Devil Rays 6, Angels 3
“He’s been a clutch hitter for us all season,” Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “What he did tonight didn’t surprise me.”
Wigginton hit a two-run shot off Santana to tie it at 2 in the sixth. The homer came on a 2-2 pitch with two outs.
“(I was) trying to put it in play,” Wigginton said. “He was nasty all night. I thought we really had our work cut out for us to get to him and fortunately we did.”
The home run came on a slider.
“I made a mistake,” Santana said. “A slider right there in the middle. He hit the ball good.”
Santana (11-4) allowed six runs and nine hits over 6 1-3 innings. It was his first loss in 10 starts, dating to a 7-1 defeat against Minnesota on May 31.
The Angels, who are 16-5 in July, had won six straight against Tampa Bay.
Wigginton’s two-run double off Hector Carrasco during a four-run seventh extended the Devil Rays’ lead to 6-2.
Devil Rays reliever Jon Switzer (2-1) retired both batters he faced to work out of a first-and-third, one-out jam in the seventh. Tampa Bay has won three of 12 games since the All-Star break.
Russell Branyan hit a one-out double in the seventh and scored on Josh Paul’s double for a 3-2 lead. Paul had only four hits in his previous 41 at-bats
Rocco Baldelli then ended Santana’s night with an RBI single to make it 4-2.
“Santana is very good,” Maddon said. “We grinded out our at-bats tonight.”
Santana limited the Devil Rays to two singles through five innings and Tampa Bay didn’t have a runner advance past first over the stretch.
Baldelli doubled in the sixth and scored on Wigginton’s homer. Wigginton’s 17th homer of the season matched his career high set while with the New York Mets and Pittsburgh in 2004.
Vladimir Guerrero had a run-scoring single and Juan Rivera hit a sacrifice fly to put the Angels ahead 2-0 in the sixth. Guerrero, who went 3-for-4, had been hitless in 13 at-bats before a single in the fourth.
Tampa Bay starter James Shields gave up two runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings. He had gone 0-4 in his previous five starts, allowing 26 runs over 26 1-3 innings.
“I did my job … keep my team in the ballgame,” Shields said. “That’s what it’s all about.”
The Angels hit into double plays in each of the first three innings. They also failed to score in fourth after putting runners on the first and third with one out.
“We just couldn’t get that hit early to get our offense going,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “To Ervin’s credit, he went out there pitch by pitch to keep us in there. Ervin pitched with his back against the wall for a lot of the game and it came back to get him.”
Los Angeles went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position.
Devil Rays SS Julio Lugo (bruised right middle finger) was out of the lineup for the third straight game. Maddon expects Lugo to play Wednesday. … Angels OF Garret Anderson, who has been limited to DH recently due to a sore left hamstring, was rested. … Devil Rays DH Jonny Gomes snapped an 0-for-16 slide with a second-inning single. It was his fourth hit in 50 at-bats. … Guerrero has 21 RBIs in his last 23 games. … Wigginton’s homer was his first since July 4.