Rays beat Greinke, complete 4-game sweep of Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays made Felix Hernandez's perfect game look even more impressive by roughing up the Los Angeles Angels during an impressive four-game series sweep.
Matt Moore shrugged off home runs by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to win his fourth straight decision, and the Rays beat the fading Angels 8-3 on Sunday.
Tampa Bay tagged Zack Greinke (1-2) and outscored the Angels 37-14 in the series — setting a franchise record for runs in a four-game set. The offensive barrage immediately followed Hernandez's gem for the Mariners on Wednesday.
"I really believe that's a testament to our players and the way they are able to put things in the trash can immediately afterwards if something bad happens," manager Joe Maddon said. "If you carry negativity around with you, nothing good can happen. So we just put it in our rearview mirror, then came out and played great down here."
Angels starting pitchers were 2-6 with a 7.57 ERA and allowed 13 homers during their 10-game homestand, forcing an injury-depleted bullpen to eat up 35 1-3 innings. In this series, Greinke, Dan Haren, Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson combined to give up 27 earned runs and six homers in 17 1-3 innings.
"I have all the respect in the world for them and their pitchers, but they had to face David Price, James Shields, Alex Cobb and Matt Moore — and they didn't even get a chance to see Jeremy Hellickson," Maddon said. "I mean, they're good and they're formidable, but you have to beat good teams and good pitching to go to the promised land."
Ryan Roberts hit a two-run homer and Matt Joyce and Carlos Pena also drove in two runs apiece for the Rays. Tampa Bay won the season series 9-1 for its best showing against the Angels in the club's 15-year history.
Saturday night's 10-8 win, which Pena helped decide with a pinch-hit two-run homer in the eighth inning against Kevin Jepsen, made the Rays the first visiting team to beat the Angels after trailing by at least eight runs.
"Tampa had grit. We had them down 8-0 yesterday and they just didn't give up," Los Angeles outfielder Torii Hunter said. "That's a good ballclub over there, and their pitching staff is even better. They've probably got one of the best teams in the league, and they did what they had to do. They came in here and took four from us, which is tough to do with the ballclub we have. But the way we're playing right now, it's not hard."
The Angels are a season-worst nine games out of first place in the AL West after their 13th loss in 18 games, and trail Baltimore by 4½ games for the second wild card in the AL.
"We've just got to wait our turn. Things have been going the other team's way lately, and the results have not been good, but we're just going to keep fighting," Hunter said. "I'm disappointed in the way we're playing, but we do have heart. We're going to play the game the right way and let things take its course."