Slumping Vernon Wells helps Angels to 8-5 win
Bobby Abreu, Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo led a 17-hit attack with three hits each and Vernon Wells, mired in a monthlong slump, broke a tie with a fifth-inning sacrifice fly to lead the Angels to an 8-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday at Tropicana Field.
The Angels pounded Tampa starter David Price for a career-worst 12 hits in 4 1/3 innings, opening the scoring with three consecutive one-out hits in the second inning, the final one a Mark Trumbo single to left that scored Callaspo from second.
The Rays answered immediately when Ben Zobrist drew a one-out walk in the bottom of the inning, then scored on Casey Kotchman's hit-and-run double to left-center. Tampa Bay broke the tie an inning later when Matt Joyce followed a leadoff error by shortstop Erick Aybar and a walk to Sam Fuld with a two-out, two-strike home run into the right-center-field bleachers.
The Angels answered that in their next at-bat with Aybar's infield single scoring Kendrick from third one batter before Trumbo's slammed a 422-foot two-run home run to left. They went ahead for good an inning later on a single by Abreu, a wild pitch, a Torii Hunter single and a sacrifice fly to center by Wells, who came into the game batting .178 with just five RBIs.
A four-pitch walk to Callaspo with the bases loaded, followed by Aybar's fielder's-choice grounder, brought home two seventh-inning insurance runs for the Angels, who closed the scoring with an RBI groundout by Trumbo in the ninth. The Rays' final run came when B.J. Upton lined reliever Fernando Rodney's first pitch just inside the foul pole down the left-field line for a home run in the eighth.
Six players finished with at least two hits for the Angels, who saw Trumbo drive in four runs while Abreu and Kendrick scored twice.
Ervin Santana (1-3) held the Rays to four hits and one earned run in six innings to earn the win, his second in 10 starts dating to last season.
-- Kevin Baxter in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Photo: Angels left fielder Vernon Wells readies for batting practice before Friday's game against the Rays. Credit: Kim Klement / US Presswire