Rays lose crusher on late Angels HR

BY foxsports • September 17, 2010

Brandon Wood is sharing the spotlight for one day with A-Rod.

Wood hit his first homer since June 27, a tiebreaking shot leading off the ninth inning that lifted the Los Angeles Angels over Tampa Bay 4-3 on Friday night and knocked the Rays out of first place in the AL East.

Moments after Wood connected, Alex Rodriguez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the ninth to send the Yankees to a 4-3 victory at Baltimore, pushing New York a half-game ahead of Tampa Bay.

Wood, mired in a 3-for-43 slide and hitless in three previous at-bats Friday, gave the Angels a 4-3 lead with his drive off Dan Wheeler (2-4). Los Angeles has won six of eight.

''That was big for us, big for Brandon,'' Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. ''He hasn't been getting consistent at-bats and you know it's going to take a while for him to really have a chance to work on some of the things and bring them into the game. He's working hard on the side.''

Dan Johnson hit his third homer in the past two games for the Rays. But he struck out against reliever Michael Kohn (1-0), who got his first major league win, with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth.

''A great game. We just have to do better offensively,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ''Kohn walks three guys and we get one hit and score no runs in one inning. That's kind of difficult to do.''

Angels starter Dan Haren allowed three runs, three hits, three walks and struck out 10 over seven innings on his 30th birthday.

''We had really bad swings on him all night long,'' Maddon said. ''The ball looked like a shuttlecock coming in there. We were just missing everything.''

Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth, working out of a two-on, two-out jam for his 11th save.

Wade Davis gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings. The Tampa Bay right-hander's no-decision kept a personal seven-game winning streak - now over 10 starts - intact.

Bobby Abreu had a run-scoring single and Torii Hunter drove in a run with a double as Los Angeles went ahead 3-1 in the third. Hunter has 11 RBIs in his last 12 games.

Tampa Bay pulled even at 3 when Carl Crawford hit a two-run triple with two outs in the sixth.

Howie Kendrick put the Angels up 1-0 with an RBI single in the second. Kendrick went 2 for 4 and has 16 hits in 28 at-bats against Tampa Bay this season.

Johnson tied it at 1 in the second when he homered in his third straight at-bat. He had consecutive two-run homers in the fifth and seventh in the Rays' 4-3 win over the Yankees on Wednesday night.

Kendrick opened the fourth with a triple, but was left stranded when Davis retired the next three batters on a strikeout and a pair of shallow fly balls.

NOTES: Haren has 206 strikeouts this season. He has recorded 200 or more in three straight years. ... Angels INF Erick Aybar (sore left leg) and RHP Scot Shields (right elbow tightness) both had MRIs. The results will be reviewed by the team's medical staff. ... Johnson has six homers since joining the Rays on Aug. 2 from Triple-A Durham, where he went deep 30 times. ... Los Angeles RHP Joel Pineiro, sidelined since July 22 by a strained left oblique, is scheduled to start Saturday's game. ... Crawford has 13 triples this season and 105 in his career. ... Davis struck out a season-high eight and walked one.