ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jason Vargas held the Tampa Bay Rays to two hits through the first seven innings as the Angels defeated the Rays 2-0 Thursday afternoon.
The Angels pushed across a run in the top of the second inning when Luis Jimenez singled to left to score Hank Conger from second base, and another in the sixth on Kole Calhoun's base hit and that turned out to be more than enough for the Angels starter.
Vargas (8-5) pitched himself out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the bottom of the first and the Rays had two men on base in the sixth but were unable to score. Vargas allowed a leadoff double to Desmond Jennings and a sixth-inning base hit to Ben Zobrist, but beyond that, he retired 21 of 25 batters, giving up three walks and hitting one batter before giving way to Dane De La Rosa to start the eighth inning.
Ernesto Frieri came on to pitch the ninth and picked up his 28th save of the season.
Jake Odorizzi, called up from Class AAA Durham Wednesday evening, pitched five innings for Tampa Bay, allowing one run on four hits. He was followed to the mound by Alex Torres, Jamey Wright and Wesley Wright.
The Rays were unable to deliver any timely hits. Sean Rodriguez and Yunel Escobar, batting fifth and sixth respectively, left a total of 10 Rays stranded on the bases. Evan Longoria continued his doldrums at bat, going 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Longoria is now hitless in his last four games, going 0-for-15.
NOTES: With Thursday's loss, the Rays' streak of 11 consecutive unbeaten series at home came to an end. They hadn't lost a series at Tropicana Field since June 13-16 vs. the Kansas City Royals. ... Through 132 games, the Rays' 48 errors are second fewest in MLB history behind this year's Baltimore Orioles (39). ... Twenty-four of the Angels' 72 losses have been by one run. ... INF Luis Jimenez joined the Angels from Class AAA Salt Lake and collected two hits and an RBI. ... 3B Chris Nelson was put on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain.