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Los Angeles at Tampa Bay

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L.A. Angels (6-12)000100001271
Tampa Bay (11-7) «00200001x362

Hellickson, Rays hold off Angels

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jeremy Hellickson gave his team a chance, and the struggling Ben Zobrist responded with a big hit.

Hellickson overcame early struggles to pitch six effective innings, Zobrist stopped an 0-for-17 slide with a home run, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-2 on Wednesday night.

Hellickson (3-0), who held Los Angeles hitless in six at-bats with runners in scoring position through the second, allowed one run and five hits. Zobrist hit a solo shot off C.J. Wilson (2-2) during a two-run third.

"I definitely needed that one," Zobrist said. "It's the start of the season. April has not always been the greatest month for me. Hopefully I'll get it going a little bit. The good thing is we've been winning. When you're winning games, things are going well. You just keep working hard."

The Rays have won four in a row and six of seven.

Albert Pujols went 0 for 3, including two strikeouts, extending his hitless streak to 19 at-bats. The Angels slugger has not had a hit in five consecutive starts, which is the longest stretch in his big league career, but did walk in the eighth.

Pujols, with 445 homers, has not gone deep in 18 games this season, a span of 72 at-bats.

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Los Angeles got a homer from Vernon Wells. Wilson gave up two runs, six hits, two walks and struck out 11 over seven innings.

"We have a lot of veteran hitters in this lineup that know what they need to do," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's just matter of executing."

Tampa Bay took a 3-1 lead in the eighth when pinch-hitter Brandon Allen drew a two-out, bases-loaded walk off Jason Isringhausen.

Fernando Rodney, the third Rays' reliever, pitched the ninth for his sixth save. The right-hander allowed an unearned run when Zobrist was charged with an error at second for misplaying Erick Aybar's grounder that allowed Torii Hunter to score with two outs.

"You never want to make an error in the ninth inning with the game on the line," Zobrist said. "It was a tough one. I haven't spent much time in the infield yet, and still I'm still getting comfortable."

Los Angeles, 6-12 this season, has lost six of eight.

"I really feel like we're close ... close to breaking through," Wilson said.

Jeff Keppinger added an RBI double in the third.

Wells cut the deficit to 2-1 on a fourth-inning homer. It ended a stretch of 55 1/3 innings that Tampa Bay had not allowed a home run.

Bobby Abreu had a leadoff double in the first, but was left stranded when Hellickson retired the next three batters, including Pujols, who hit a one-out grounder between short and third into a three-man infield defensive shift.

Hellickson also worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam during the second by striking out Chris Iannetta and getting Abreu's broken-bat grounder to third.

"I thought he looked more like himself," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

After Iannetta walked to start the fifth, he was then thrown out trying to steal second after Abreu struck out swinging on a 3-2 pitch.

Los Angeles was 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

"You can't sugarcoat that part of it," Scioscia said. "It's critical to us. We need to bring that level up to support our pitching. There's a lot of situational hitting that has to be part of this club, and hopefully that's going to emerge."

Notes

  • Tampa Bay had four solo homers -- all off Ervin Santana -- in Tuesday night's 5-0 victory over Los Angeles.
  • The Angels have been out-homered 23-12 this season.
  • Wilson's career-high for strikeouts is 12.
  • Los Angeles RHP Jerome Williams (1-1) and Rays' LHP Matt Moore (0-1) are the scheduled starters in Thursday's series finale.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Ben Zobrist (right) celebrates with Evan Longoria after hitting a homer in the third inning against the Angels. (US Presswire)
Ben Zobrist (right) celebrates with Evan Longoria after hitting a homer in the third inning against the Angels. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

V. Wells
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
Tampa Bay

B. Zobrist
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Bobby Abreu, LF4010013 .208
Howard Kendrick, 2B4010011 .261
Albert Pujols, 1B3000122 .222
Kendrys Morales, DH3000112 .278
Torii Hunter, RF4120001 .292
Vernon Wells, CF4121010 .239
Maicer Izturis, 3B4010003 .313
Erick Aybar, SS3000001 .242
Chris Iannetta, C2000114 .239
   a- Alberto Callaspo, PH1000001 .200
Totals3227137  
a-flied out for Iannetta in the 9th
Batting
2B - Bobby Abreu (3, Hellickson), Maicer Izturis (2, Davis)
HR - Vernon Wells (4, Hellickson)
RBI - Vernon Wells (7)
CS - Howard Kendrick (1, 2nd base by Hellickson/Gimenez), Chris Iannetta (1, 2nd base by Hellickson/Gimenez)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
E - Maicer Izturis (1, Throwing)
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
C.J. Wilson (L,2-2) 76222111 2.42
Jason Isringhausen 1011410 2.35
IBB - Longoria by C.J. Wilson, Scott by Jason Isringhausen
Pitches-Strikes - C.J. Wilson 115-72, Jason Isringhausen 27-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C.J. Wilson 5-6, Jason Isringhausen 1-1
Batters Faced - C.J. Wilson 30, Jason Isringhausen 7
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, LF4010114 .260
Ben Zobrist, RF-2B4111001 .180
Carlos Pena, 1B4110033 .297
Evan Longoria, 3B2100210 .328
Jeff Keppinger, 2B3011002 .204
    Elliot Johnson, 2B-SS0000000 .091
B.J. Upton, CF4000032 .214
Luke Scott, DH3010110 .298
Sean Rodriguez, SS3010001 .208
   a- Matt Joyce, PH-RF0000100 .309
Chris Gimenez, C3000032 .313
   b- Brandon Allen, PH0001100 .000
    Jose Molina, C0000000 .235
Totals30363612  
a-walked for S. Rodriguez in the 8th
b-walked for Gimenez in the 8th
Batting
2B - Jeff Keppinger (3, Wilson)
HR - Ben Zobrist (3, Wilson)
SH - Elliot Johnson (1)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (8), Jeff Keppinger (3), Brandon Allen (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Keppinger (2), Brandon Allen (1)
SB - Desmond Jennings (4, 2nd base off Wilson/Iannetta), Ben Zobrist (1, 2nd base off Wilson/Iannetta), Carlos Pena (1, 2nd base off Wilson/Iannetta)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Gimenez-S. Rodriguez, Keppinger-S. Rodriguez-Pena
E - Chris Gimenez (1, Interference), Ben Zobrist (1, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jeremy Hellickson (W,3-0) 6511251 2.84
Wade Davis (H,2) 1100010 2.08
Joel Peralta (H,4) 1000110 9.45
Fernando Rodney (S,6) 1110000 1.08
Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hellickson 99-61, Wade Davis 14-9, Joel Peralta 18-8, Fernando Rodney 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hellickson 8-2, Wade Davis 1-1, Joel Peralta 1-1, Fernando Rodney 3-1
Batters Faced - Jeremy Hellickson 23, Wade Davis 4, Joel Peralta 4, Fernando Rodney 5
Game Information
Attendance - 14638
Game Time - 3:10
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Marty Foster, First Base - Tim Timmons, Second Base - Jeff Kellogg, Third Base - Eric Cooper