoria with first base open. Matt Joyce, pinch hitting in the pitcher's spot in the order (Evan Longoria moved from DH to third), singled to center, scoring Zobrist. Yunel Escobar then singled home Longoria to give the Rays a 10-3 advantage. Loney ended the inning by grounding into a double play but the damage was done.
Kiermaier ended the game by himself in the ninth inning with Cesar Ramos pitching, throwing Cron out at home after Cron had doubled and attempted to score on a Chris Iannetta single to right. The tag was reviewed to see if Casali was blocking the plate. The play stood. Calhoun and Trout both flew out to Kiermaier in right field to end the game.
The Rays will look for their sixth consecutive series win tomorrow with Jake Odorizzi on the hill facing Jered Weaver for the Angels.