Rays’ bats electrify Angels, Blake Snell looks dominant in win
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays have found themselves playing though plenty of streaks, both good and bad, to start this season.
But when they are on the right side of those stretches, the Rays are tough to beat, as the Los Angeles Angels can attest.
Wilson Ramos homered twice and drove in three runs to lead the Rays to their fifth straight win, 8-3 over the Angels on Friday night.
Blake Snell (5-3) gave up two runs in 6 2/3 innings while striking out eight to help the Rays to their sixth win in seven games.
The Rays are the only team in the major leagues with multiple five-game winning streaks and multiple five-game losing streaks this season.
“We’ve done this twice now,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “To be doing this on the road and playing the way we are against Kansas City and now this Anaheim team that is very, very talented, I mean, it speaks volumes about the character of the group in there.”
Ramos hit a two-run homer to center in the third inning, with the ball brushing over the top of the outstretched glove of leaping outfielder Mike Trout. Ramos then had a solo shot to right-center in the fifth for his 100th career homer and sixth career multi-homer game.
“Obviously, the first one kind of gave him some momentum and the last one was a no-doubter,” Rays first baseman Brad Miller said.
Daniel Robertson, Mallex Smith, Christian Arroyo and Johnny Field each had one RBI, and Tampa Bay scored at least five runs for the fourth consecutive game.
Angels starter Nick Tropeano (1-3) gave up three runs and six hits with four walks in 2 2/3 innings.
Robertson gave the Rays a 1-0 lead in the second on a solo homer that traveled 427 feet before landing in the tunnel next to the bullpen in left field. After Ramos’ homer in the third, Smith had an RBI single later in the inning to push Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-0.
“When we play well, we really lock it in, like tonight,” said Miller, who went 3 for 5. “I think when we’ve been winning, we’ve really been getting ahead early. I don’t know. I just want to keep it going.”
Andrelton Simmons had a two-run single in the bottom of the fifth, but the Angels were 1 for 10 with runners in scoring position. Shohei Ohtani, who went 1 for 3 with a double, was left stranded on third base in the second and the fourth innings.
The Angels are batting .159 (7 for 44) with runners in scoring position over their last seven games.
“We’ve faced some good arms, but these guys are talented enough we should be able to do a little bit better than we’ve been doing these last 10 days, and they know that,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Right now, it’s been a little bit hit or miss.”
TROUT ON TRACK?
Trout hit a solo homer in the eighth to end an 0-for-21 drought, the longest stretch of his career without a hit.
“I think he was pretty sure he was going to get another hit this year, but he’s working very hard at it, working very hard this week,” Scioscia said. “Obviously, his timing looked a little better tonight and good to see him get ahold of that one.”
Rays: 3B Matt Duffy (hamstring) could return to the starting lineup Saturday after he ran and took batting practice Friday.
Angels: OF Justin Upton (left hand) did not play after being hit by a pitch Thursday, but Scioscia believes he will return this weekend.
STARTER BY COMMITTEE
RHP Sergio Romo (1-0, 4.96 ERA) will make his first career start on Saturday. The plan is to let Romo face the heart of an Angels’ lineup heavy on right-handed batters with power before bringing in rookie left-hander Ryan Yarbrough, who has a 3-2 record and 3.93 ERA.
Rays: Romo has appeared in 588 major league games over the course of 11 seasons, but his teammates are excited by the chance to see him change things up. “Excited to see how he takes it, see if there’s any nerves,” Snell said.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (2-2, 3.93) will face the Rays for the first time. Heaney has allowed one run in three of his last four starts, going eight innings and striking out 10 in a 2-1 win over Houston on Monday.