|L.A. Angels «||0||1||4||0||1||0||2||0||0||8||11||1|
"It's just nice we won," the Los Angeles right-hander said after a solid performance Monday night in an 8-4 victory that hiked the Angels' record in July to 16-4. "You just go out there and try to make how many runs you get work."
Adam Kennedy had three RBI and Juan Rivera homered for the ninth time this month and drove in two runs to support Lackey (9-6), who allowed four runs and five hits in eight innings to win for the fifth time in his last six starts.
Lackey beat Tampa Bay for the second time since the All-Star break, improving to 6-1 lifetime with a 2.61 ERA against the last-place team. He struck out seven and walked one, and two of the Devil Rays' runs were unearned.
"Tampa Bay really maximized their hits," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "John had to work for his outs."
Rivera hit his 15th homer off Jae Seo (0-5) for a 6-0 lead in the fifth. He also had a sacrifice fly in the third, while Kennedy delivered a sacrifice fly in the second and a two-run double in the third.
"He's given us a big lift, to say the least," Scioscia said of Rivera, who's batting .353 with 17 RBI in 20 games this month.
Garret Anderson had three hits and drove in a run for Los Angeles. Robb Quinlan added a two-run single off reliever Ruddy Lugo in the seventh.
Seo fell to 0-11 lifetime in the month of July, including losses in all five of the starts he has made for the Devil Rays since being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in a trade on June 27.
Lackey threw a one-hitter to beat Oakland 3-0 on July 7, and held Tampa Bay to five hits for his second consecutive complete game shutout -- 4-0 -- on July 14.
This time, he limited the Devil Rays to Ty Wigginton's first-inning single until Jorge Cantu reached on an error, Travis Lee doubled and Jonny Gomes walked to load the bases with no outs in the fifth.
Dioner Navarro grounded out, driving in Tampa Bay's first run. Tomas Perez followed with a sacrifice fly, but Lackey escaped further damage by getting the Devil Rays' most dangerous hitter -- Carl Crawford -- to tap a dribbler back to the mound.
"Lackey, even not being as sharp as he can, pitched well tonight," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Lackey allowed two runs in the seventh on Lee's RBI triple and another RBI grounder by Navarro.
Scot Shields pitched the ninth for the Angels, who improved to 8-3 since the All-Star break. The Devil Rays are 2-9 -- with four of the losses to Los Angeles -- and are 41-59 through 100 games of Maddon's first year as manager.
"I'm not disappointed in anything. Coming into a season like this, there's going to be a lot of learning," Maddon said. "You're seeing some young players who lack a lot of experience. Sometimes they're pretty good, sometimes not as good. That's the roller coaster ride we're on."
|The Angels' John Lackey (9-6) stifles the Devil Rays, earning his fifth win in his last six appearances. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Chone Figgins, CF||5||0||1||0||0||0||3||.263|
|Maicer Izturis, 3B||4||0||0||0||1||2||1||.275|
|Orlando Cabrera, SS||4||1||2||0||1||1||2||.288|
|Vladimir Guerrero, RF||3||1||0||0||2||0||3||.311|
|Garret Anderson, DH||5||3||3||1||0||0||3||.264|
|Juan Rivera, LF||4||1||2||2||0||0||1||.288|
|Mike Napoli, C||3||2||0||0||2||0||1||.262|
|Adam Kennedy, 2B||4||0||1||3||0||0||0||.264|
|Robb Quinlan, 1B||4||0||2||2||0||0||1||.305|
|2B - Chone Figgins (13, Seo), Orlando Cabrera (28, Seo), Adam Kennedy (19, Seo)|
|HR - Juan Rivera (15, Seo)|
|SF - Juan Rivera (3), Adam Kennedy (3)|
|RBI - Garret Anderson (51), Juan Rivera 2 (45), Adam Kennedy 3 (37), Robb Quinlan 2 (20)|
|2-OUT RBI - Adam Kennedy 2 (21), Robb Quinlan 2 (10)|
|SB - Maicer Izturis (9, 2nd base off Jackson/Navarro)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Maicer Izturis (6, Misplayed grounder)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|John Lackey (W,9-6)||8||5||4||2||1||7||0||2.89|
|WP - John Lackey (10)|
|Pitches-Strikes - John Lackey 106-77, Scot Shields 17-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lackey 8-10|
|Batters Faced - John Lackey 31, Scot Shields 4|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.308|
|Rocco Baldelli, CF||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.281|
|Ty Wigginton, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.260|
|Greg Norton, RF||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.263|
|Jorge Cantu, 2B||4||2||2||0||0||0||0||.271|
|Travis Lee, 1B||4||2||2||1||0||1||1||.209|
|Jonny Gomes, DH||3||0||0||0||1||1||2||.225|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||0||0||2||0||2||1||.274|
|Tomas Perez, SS||2||0||0||1||0||1||0||.185|
|2B - Travis Lee (8, Lackey)|
|3B - Travis Lee (2, Lackey)|
|SF - Tomas Perez (4)|
|RBI - Travis Lee (19), Dioner Navarro 2 (15), Tomas Perez (11)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Jae Seo (L,2-9)||5||8||6||6||4||1||1||5.71|
|IBB - Guerrero by Jae Seo|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jae Seo 90-56, Travis Harper 9-8, Ruddy Lugo 26-14, Edwin Jackson 15-9, Chad Harville 5-3|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jae Seo 5-9, Travis Harper 1-1, Ruddy Lugo 1-2, Edwin Jackson 1-1, Chad Harville 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Jae Seo 27, Travis Harper 4, Ruddy Lugo 6, Edwin Jackson 4, Chad Harville 3|
|Attendance - 11020|
|Game Time - 2:24|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Doug Eddings, First Base - Jim Joyce, Second Base - Dusty Dellinger, Third Base - Dana DeMuth|