Washburn pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning as the Angels beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 2-1 Thursday night.
The defending World Series champions won for just the third time in eight games.
Washburn (5-5) struck out three, walked three and hit two batters over 6 2-3 innings in improving to 6-1 all-time against Tampa Bay.
“I didn’t have my best stuff,” Washburn said. “My location was off, but I found a way to get it done. I tried to throw strikes and make them put the ball in play.”
The left-hander worked out of jams in the fourth and fifth innings. The Devil Rays failed twice to get hits with two outs and runners on second and third.
“He had to work for it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Those guys had a lot of opportunities. He made some good pitches to get out of some jams, some key pitches.”
Brendan Donnelly worked the final 1 2-3 innings for his first save.
Garret Anderson had an RBI single during the Angels two-run, first inning. Anaheim had failed to score in the first in its previous 17 games.
Ben Grieve got the Devil Rays within 2-1 with a run-scoring grounder in the eighth.
Tampa Bay left 10 runners on, including seven in scoring position.
“We just didn’t score any runs,” Grieve said. “When we had opportunities, we didn’t take advantage of them.”
Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella declined to talk with reporters after the game. The Devil Rays are 2-7 in their last nine games.
It was an eventful night for plate umpire Charlie Reliford.
Angels designated hitter Brad Fullmer was ejected by Reliford after being called out trying to score in the sixth inning.
Fullmer smashed his helmet to the ground after being called out when Hall tagged him in the left-handed hitters’ batter’s box. He was immediately thrown out of the game by Reliford.
Fullmer later had to be restrained near the Angels’ dugout and continued yelling at Reliford from the dugout.
Reliford declined comment. More than an hour after the game, Fullmer was still working out and not available for comment.
“I thought he got his hand in there, but it’s a bang-bang play,” Scioscia said. “Charlie was running the plate. He didn’t see it that way and that’s that.”
Zambrano hit David Eckstein with a pitch in the second. Ben Grieve was hit by Washburn in the bottom of the inning.
Washburn hit Julio Lugo in the helmet during seventh with a runner on first and two outs. Lugo remained in the game.
No action was taken by the umpires, but Scioscia pulled Washburn in favor of Ben Weber.
“I felt terrible,” Washburn said. “It was the first time I ever hit anyone in the head.
After Weber’s wild pitch moved the runners to second and third, Rocco Baldelli flew out to end the inning.
Zambrano (1-3) allowed two runs and six hits over 5 2-3 innings in his first start since being called up from Triple-A Durham on May 23. He started the season as the Devil Rays’ No. 2 starter, but was sent to the minors May 9 after going 1-2 with a 6.29 ERA.
“I’m going to try and do my job and keep the team close,” Zambrano said.
Angels OF Darin Erstad (hamstring) is expected to leave Friday to start a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake. … RF Huff, who left Wednesday’s game after a fouling a ball of the side of his right knee, was the designated hitter. … Anaheim has won 12 of the last 14 meetings between the teams. … Tampa Bay 3B Damion Easley went 0-for-3 and has two hits in his last 39at-bats.