The defending World Series champion Anaheim Angels hope to put an end to their season-high five-game losing streak as they complete a two-game set with the lowly Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Tropicana Field.
After getting swept in four straight at Baltimore over the weekend, the Angels dropped Monday’s series opener 3-2.
This is Anaheim’s longest losing streak since the Angels dropped six straight from April 8-13 last year. The Angels had won 12 of 16 before the All-Star break, including each of their last five games.
“We’re in a little dark spot right now,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think once we get back into our game, as we were before the break, we’ll get on a run.”
Ramon Ortiz will start for Anaheim on Tuesday after absorbing a 2-1 loss at Baltimore on Thursday.
The right-hander allowed just two runs and six hits in six innings, but was deprived of his 50th career victory. Ortiz is the first Angels pitcher to post 11 wins by the All-Star break since Chuck Finley and Mark Langston had 12 apiece before the 1991 Midsummer Classic. He is 7-2 with a 3.33 ERA over his last nine starts.
“You don’t win every day. I just keep the team in the game,” Ortiz said. “Sometimes you pitch good and you don’t win. That’s baseball.”
Garret Anderson, the Home Run Derby champion and All-Star game MVP, stretched his hitting streak to a season-high 13 games Monday. The Angels’ left fielder is batting .400 (20-for-50) with four homers and 13 RBIs during the run.
The Devil Rays, who won their second in a row and third in five games since the break, will send left-hander Joe Kennedy to the mound.
Kennedy is 0-5 with a 7.39 ERA in six career starts against the Angels, including two losses this season.
He is also looking to halt his personal three-game losing streak following Thursday’s 12-6 home defeat to Texas. Kennedy gave up seven earned runs and nine hits over 4 2-3 innings in his second start back from shoulder injury.
“I just left the ball up, I couldn’t hit my spots and get the ball down,” Kennedy said. “Pitching is all about rhythm. It’s only my second start back.”
STANDINGS: Angels - 3rd place, 9 1/2 GB, AL West. Devil Rays - 5th place, 25 1/2 GB, AL East.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Ortiz (11-7. 4.34 ERA). Ortiz is 4-1 with a 3.68 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels.
DEVIL RAYS PROBABLE STARTER: Kennedy (3-6, 6.08 ERA). Kennedy hasn’t won since May 13 at Toronto. He is 0-3 in his last five starts.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Angels - Anderson, .319, 23 HRs and 84 RBIs; Anderson, Tim Salmon and Troy Glaus, 53 runs; David Eckstein and Adam Kennedy, 11 SBs. Devil Rays - Rocco Baldelli, .305 avg.; Aubrey Huff, 18 HRs, 55 RBIs; Baldelli and Huff, 51 runs; Carl Crawford, 23 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Angels, 5-3.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Angels - 3B Glaus left Monday’s game with a bruised right shoulder during the third inning. He is listed as day-to-day. Glaus struck out in his only at-bat. He has just 17 hits in his last 114 at-bats. … Angels pitchers have allowed 24 earned runs in their last 33 innings after allowing only seven in their previous 44. … RHP Mickey Callaway, who has been on the DL since June 6 with a right shoulder injury, is scheduled to be activated Wednesday. Devil Rays - 1B Travis Lee is batting .417 (15-for-36) over his last 11 games with two homers and nine RBIs. … DH Ben Grieve, who has a small blood clot in his upper right arm, is scheduled to see vascular surgeon Greg Pearl on Tuesday in Dallas. … The Devil Rays have had a major league-high 57 games decided by two runs or less. Tampa Bay is 26-31 in those games.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Angels - 20-28 on the road; Devil Rays - 22-30 at home.
INJURIES: Angels - 3B Glaus (shoulder), day-to-day; 1B Brad Fullmer (knee), 15-day DL; RHP Callaway (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL. Devil Rays - SS Rey Ordonez (knee), 15-day DL; OF Grieve (blood clot), 15-day DL; RHP Seth McClung (elbow), 60-day DL.