Rays shut out Angels behind Price for 7-0 win

David Price pitched three-hit ball over seven innings for his

AL-leading 16th victory and the Tampa Bay Rays got home runs from

Evan Longoria, B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist in a 7-0 victory over the

Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.

Burke Badenhop and Wade Davis each worked one inning in the

Rays’ third straight shutout against the Angels. The Halos have

gone 32 consecutive innings without scoring against a staff that

leads the AL in ERA, opponents’ batting average and strikeouts.

Price (16-4) struck out eight, walked two and lowered his ERA to

2.39, third in the AL behind the Angels’ Jered Weaver and Detroit’s

Justin Verlander. The left-hander allowed only two runners to third

base in this one, striking out Chris Iannetta to end the fifth

inning and fanning Vernon Wells to escape the seventh.

Price is 7-0 with a 2.21 ERA over his last nine road starts, and

8-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his last 11 starts overall since a 9-1 home

loss to the New York Mets on June 13.

Dan Haren (8-10) threw 61 pitches in 3 1-3 innings and gave up

five runs on seven hits, including Zobrist’s 13th homer and Upton’s

14th. The right-hander has allowed at least one home run in a

career-worst 10 consecutive starts and 15 total during a streak

that began when the Colorado Rockies hit four against him on June 9

at Coors Field – all solo shots in Haren’s 11-5 victory. The last

time Haren didn’t give up a homer was June 3 against Texas.

The Rays, who lost 1-0 at Seattle Wednesday on a perfect game by

Felix Hernandez, had a streak of 34 consecutive batters retired in

order before Zobrist ended it with a one-out homer in the second

inning. He drove a 2-2 pitch into the first row of seats above the

18-foot wall in right-center, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia came

out to argue that a fan interfered with the ball. But the ruling by

second base ump Al Porter stood after a video review.

Upton triggered a four-run fourth with a drive into the left

field bullpen, one of six hits Haren surrendered during the inning.

Jeff Keppinger hit a two-run single and Ryan Roberts made it 5-0

with a sacrifice fly before Jose Molina chased Haren with a two-out

single. It was the second straight start in which the three-time

All-Star failed to get through the fourth inning.

Longoria increased the margin to 7-0 in the fifth with his fifth

homer of the season and his only once in 115 at-bats since coming

off the 60-day disabled list on Aug. 7. The Rays are 8-2 since his

return, after going 41-44 while he was sidelined with a partially

torn left hamstring.

NOTES: The last two times a pitcher threw a perfect game against

the Rays, they responded with an 8-4 stretch following Mark

Buehrle’s in 2009, and an 8-2 stretch following Dallas Braden’s in

2010. … Weaver gets a chance to tie Price again for the league

lead in wins on Friday night when he opposes James Shields. …

Haren has surrendered 22 homers in his 22 starts, two more than he

gave up last season in 34 starts. His only other outing against the

Rays this season was on July 27, when he beat them 3-1 at Angel

Stadium. … Tampa Bay’s starting pitchers are 11-2 with a 1.57 ERA

over the team’s last 18 games. … The Rays came in leading the

majors leading the AL with a .233 opponents’ batting average, after

doing so in each of the previous two seasons. The last club to

accomplish a three-peat in that department was Detroit (1983-85).

… Tampa Bay’s bullpen has a 0.88 ERA over the last 26 games,

compared to a 5.90 ERA by the Angels’ bullpen during that same

stretch. … Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon, who was Scioscia’s

former bench coach in Anaheim, has 559 wins with the Rays during

the regular season – 41 more than the franchise had in its eight

seasons before he got the job in 2006.