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Rays falling into hole in playoff race 
By earjerseyqq153 on Apr 29, 2014 06:37 AM
Rays falling into hole in playoff race

Richards worked around a careerhigh seven walks over five innings and Erick Aybar drove in four runs, helping the Los Angeles Angels beat the skidding Rays 112 on Monday night.

Richards (56) gave up a run and two hits while striking out six in the opener of a fourgame series. The seven walks matched Richards' total from his previous five starts combined, but the Rays stranded eight runners while he was in the game and 12 altogether.

can look at the final score and all that stuff, but we saw 103 pitches while he was in there and only had two hits. That's where our biggest problem is right now, manager Joe Maddon said. putting so much pressure on the pitching staff right now by not scoring runs, and we need to get better. Whenever you don't hit, you look flat. So I think it's more a case of pressing than anything else. Zobrist drove in both of Tampa Bay's runs with homer in the first inning and an RBI single in the sixth. The Rays, coming off a threegame sweep by Oakland, have lost five straight and eight of nine to fall 61/2 games behind AL Eastleading Boston their largest deficit since July 7. Just nine games ago, they were tied with the Red Sox.

frustrating. We're in a bad stretch and we've got to turn it around, Zobrist said. things happen during the season at times, so you just have to fight through it and stay positive. Bay loaded the bases twice against Richards without a hit either time and failed to score in each situation.

In the second, Richards retired David DeJesus on a grounder to first after a pair of twoout walks and an error by rookie third baseman Luis Jimenez on Yunel Escobar's grounder. Richards walked three more in the fifth before striking out rookie Wil Myers on a full count with his 27th pitch of the inning.

Richards' walk total was the highest by an Angels pitcher since May 25, 2012, when Ervin Santana issued seven free passes in a fiveinning nodecision at Seattle.

easy to pitch when you've got good stuff, but it's another thing to go out there and compete and battle when you don't have your good stuff, teammate Josh Hamilton said. control wasn't there, but he battled through it and got out of some jams. That says a lot about him and his growth. It's going to do him well in the future. Chris Archer (86) threw 90 pitches in 3 23 innings, giving up five runs and nine hits in a rematch of his 41 victory against Richards last Wednesday at St. Petersburg, Fla. The righthander's outing was the secondshortest of his 22 big league starts.

The Angels, who have won nine of 10, http://www.canadiensofficialonline.com/Authentic-Larry-Robinson-Jersey took a 21 lead in the third on an RBI single by rookie Kole Calhoun. Archer kept the damage to a minimum, retiring Jimenez on a fielder's http://www.canadiensofficialonline.com/Authentic-Serge-Savard-Jersey choice grounder to shortstop with the bases loaded after an intentional walk to Hank Conger.

But Los Angeles got three more Larry Robinson M Jersey in the fourth. Shuck's groundout, and the switchhitting Aybar pulled a 32 pitch down the rightfield line for his fifth homer.

up to that, I hadn't controlled the damage very well and they had a lot of twostrike hits, Archer said. felt really good. I just wasn't executing when I needed to. Basically I tried to do too much. It's a little disheartening because it was a game we really needed to win. When I take the mound, I definitely don't expect to go less than four innings. I should have done a lot better. Angels extended the margin to 102 with a fiverun sixth Serge Savard L Jersey that included Aybar's tworun triple against Brandon Gomes, basesloaded RBI singles by Conger and Peter Bourjos, and Jimenez's sacrifice fly.

Aybar's four RBIs tied a career high for the shortstop, who also drove in four against the Rays in a 65 victory last Tuesday at Tropicana Field including a goahead tworun double in the ninth against closer Fernando Rodney.

talked after the AllStar break about being kind of a thorn in peoples' sides, and whether we win or lose make them feel like they've earned it, Hamilton said. what we've done the last couple of weeks. the second batter Richards faced, hit his 11th home run before the Angels responded in the bottom half with Hamilton's RBI single after Mike Trout singled and stole his 30th base. Trout, who turned 22 on Aug. 7, became the youngest player in major league history with two seasons of at least 20 homers and 30 steals.

Things got so bad for the Rays, outfielder Sam Fuld was used as a reliever for the first time in his career and retired Shuck on a fly to center on five pitches with runners at second and third. He became the third position player in franchise history to pitch in a game, joining Wade Boggs (1999) and Josh Wilson (2007) .

was looking to boost morale somehow, Maddon said. told Sammy before the inning began: 'Go down there and we'll see what's going to happen.' Once they set it up, and here comes Shuck with two outs, I thought it was the right time to do it.

Grant Green capped the scoring in the seventh with his first major league homer while batting for Aybar. It was the first home run by an Angels pinch hitter at the A since Aug. 15, 2011, by Russell Branyan against Texas' Alexi Ogando.The Rays will activate LHP Matt Moore (143) from the disabled list Tuesday and start him against Jason Vargas. The firsttime AllStar, who missed the entire month of August because of elbow soreness, won six consecutive outings before getting a nodecision his previous time out on July 28 at Yankee Stadium. . Tampa Bay RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who was optioned to Class A Charlotte on Aug. 27, rejoined his teammates in the clubhouse before the game and will officially be added to the roster on Tuesday. He'll start on Wednesday night. wasn't very much fun, to say the least, said Hellickson, 108 with a 5.28 ERA. just one start that I've missed, and I guess I'm motivated to get back out there.
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