ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — After all the pregame talk about slow starts, the Los Angeles Angels went out and had another frustrating loss.
Brandon Allen hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the ninth and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Angels 4-3 on Thursday.
"When it rains, it pours," Los Angeles right fielder Torii Hunter said. "It's pouring down."
Jerome Williams pitched seven solid innings and Mark Trumbo homered and had two RBIs for the Angels, who have lost seven of nine.
"We need to play at a higher level and this team will," manager Mike Scioscia said. "You can't bury your head in the sand. There's issues that we have to take care of. But we have a lot of confidence in our team."
Allen, acquired April 19 off waivers from Oakland, homered off closer Jordan Walden (0-1) after B.J. Upton had a one-out single. Allen drew a bases-loaded walk in Wednesday night's 3-2 win over Los Angeles in his first Tampa Bay plate appearance.
"He came up with a big swing on a guy throwing 97," Hunter said.
Brandon Gomes (1-0) worked a 1-2-3 ninth, helping the Rays win their fifth straight game.
Albert Pujols went 1 for 4, ending his hitless streak at 21 at-bats when the Angels' slugger rolled a grounder up the middle to beat the Rays' three-man defensive shift. He was thrown out attempting to stretch the single into a double.
Pujols, with 445 homers, has not gone deep in 19 games this season, a span of 76 at-bats. Dating back to last Sept. 22, Pujols has not hit a home run in 105 at-bats, which ties his longest regular-season drought, which took place from April 23-May 23, 2011.
Williams allowed two runs and five hits. Trumbo hit his third homer this season in the fifth, and added an RBI double one inning later.