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Pujols' three hits leads Angels over Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Angels are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Zack Greinke, the latest addition to their All-Star rotation.

Dan Haren has a pretty good idea how Greinke is going to feel when he makes his Angels debut.

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Haren allowed five hits in six-plus innings and struck out six in a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, hours after Los Angeles acquired Greinke in a trade that sent rookie shortstop Jean Segura and Double-A pitchers Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg to Milwaukee.

The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to start Sunday for the Angels.

"He's a guy I've admired for a while. He's the definition of electric stuff -- which is the opposite of me," Haren said after winning his second straight start since coming off the disabled list. "My game is more command, and his game is command and having a wide arsenal of pitches. I've seen him throw many times, and it's going to be exciting when he comes in here and throws that first game. I remember I was really excited when I did here, so I'm sure he's going to be amped up."

Jeff Keppinger had three hits in three at-bats against Haren, including a home run in the second and a leadoff double in the seventh that made him 7 for 14 against the right-hander.

Haren faced one more batter after that, issuing his only walk of the game to Carlos Pena. Kevin Jepsen retired Ryan Roberts and Jose Lobaton on fly balls before striking out Elliot Johnson.

"At that point, there's not a whole lot of leeway. So you just go after guys," Jepsen said. "That's the thing about coming on in the late innings -- anytime you have a bad outing, you're spoiling somebody else's good outing. But you can't think about that. Once you get the first out, then you've got to bear down on the second guy. And when you get three outs and they tell you your night's over, you take a deep breath."

Tampa Bay got four other runners as far as second base, but came up empty each time and finished 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. The Rays are batting .183 in those situations since the All-Star break.

"We've talked about it. It's the same story. The opportunities are out there. We just have to do better," manager Joe Maddon said. "I felt good about Ryan hitting under those circumstances, and I thought Lopie had a really good at-bat, too. Jepsen looked like he was a little more frisky than he had been in the past, a little more aggressive, and he did a nice job."

Albert Pujols had three hits, including a two-run double, to help the Angels snap a six-game losing streak against the Rays. Scott Downs pitched a scoreless eighth and Ernesto Frieri worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save in as many opportunities.

Alex Cobb (4-8) gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings without walking a batter. The 24-year-old right-hander, returning to the site of his first major league victory last June, left his previous start last Saturday against Seattle after two innings because of a bruised right leg. He is 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA in six starts since pitching two-hit ball over seven innings in a 3-0 victory against the Marlins on June 17.

The Angels had runners at the corners in the first when pitching coach Jim Hickey went out to talk with Cobb after just 17 pitches and a 1-0 count on Mark Trumbo -- who then grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"Jim's really good at coming out and taking your mind off everything and focus on one particular thing," Cobb said. "He's got a good feel. He knows when things are speeding up out there on the mound and getting out of hand, and they were. He saw me getting under the ball a little bit, so he told me: `This is a good double-play candidate, so keep the ball down and make him hit it on the ground."'

The Angels scored all their runs and grabbed a 3-1 lead in the third with four consecutive two-out hits, including Pujols' two-run double off the glove of a diving Sam Fuld in left field and an RBI single by Trumbo. AL batting leader Mike Trout started the rally with a single before Torii Hunter reached on a perfectly placed bunt single between third base and the mound.

"When you get two outs, you need to close the inning down," Cobb said. "I'm not too mad about the bunt. I'm more mad about getting behind on Trout and putting him in a hitter's count. But overall I felt good. I've been struggling the last couple of games with my fastball command, and I felt that was there tonight. I was able to get ahead most of the game, and when you're in the driver's seat, it makes pitching a lot easier."

Keppinger opened the scoring in the second with his fourth homer, marking the seventh straight start in which Haren has given up a home run. It was the 18th allowed by the three-time All-Star in his 19 starts, just two fewer than he served up in 34 starts last year.

"They came out really aggressive," Haren said. "They had a first-pitch homer by Keppinger, and they were swinging early. So I went primarily to softer stuff, just to get them off balance. We scratched out a couple of runs and the bullpen did great."

Downs retired pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad with two on in the eighth.

Notes

  • Tampa Bay sold the signing rights of 1B-OF Brandon Allen to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Central League. The Rays acquired him off waivers from Oakland on April 19.
  • Joyce is 0 for 13 against Haren, and Zobrist is 3 for 24.
  • The Rays' six-game errorless streak is their longest this season and four shy of the franchise record. But they have committed 76 errors, three more than they had in 2011.
 
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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Albert Pujols' two-run double highlights the Angels' three-run third inning in their win against the Rays.  (AP)
Albert Pujols' two-run double highlights the Angels' three-run third inning in their win against the Rays. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Pujols
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

J. Keppinger
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Sam Fuld, LF3010000 .500
   a- Desmond Jennings, PH-LF1010000 .239
B.J. Upton, CF4000012 .244
Ben Zobrist, 2B-RF4010010 .246
Matt Joyce, RF3000021 .275
   b- Brooks Conrad, PH-2B1000001 .138
Jeff Keppinger, DH4131000 .330
Carlos Pena, 1B3000121 .193
Ryan Roberts, 3B4000012 .246
Jose Lobaton, C3000002 .231
Elliot Johnson, SS3000022 .253
Totals3316119  
a-singled for Fuld in the 8th
b-popped out for Joyce in the 8th
Batting
2B - Sam Fuld (2, Haren), Ben Zobrist (24, Haren), Jeff Keppinger (8, Haren)
HR - Jeff Keppinger (4, Haren)
RBI - Jeff Keppinger (20)
SB - Jeff Keppinger (1, 2nd base off Haren/Wilson)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Sam Fuld 1
DP - Zobrist-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Alex Cobb (L,4-8) 7833030 4.93
Kyle Farnsworth 1100020 5.63
WP - Kyle Farnsworth (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Alex Cobb 93-65, Kyle Farnsworth 14-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alex Cobb 11-4, Kyle Farnsworth 1-0
Batters Faced - Alex Cobb 26, Kyle Farnsworth 4
Los Angeles Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Mike Trout, CF-LF4110012 .354
Torii Hunter, RF4120002 .281
Albert Pujols, 1B4132011 .282
Mark Trumbo, LF3011012 .307
    Peter Bourjos, CF0000000 .230
Kendrys Morales, DH3000010 .272
Alberto Callaspo, 3B3000000 .254
Howard Kendrick, 2B3000010 .274
Maicer Izturis, SS3000000 .232
Bobby Wilson, C3020000 .224
Totals3039305  
Batting
2B - Albert Pujols (26, Cobb)
RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (63), Mark Trumbo (69)
2-OUT RBI - Albert Pujols 2 (18), Mark Trumbo (17)
SB - Torii Hunter (4, 2nd base off Farnsworth/Lobaton), Albert Pujols (7, 2nd base off Cobb/Lobaton)
CS - Albert Pujols (1, 3rd base by Cobb/Lobaton)
Team LOB - 3
Los Angeles Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Dan Haren (W,8-8) 6511161 4.59
Kevin Jepsen (H,6) 1000010 4.41
Scott Downs (H,17) 1100010 2.57
Ernesto Frieri (S,12) 1000010 1.50
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 97-60, Kevin Jepsen 19-11, Scott Downs 9-7, Ernesto Frieri 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 6-6, Scott Downs 1-1, Ernesto Frieri 1-1
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 24, Kevin Jepsen 3, Scott Downs 4, Ernesto Frieri 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40136
Game Time - 2:33
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Gerry Davis, First Base - Phil Cuzzi, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Manny Gonzalez