Tampa Bay has played well on the road against the Los Angeles
Angels this year. The Rays, though, did not have to face Ervin
Santana until now.
The right-hander looks to remain perfect against the Rays in
Anaheim while trying to help the Angels avoid a fourth consecutive
home loss to the AL East co-leaders Tuesday night.
Tampa Bay (77-48) moved into a first-place tie with New York by
winning its third straight, 4-3 over Los Angeles on Monday. It was
the Rays’ fifth one-run game in a row.
“That’s pretty interesting,” manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s much
more fun to excruciatingly look at the scoreboard every night.”
Since losing six straight on the road to the Angels, the Rays
have won three in a row in Anaheim this season. Three of the teams’
four 2010 meetings have been determined by one run.
Tampa Bay improved to 3-2 on a seven-game trip. B.J. Upton’s
leadoff homer highlighted a three-run first inning for the Rays, a
major league-best 38-24 on the road.
“We’re really just trying to win ballgames, no matter what the
situation is,” third baseman Evan Longoria told the Rays’ official
Hitting .239 on the season, Upton went 1 for 14 in Oakland over
the weekend but had two hits with two RBIs on Monday.
“The numbers aren’t what I would like but I just do what I can,”
The center fielder is a lifetime .225 hitter against the Angels
but has gone 7 for 18 versus Santana (13-8, 3.93 ERA), who leads
Los Angeles in wins.
Santana has posted a 1.21 ERA in winning all three of his home
starts against the Rays. He tossed a three-hitter in a 6-0 home
victory in his last outing versus Tampa Bay on Aug. 11, 2009.
Santana has been outstanding of late, posting a 2.66 ERA in
winning his last three starts. He allowed two runs over seven
innings of a 7-2 win at Boston on Thursday.
Making his debut against Los Angeles, Tampa Bay’s Wade Davis
(9-9, 4.45) will come off the disabled list for his first start
since Aug. 5.
The right-hander, who has not lost since June 27, was 4-0 with a
3.41 ERA in five outings prior to suffering a strained shoulder.
Davis did not experience any discomfort after throwing 43 pitches
during a simulated game Friday.
“I don’t anticipate any setbacks,” Maddon told the Rays’
Howie Kendrick went 2 for 3 with an RBI on Monday for the Angels
(62-64), losers of seven of 10 since winning three in a row.
Kendrick, 11 for 24 in his last six games, has batted .405 with
12 RBIs in 20 games against Tampa Bay.
“I’m seeing the ball well and having some good swings,” Kendrick
told the Angels’ official website. “I just want to keep it