Tampa Bay (18-28) at Los Angeles (22-23)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Anaheim, CA
Temp: 71° F
  • Game info: 10:05 pm EDT Fri May 23, 2003
  • TV: WPXM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

After two heartbreaking losses, the defending World Series champion Anaheim Angels look to get back to .500 as they host the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the opener of a three-game series at Edison Field.

The Angels had climbed a game above the .500-mark before dropping the final two games of their three-game set with the Baltimore Orioles.

Two unearned runs cost Anaheim in Wednesday’s 7-6 loss and things got worse for the Angels on Thursday.

Closer Troy Percival came into the game with a 4-3 lead, loaded the bases and surrendered a grand slam to little-known second baseman Brian Roberts in a 7-4 loss.

Angels ace Jarrod Washburn, who has never lost to the Devil Rays, will try to turn things around on Friday. The left-hander is 5-0 with a 3.35 ERA in seven career starts against Tampa Bay. Washburn, who began the season on the disabled list, is 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA over his last four starts.

The Devil Rays are reeling after getting swept in three games by the Texas Rangers. Tampa Bay starter Seth McClung gave up seven runs and six hits over 3 1-3 innings in Thursday’s 10-8 loss.

First baseman Aubrey Huff continued his hot-hitting with his 13th home run for the Devil Rays. Huff, 26, homered in two of the three losses against the Rangers to give him nine homers in May.

STANDINGS: Devil Rays - 5th place, 10 1/2 GB, AL East. Angels - 3rd place, 7 1/2 GB, AL West.

DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Jeremi Gonzalez (0-1, 2.57 ERA). Gonzalez is making his second start of the season. The 28-year-old right-hander lost his first start despite allowing only two runs over seven innings in a 2-0 loss to Baltimore on Saturday.

ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Washburn (4-4, 3.52 ERA). Washburn went seven innings, allowing one earned run and seven hits, to earn a 6-2 win over Boston on Saturday. Opponents are hitting just .210 against him.

OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .328 avg. and 29 RBIs; Huff, 13 HRs and 32 runs; Carl Crawford, 12 SBs. Angels - Tim Salmon and Garret Anderson, .319 avg.; Troy Glaus, 10 HRs and 29 runs; Anderson, 39 RBIs; Adam Kennedy, 9 SBs.

2002 SEASON SERIES: Angels, 8-1.

STREAKS AND NOTES: Devil Rays - Lou Piniella managed his 2,500th career game Thursday. He’s the 26th manager to reach the milestone. Among active skippers, only Tony La Russa (3,684), Bobby Cox (3,258) and Joe Torre (3,078) have managed more games. Piniella has a career record of 1,337-1,163. … Tampa Bay’s 5.46 team ERA is the second highest in the AL. … OF Baldelli went 0-for-13 against Texas to lower his batting average from .353 to .328. Angels - RHP Percival had converted all seven of his opportunities before Thursday’s blown save. … RHP Brendan Donnelly allowed his first earned run of the season on Thursday. He had held opponents scoreless over his first 20 appearances. He has a 0.36 era in 25 1-3 innings. … OF Anderson has 11 home runs in 57 career games against the Devil Rays.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Devil Rays - 8-16 on the road; Angels - 13-11 at home.

INJURIES: Devil Rays - IF Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; OF Ben Grieve (thumb), 15-day DL; OF Damian Rolls (thumb), 15-day DL; RHP Steve Parris (shoulder), 15-day DL; LHP Bobby Seay (shoulder), 15-day DL. Angels - OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL.

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Starting Pitchers

G. Gonzalez Tor vs. J. Washburn Det
6-11 Record 10-15
3.91 ERA 4.43
97 K 118
69 BB 54
1.28 WHIP 1.25