Randy Arozarena ripped a go-ahead solo homer to back a strong start from Jeffrey Springs as the Tampa Bay Rays edged the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Monday night in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The homer — Arozarena’s 17th — was a sizzler to right-center field and broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning.
Springs (6-3) was hit hard by the Angels in an 11-3 loss on May 9 in California, but the left-hander scattered five hits over 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball this time. He fanned seven and walked three.
David Peralta went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI while Yu Chang and Arozarena contributed two hits apiece as the Rays earned their eighth win in 10 games.
David Fletcher and Andrew Velazquez each had two hits for the Angels, who managed just six hits and fell for the sixth time in seven games.
In his third start for Los Angeles, Tucker Davidson (2-4) allowed two runs on six hits while walking three and whiffing two in five innings.
Angels dual-threat superstar Shohei Ohtani, who pitched four innings in Detroit on Sunday but was removed due to a stomach virus, pinch-hit in the sixth inning with runners on first and second. The lefty hitter struck out against southpaw Jalen Beeks to end the inning.
In the fourth, Tampa Bay’s Harold Ramirez and Chang opened the frame with singles before Francisco Mejia grounded into an easy double play started by Velazquez at shortstop. However, Peralta picked up the slack by sharply singling to center to plate Ramirez for a 1-0 lead.
Los Angeles answered in the fifth when Mike Trout produced a fluky, double-hit RBI single. Springs’ slider jammed Trout and hit the label of his bat on the swing, but as the slugger completed the cut, the ball also hit the bat’s barrel and flared into center field to score Velazquez.
In the home half of the fifth, Arozarena went deep on Davidson’s 93 mph four-seam fastball for the final run of the contest.
Jason Adam notched three strikeouts while walking one in the eighth, and Shawn Armstrong struck out one in a perfect ninth for his first save.
–Field Level Media