Game No. 42: Los Angeles Angels (22-19) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (19-24)

By Jose Serrano

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a matter of time before the Angels’ inefficient clutch hitting led to a shutout. Chris Archer and the Tampa Bay bullpen became the first team to blank the Halos, stranding 10 men on base in a 3-0 win Friday night.

Albert Pujols is 6-for-42 over the last 10 games, Mike Trout doesn’t have a multi-hit game since April 28, and the Angels carry a .233 batting average with RISP. Still, they’ve won six of the last eight mainly on the strength of a vastly-improved pitching staff.

While Rays relievers carry a 6.50 ERA over the last 11 games-including Thursday night’s meltdown at Angel Stadium- the Halos’ bullpen allowed just six runs over the last eight games. Their .227 opponent batting average is second only to Oakland in the American League.

Pitching Matchup: C.J. Wilson (4-3, 3.69 ERA) vs. Cesar Ramos (1-2, 3.71 ERA)

Coming off his worst outing since an Opening Week loss to Seattle, C.J. Wilson searches for his first win over Tampa Bay since 2011. Wilson yielded five runs and three walks over six innings in a loss to Toronto last Monday.

Strikeouts haven’t been a problem for the left-hander who averages 9.1 per nine inning. Wilson’s struggles lay in locating the strike zone. Only 65 of 116 pitches against the Blue Jays went for strikes, and his two home runs allowed were the most since an April 19 start in Detroit.

Cesar Ramos is coming off a 12-5 loss to Seattle last Monday in which he allowed a career-worst 11 hits and nine runs. The 29-year-old is vying for a solidified starting role after a flux of injuries have Matt Moore, Jeremy Hellickson, and Alex Cobb sidelined.

Ramos’ few outings against the Angels haven’t garnered much success. He’s given up three earned runs through 2 2/3 innings split throughout five relief appearances.

Walk offs:

  1. Wilson is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in his last four starts against the Rays.
  2. The Angels have a major league-leading 14 triples this season.
  3. Tampa Bay has won 13 of the last 19 meetings between the teams, dating back to 2012.

TV: 6:05 p.m. Fox Sports West, Sun Sports

Radio: KLAA 830, WDAE 620 AM/ 95.3 FM