After his team was on the wrong end of a perfect game for the third time in four seasons, Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon is confidently looking ahead.
A visit to Anaheim could help the Rays forget their latest dubious milestone.
Tampa Bay (63-54) is again a postseason contender, but became the first team in major league history to have three regular-season perfect games thrown against it after Seattle's Felix Hernandez struck out 12 in a 1-0 victory over the Rays on Wednesday.
The Rays are 2-2 in games immediately after being no-hit.
"We don't care how (the Rays are) feeling, or if they're scuffling, we have our own business to take care of," Los Angeles outfielder Mark Trumbo told the Angels' official website.
It would seem Tampa Bay has a good chance to bounce back at Los Angeles, where it's won nine of 11 and shut out the Angels (62-56) in the final two of a three-game set last month. Though the Rays have never posted three consecutive road shutouts against the same opponent, the Angels were blanked at home three straight times by Texas from July 6-Sept. 30, 1989.
The Rays have outscored Los Angeles 18-8 while winning five of six in 2012.
Price (15-4, 2.50 ERA), 3-2 with a 3.48 ERA in seven starts versus Los Angeles, tossed a five-hitter in a 5-0 home victory April 24.
The left-hander yielded two runs in seven innings of a 4-2 win at Minnesota on Saturday to improve to 7-0 with a 1.89 ERA in 10 starts since losing to the New York Mets on June 13. Price is 6-0 with a 2.50 ERA in eight road starts since losing at Yankee Stadium on May 10.
"Coming off my last one, I'm very eager to get back out there in Anaheim," he told the Rays' official website."They have a very good lineup."
Price gets his first look at star Angels rookie Mike Trout , who hit his 22nd homer in an 8-4 win over Cleveland on Thursday. Trout is batting an AL-best .340, but is 1 for 8 with three strikeouts against the Rays.
Trumbo is 4 for 9 with a homer versus Price.
Los Angeles is looking for a third straight victory after winning its first series since taking two of three from Kansas City July 23-25.
Scheduled starter Dan Haren (8-9, 4.68) allowed four runs in 18 innings while going 2-0 in his previous three starts before he was tagged for seven in 3 1-3 innings of a 7-4 home loss to Seattle on Saturday.
The right-hander has allowed at least one homer in nine straight starts overall, and one in 10 consecutive outings versus Tampa Bay, but is 7-3 with a 2.60 ERA in 12 starts against the Rays. He allowed a long ball to Jeff Keppinger in six innings of a 3-1 home win over Tampa Bay on July 27.
Rays star and southern California native Evan Longoria is 1 for 5 versus Haren, but he has batted .426 (20 for 47) with four homers and 13 RBIs in 13 games at Angel Stadium.
Longoria, however, is 1 for 14 with six strikeouts in his last four games overall.
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|August 05, 2012||Ben Zobrist||Day-to-Day||Left game - upper back spasms|
|July 21, 2012||Luke Scott||15-Day DL||Right oblique strain|
|July 21, 2012||Alex Cobb||Day-to-Day||Left game - right knee contusion|
|July 02, 2012||Hideki Matsui||Day-to-Day||Left game - left hamstring tightness|
|June 30, 2012||Jeremy Hellickson||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised right shin|
|June 29, 2012||David Price||Day-to-Day||Left game - lower back tightness|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|August 13, 2012||C.J. Wilson||Day-to-Day||Left game - bruised left hand|
|July 30, 2012||Dan Haren||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|July 30, 2012||Mark Trumbo||Day-to-Day||Back spasms|
|July 29, 2012||Mike Trout||Day-to-Day||Left knee contusion|
|July 29, 2012||Scott Downs||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|July 22, 2012||Erick Aybar||15-Day DL||Fractured big right toe|
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- As long as David Price stays healthy and keeps pitching like an All-Star, the Tampa Bay Rays are confident they can secure a wild-card berth - or even overtake the Yankees in the AL East.
Price pitched three-hit ball over seven innings for his AL-leading 16th victory and Tampa Bay got home runs from Evan Longoria , B.J. Upton and Ben Zobrist in a 7-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Price is 7-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his last nine road starts and 8-0 with a 1.72 ERA in his last 11 starts overall since a 9-1 home loss to the New York Mets on June 13.
"I feel like I've been throwing the ball well," Price said. "I've gotten a lot of runs early, and that makes my job a lot easier. I can go out there and attack the zone, make people put the ball in play and get early outs so I can go deep into games. I'm not worrying about any individual numbers or anything like that. I'm just trying to help us every five days to get to the postseason, and we'll take it from there."
Burke Badenhop and Wade Davis each pitched one inning in the Rays' third straight shutout against the Angels. The Halos have gone 32 consecutive innings without scoring against a staff that leads the AL in ERA, opponents' batting average and strikeouts.
Price (16-4) struck out eight, walked two and lowered his ERA to 2.39, third in the AL behind the Angels' Jered Weaver and Detroit's Justin Verlander . The left-hander allowed only two runners to third base, striking out Chris Iannetta to end the fifth inning and fanning Vernon Wells to escape the seventh.
"My game plan doesn't change," Price said. "I was trying to attack them the same way I would if it was a 1-0 game or a zero-zero game, so my game plan doesn't change no matter how many runs we score or give up. With that offense they have over there, all it takes is one bad inning and they're right back in the game."
Dan Haren (8-10) threw 61 pitches in 3 1-3 innings and gave up five runs and seven hits, including Zobrist's 13th homer and Upton's 14th. The three-time All-Star has surrendered 22 homers in his 22 starts, two more than he gave up last season in 34 starts.
Haren has allowed at least one home run in 10 consecutive starts and 15 total during a streak that began when Colorado hit four against him on June 9 at Coors Field - all solo shots in Haren's 11-5 victory. The last time the right-hander didn't give up a homer was June 3 against Texas.
"I'm leaving just too many mistakes up in the zone, and that's usually what homers come from," Haren said. "I've been able to keep them mostly to solo home runs, and those usually won't kill you. But the big innings will. I'll have a couple of good starts, and then I'll disappear for a while. So I have to be more consistent and give the team a better chance to win."
Tampa Bay, which lost 1-0 at Seattle on Wednesday as Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game, had a streak of 34 consecutive batters retired before Zobrist's one-out homer in the second.
"You cannot permit yesterday to cause a hangover. I really don't believe in that stuff," manager Joe Maddon said. "The thing I love about our group is that we don't let it both us, and we shouldn't. So when David pitches a game like this, he permits you to get it going offensively. I was really proud of our boys tonight after yesterday's difficult game."
Zobrist drove a 2-2 pitch into the first row of seats above the 18-foot wall in right-center, and Angels manager Mike Scioscia came out to argue that a fan interfered with the ball. But the ruling by second base ump Al Porter stood after a video review.
Upton triggered a four-run fourth with a drive into the left-field bullpen, one of six hits Haren surrendered during the inning. Jeff Keppinger hit a two-run single and Ryan Roberts made it 5-0 with a sacrifice fly before Jose Molina chased Haren with a two-out single. It was the second straight start in which the three-time All-Star failed to get through the fourth.
Longoria increased the margin to 7-0 in the fifth with his fifth homer of the season and first in 115 at-bats since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 7. The Rays are 8-2 since his return after going 41-44 while he was sidelined with a partially torn left hamstring.
"Just having him in the lineup is a big factor for us because that other pitcher know where he's at - whether he's on deck or in the hole. And that helps everybody else," Price said. "The guys that are hitting behind him are going to have more opportunities to drive in runs, and the guys hitting in front of him and going to get more good pitches to hit and get him up with runners on base."
NOTES: The last two times a pitcher threw a perfect game against the Rays, they responded with an 8-4 stretch following Mark Buehrle 's in 2009, and an 8-2 stretch following Dallas Braden 's in 2010. ... Weaver gets a chance to tie Price again for the league lead in wins on Friday night when he opposes James Shields . ... Haren's only other outing against the Rays this season was on July 27, when he beat them 3-1 at Anaheim. ... Tampa Bay's starting pitchers are 11-2 with a 1.57 ERA over the team's last 18 games. ... The Rays came in leading the majors leading the AL with a .233 opponents' batting average, after doing so in each of the previous two seasons. The last club to accomplish a three-peat in that department was Detroit (1983-85). ... Tampa Bay's bullpen has a 0.88 ERA over the last 26 games, compared to a 5.90 ERA by the Angels' bullpen during that same stretch. ... Maddon, who was Scioscia's former bench coach in Anaheim, has 559 wins with the Rays during the regular season - 41 more than the franchise had in its eight seasons before he got the job in 2006.