The Tampa Bay Rays rallied from one two-run deficit Sunday, but could manage a second comeback, falling short in the finale in Anaheim by dropping a 4-3 decision to the Los Angeles Angels.
Both Rays starter Chris Archer and Angels starter Parker Bridwell matched each other through the first four innings of the game, keeping the game scoreless until the fifth. That's when Archer blinked first, giving up back to back walks to Nick Franklin and Cameron Maybin to start the inning, and after striking out Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout, leaving a slider up to Albert Pujols, whose single scored Franklin for a 1-0 lead.
Archer fell behind another run an inning later, with Andrelton Simmons leading off with a double, taking third on a flyout and scoring on a safety squeeze by catcher Martin Maldonado.
Tampa Bay finally got on the board in the top of the seventh, as Evan Longoria led off with a single, and Logan Morrison launched his 26th home run of the season to tie the game.
The game remained 2-2 until the bottom of the eighth, when Andrelton Simmons singled off Jumbo Diaz with one out, and manager Kevin Cash decided to bring in lefty Adam Kolarek, prompting Mike Scioscia to counter with C.J. Cron. The move paid off for Los Angeles as Kolarek's first pitch to Cron was hit the other way for an opposite-field home run, his third of the year.
The Rays rallied in the ninth off Angels closer Bud Norris, who cut the deficit back to a single run thanks to a double by Longoria followed by singles from Morrison and Steven Souza Jr. to make it 4-3. Norris then walked Brad Miller to load the bases. But Tim Beckham swung at the first pitch, grounding into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
The loss drops the Rays back into a tie with the New York Yankees for second place in the American League East
Tampa Bay next heads to Oakland to begin a three-game series against the Athletics. Jake Odorizzi (5-4, 4.63 ERA) will start Monday's opener against Daniel Gossett (1-4, 6.23 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 10:05, with coverage on WDAE beginning at 9:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.