Angels hold on to defeat Rays, 5-3

Josh Hamilton
Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton hits a home run during the third inning of the Angels’ 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday.
(Eve Edelheit / MCT)

KEY MOMENT: The Rays loaded the bases with no outs in the ninth when Cole Figueroa singled, Brandon Guyer walked and Angels shortstop Erick Aybar threw late to second on Kevin Kiermaier’s fielder’s-choice grounder. But Huston Street struck out Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist with sliders and got Matt Joyce to fly out to center for his fifth save as an Angel. “You try to make the next pitch — it’s the motto I’ve tried to live by,” Street said. “If you focus on ‘Bases loaded, no one out, 2-0 pitch,’ the odds say you’re gonna get beat. If you focus on ‘Make my pitch down and away, one pitch at a time,’ the odds are always in your favor.”

AT THE PLATE: Josh Hamilton, who hit a solo homer in the third and singled in the fifth, was hit in the left middle finger by a Jeff Beliveau fastball in the seventh. X-rays showed a small fracture, “but I had a fracture in it a few years ago, and they’re not sure if it’s the old one or a new one,” Hamilton said. The finger swelled and went numb, but the pain subsided to where Hamilton, who started at designated hitter, said he could have batted in the 10th if needed. “In my mind, I’m day to day,” Hamilton said. “We’ll see how it feels [Saturday]. If it’s hurting tremendously and I can’t throw or grip a bat, it’s a different story.”

ON THE MOUND: Setup men Joe Smith and Kevin Jepsen, who each threw scoreless innings Friday, have combined to give up two earned runs in 58 innings of their last 61 combined games for a 0.31 earned-run average. Relievers have given up one run in 321/3 innings of the last seven games. Starter Matt Shoemaker (9-3) said he “wasn’t too good out there,” but he threw well enough to win, giving up three runs — two earned — and eight hits in five innings.

COLLISION COURSE: On one wacky play in the fifth, the Angels gift-wrapped two runs for the Rays and caught a huge break that prevented further damage. With runners on second and third and two outs, Angels third baseman David Freese bobbled Evan Longoria’s chopper. But instead of tagging Joyce, who nearly ran into him on his way to third, Freese made an off-balance wild throw past first. Both runners scored, pulling the Rays to within 4-3, but as Longoria rounded first he ran into umpire Larry Vanover and fell to the ground. That gave right fielder Kole Calhoun just enough time to gun down Longoria at second to end the inning.


EXTRA BASES: Pujols’ first-inning double was the 549th of his career, tying him with Chipper Jones for 25th on baseball’s all-time list. … The Angels recalled starter Michael Roth from double A to replace Tyler Skaggs because Roth can provide length in the bullpen.

UP NEXT: Left-hander C.J. Wilson (8-6, 4.33 ERA) will oppose Tampa Bay right-hander Chris Archer (6-6, 3.37) at Tropicana Field on Saturday at 4 p.m. PDT. On the air: TV: FS West. Radio: 710, 830.

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