The Los Angeles Angels were hoping to salvage a series split against the Tampa Bay Rays, but not even an eight-run lead was able to hold up. The Rays won by a final score of 10-8 as they won their third straight at the Big A. Angel Stadium has turned into Tampa Bay's own personal playground, it seems.
Mike Trout led off the bottom of the first inning with his 23rd home run of the year to get the scoring started. Kendrys Morales and Mark Trumbo followed with RBI singles to quickly make it 3-0 Los Angeles.
The Halos tacked on another four runs in the second inning, thanks to RBI hits from Trout and Torii Hunter, followed by a two-run shot from Albert Pujols -- his 27th home run of the season. Trout tacked on another RBI single in the third to make it 8-0 Angels and seemed to provide more than enough run support for starter C.J. Wilson.
The fifth inning was where all hell broke loose, as Wilson coughed up seven runs in short order. Sam Fuld hit an RBI single to get Tampa Bay on the board and Desmond Jennings drew a bases-loaded walk. With two outs, Ben Zobrist hit a bases-clearing double to cut the Angels lead to 8-5 and Evan Longoria hit his sixth home run of the season to bring the Rays to within one.
Jose Lobaton knotted the game at 8-8 in the sixth with a sacrifice fly and Carlos Pena provided the dagger in the eighth with a big two-run homer off of Kevin Jepsen.
The Angels provided a glimmer of hope in the bottom of the ninth, as Rays closer Fernando Rodney was uncharacteristically wild. He hit Howie Kendrick with a pitch and walked Alberto Callaspo to put the tying runs on with one out. Rodney then threw a wild pitch to advance both runners to scoring position. Erick Aybar struck out swinging, after which pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis grounded out on the first pitch to end the rally and the game.
The Halos will try to avoid being swept in four straight games at home on Sunday afternoon.