Apr 8, 2024; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels third base Luis Rengifo (2) beats the throw to Tampa Bay Rays second base Curtis Mead (25) for a stolen base in the sixth inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Fall Flat Against Angles in First of Three-game Series

The Tampa Bay Rays (5-6) struggled both offensively and defensively Monday night, falling 7-1 in the first of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels (6-4).

Mound Mishaps

After a quick three and out offensively for the Rays, Zach Eflin took the mound.

It only took two pitches for Anthony Rendon, who was hitting .094 before the game, to get on base.

After the Rays got an out, it was Mike Trout‘s turn in the batter’s box. On the 2-2 pitch, he hit the ball to right field bringing in Rendon and getting an RBI triple. This was the first time he drove in a man that wasn’t himself this season.

The top of the first inning didn’t end there. Fourth batter Taylor Ward hit a ground ball to the left side bringing in Trout and earning an RBI single. The Angels ended the bottom of the first up 2-0.

After what seemed like a good recovery by Eflin, Trout was up in the bottom of the third inning with two away. On the 2-2 count, he drilled one deep into center field for a solo home run, his fifth homer of the year.

Luckless Rays

Tampa found itself in a great position at the top of the fourth with a runner on second and third.

On the 3-2 pitch with one away, Amed Rosario hit a ball to first.

Brandon Drury made a miraculous catch that saved the Angels from giving up two runs.

The Rays couldn’t recover, and Curtis Mead hit a fly ball to center that was easily caught by Trout leaving two runners in scoring positions.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Angels had runners on second and third with two away. On the 3-1 count, Ward hit to shallow right field. Rosario could not get there in time, and Los Angeles brought in two more runs to make it 5-0. 

Angels Finish Strong

Tyler Anderson became the first Angels pitcher in franchise history to begin a season with consecutive seven plus innings pitched without allowing a single run. Although he gave up four hits, he was able to recover when it mattered most and take care of business. Anderson finished the night with three strikeouts.

In the bottom of the eighth, Mickey Moniak hit a single to right field bringing in Rendon to make it 7-0. 

The Rays would earn a consolation run in the ninth. Isaac Paredes hit a grounder to the shortstop.

Although Harold Ramírez scored a run, the Angels were happy to make a double play to make it two away. Mead would hit right to Moniak two at bats later to end the game. 

Up Next

The Tampa Bay Rays have a chance to recover tonight against Los Angeles in the second game of the three-game series. Right-handed pitcher Aaron Civale is expected to start for Tampa against left-handed pitcher Patrick Sandoval.

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