Tampa Bay erased a three-run deficit by scoring three times in the sixth inning and three more times in the seventh en route to an 8-6 triumph over the Angels.
The Angels won the World Series last season with timely hitting, but it was the
who used a series of clutch hits to rally against Anaheim starter
delivered a two-out, game-tying two-run single in the sixth and
plated the go-ahead run with a two-strike base hit later in the frame.
Tampa Bay, which snapped a seven-game home losing streak to Anaheim, scored three more times in the seventh, getting a two-run single by
and a sacrifice fly by
(1-4) notched his first major league victory, allowing four runs and three hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out two.
"I'm relieved, happy and excited," Brazelton said. "It's great. I felt worse than I have in other starts. I was having a hard time getting it going to where I needed to be."
"He gave up that three-run home run (in the second inning), then he got himself in a rhythm and pitched much better," Tampa Bay manager
said. "We asked him to pick up the pace a little bit. We wanted him to get the ball and get ready to throw it out there. Taking more time against the hitters gives them more time to think and gives the pitcher more time to think instead of executing."
Lackey allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. He walked three, struck out seven and allowed more than two earned runs for the first time in four starts.
"I thought John had good stuff tonight," Angels manager
said. "He was real strong, sometimes too strong. He was ahead on the count to (Ben) Grieve and some others and couldn't put them away. Some things slipped away a bit. ... He pitched a lot better than it's going to show. The offense gave us a chance to win and we didn't put it away."
"I felt strong the whole night, felt good," Lackey said. "The strikeouts are great, but I'd rather have the win. I had just as good stuff tonight as the last time. They hit about two balls hard, they're a scrappy team and that makes things happen. They found some holes in some big spots. Nine out of 10 times, I would've won the game with the stuff I had."
Anaheim staked Lackey to a 3-0 lead in the second on
's three-run homer. It was the second baseman's third homer of the season - two of which have come against Tampa Bay in the last week.
Tampa Bay got a run in the bottom of the second on a two-out single by Easley and added another run in the fourth when Lackey balked home Grieve.
Anaheim pushed across a run in the sixth on a groundout by
, but the
rallied in the bottom of the inning.
Grieve walked with one out and
doubled off the right field wall. Lackey appeared to get a big out when Hall lined to shortstop, but
walked on a 3-2 pitch and Easley blooped a two-run single into center field. Crawford then made it 5-4 with a soft base hit up the middle, finishing Lackey.
"You just do what you can do when you're in there," Easley said. "It's good to get back-to-back starts. Hopefully, I can build on this."
Tyner had a two-run single for a 7-4 lead and Hall gave Tampa Bay a four-run cushion with a sacrifice fly.
Anaheim attempted to rally in the eighth, putting two aboard with none out. But
got the next three batters without allowing the ball to leave the infield, minimizing the damage to one run.
The Angels got a leadoff double in the ninth and
made it 8-6 with a base hit. But
got the next three batters to earn his 11th save in 15 opportunities.