Rays bring Angels down to earth

Posted: August 21, 2012

THE TAMPA BAY RAYS made Felix Hernandez's perfect game look even more impressive by roughing up the visiting Los Angeles Angels during an impressive four-game series sweep.

Matt Moore (10-7) shrugged off home runs by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols on Sunday to win his fourth straight decision, and the Rays beat the fading Angels, 8-3.

Tampa Bay tagged Zack Greinke (1-2) and outscored the Angels 37-14 in the series - setting a franchise record for runs in a four-game set.

"I really believe that's a testament to our players and the way they are able to put things in the trash can immediately afterwards if something bad happens," manager Joe Maddon said. "If you carry negativity around with you, nothing good can happen. So we just put it in our rearview mirror, then came out and played great down here."

Angels starting pitchers were 2-6 with a 7.57 ERA and allowed 13 homers during their 10-game homestand, forcing an injury-depleted bullpen to eat up 35 1/3 innings. In this series, Greinke, Dan Haren, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson combined to give up 27 earned runs and six homers in 17 1/3 innings.

"I have all the respect in the world for them and their pitchers, but they had to face David Price, James Shields, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore - and they didn't even get a chance to see Jeremy Hellickson," Maddon said. "I mean, they're good and they're formidable, but you have to beat good teams and good pitching to go to the promised land."

Ryan Roberts hit a two-run homer and Matt Joyce and Carlos Pena also drove in two runs apiece for the Rays. Tampa Bay won the season series 9-1.

"Tampa had grit. We had them down 8-0 yesterday and they just didn't give up," LA outfielder Torii Hunter said. "That's a good ballclub over there, and their pitching staff is even better. They've probably got one of the best teams in the league, and they did what they had to do. They came in here and took four from us, which is tough to do with the ballclub we have. But the way we're playing right now, it's not hard."

The Angels are a season-worst nine games out of first place in the AL West after their 13th loss in 18 games.

"We've just got to wait our turn. Things have been going the other team's way lately, and the results have not been good, but we're just going to keep fighting," Hunter said. "I'm disappointed in the way we're playing, but we do have heart. We're going to play the game the right way and let things take its course."

In other games * 

At Detroit, Nate McLouth hit a go-ahead, two-run triple and the Baltimore Orioles rallied to beat the Tigers, 7-5. Baltimore leads Detroit by two games in the race for the second AL wild-card spot.

* At Kansas City, Jeremy Guthrie pitched into the eighth inning, Salvador Perez drove in three runs and the Royals beat the Chicago White Sox, 5-2, to complete a three-game sweep of the AL Central leaders. Guthrie was working on a no-hitter before Paul Konerko reached on an infield single with two out in the seventh.

* At Toronto, Michael Young hit a three-run homer and a two-run double to help the Texas Rangers beat the slumping Blue Jays, 11-2.

* At Oakland, Jarrod Parker (8-7) pitched eight sharp innings while Coco Crisp homered and drove in five runs, leading the Athletics over the Cleveland Indians, 7-0, for a three-game sweep.

* At Seattle, Michael Saunders homered, helping Blake Beavan and the Mariners beat the Minnesota Twins, 5-1, for their fifth straight victory. Seattle completed a three-game sweep and has won 12 of its last 13 at home.

* At New York, Ichiro Suzuki hit two homers and Derek Jeter had three hits and scored two runs in the Yankees' 4-1 win over the Boston Red Sox.

In Red Sox news, leftfielder Carl Crawford appears to be headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery on his left elbow. Citing an anonymous source, ESPN reported that Crawford is expected to have surgery Tuesday.

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