The Rays kicked off a four-game series with the Angels Thursday night with David Price on the mound seeking his MLB-best 16th win.
Following a disappointing series in Seattle, where the Rays' offense struggled, Tampa Bay's bats responded nicely against Dan Haren and the Halos.
Price got all the run support he needed in this ballgame, and he got some pretty early too, as Ben Zobrist belted a solo homer in the second inning to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Then in the fourth, the Rays broke the game open with a big inning. B.J. Upton started off with a solo dinger, and Jeff Keppinger then knocked in two more runs with an RBI single. Two batters later, Ryan Roberts extended the Rays' lead to five with a sacrifice fly.
One innings later, the Rays' bats went right back to work. Evan Longoria made it a 7-0 ballgame with a two-run blast to center field, his first home run since returning from the DL.
In the meanwhile, Price was taking care of the Angels, finishing is excellent outing after seven strong innings. Burke Badenhop and Wade Davis then rapped up the game by pitching an inning apiece.
The Rays improve to 64-54 and move back into a tie with Baltimore for the top Wild Card spot and second place in the division. Tampa now trails the Yankees by six games.
Notable Stat Lines:
- D. Price (W, 16-4): 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 8 K through 7.0 IP. ERA now 2.39
- B.J. Upton: 1-4, HR, RBI, R
- E. Longoria: 2-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI
- B. Zobrist: 2-4, HR, 2 R, RBI
- J. Keppinger: 1-3, R, 2 RBI
Rays News and Notes:
- Luke Scott (oblique) went 0-3 with two walks in his rehab game last night with Class A+ Charlotte.
- The Rays take on arguably the only AL pitcher who has been better than David Price this season, Jared Weaver (15-2, 2.22). Weaver will matchup against James Shields (10-7, 4.02); first pitch at 10:05 ET.