On the arm of Starting Pitcher Chris Archer & the hot bat of Former Angel C.J. Cron, the Tampa Bay Rays won their fourth straight game, beating the Los Angeles Angels 7-1 in Anaheim on Thursday night. Archer, who struggled with his pitch count early in the game, allowed just two hits in pitching over six innings & needed just 31 pitches to get through the fourth, fifth & six innings.
The only real scoring threat in the first three innings for either team was when with one out, Archer, who won his first game since April 26, walked Angels Third Baseman Zack Cozart. And after striking out Angels Centerfielder Mike Trout, Archer unleashed a wild pitch that Rays Catcher Wilson Ramos couldn’t find. And that allowed Cozart to not only advance to second but also take third. But after walking Angels Leftfielder Justin Upton, Archer ended the threat by getting First Baseman Albert Pujols to hit into a fielder’s choice.
Although the Rays put two men on in the fifth, no Rays’ batter reached third base until the sixth when Cron, who was traded by the Angels before the start of the season, hit a solo home run to lead off the inning. Cron’s home run was his team leading 11th this season, his third home run in three straight games & now gives him a streak of reaching base in 23 straight games.
The Rays added to their 1-0 lead in the top of the seventh with the help of the long ball again & the help of some shoddy Angels’ defense. With one on & one out, Rays Leftfielder Denard Span, after questioning a strike call by Home Plate Umpire Laz Diaz, unloaded a two run home run to rightfield, making the score 3-0. And then the Rays picked up two more runs, one on a run scoring single by Shortstop Daniel Robertson, then another run when Cozart dropped a pop up by First Baseman Brad Miller, allowing Robertson to score from second base.
Archer started the seventh inning but with two outs in the inning, he walked Angels Rightfielder Kole Calhoun. Reliever Austin Pruitt came on to strike out Angels Catcher Martin Maldonado to end the inning. And the Rays played long ball again in the eighth inning when Third Baseman Christian Arroyo led off the inning with his second single of the game & Rightfielder Johnny Field launched a two run home run deep into the leftfield stands, giving the visitors a 7-0 lead.
The lone Angels’ run came in the ninth when Designated Hitter Shohei Ohtani blasted a solo home run off of Pruitt. The home run by Ohtani was the lone hit allowed by Pruitt, who pitched the final two & a third innings after Archer. Meanwhile, Ohtani’s home run was his sixth this season & ended a 21 consecutive scoreless innings streak for the Angels.
On Friday night the Rays will seek their second straight win in Anaheim & fifth straight overall when they give the ball to Lefty Blake Snell (4-3 3.12) while the Angels will go with Righty Nick Tropeano (1-2 3.64). Coverage begins on 620 WDAE with Steve Carney & The Inside Pitch at 9pm & first pitch is scheduled for 10:05pm.