Rays-Angels Preview

The Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Rays seem to enjoy facing the Los Angeles Angels on the road.

The same can be said for David Price.

Price looks for another dominant performance against the Angels as the Rays seek a 16th win in 19 games at Anaheim on Thursday night.

Tampa Bay (77-61) is 15-3 in its last 18 games at Angels Stadium, winning 3-1 on Wednesday following a 7-1 victory a day earlier.

Having Price (8-6, 3.30 ERA) on the mound gives the Rays an excellent chance at winning this four-game series.

The left-hander has had little trouble against the Angels (64-74) lately, winning three straight starts with a 0.39 ERA while tossing 16 scoreless innings over the last two meetings.

Price is 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA in his last three games in Anaheim, striking out 21 in 20 1-3 innings.

He wasn't quite that sharp in his latest outing, which cost him more than his winning streak. Price allowed four runs in seven innings of a 4-3 defeat at Oakland on Friday, hours after a cab ride to the stadium that ended up costing $202 due to the Bay Bridge being closed.

He had been 5-0 with a 2.35 ERA over his previous eight starts - and slightly richer.

"It was a bad day all the way around," Price told the team's official website Friday.

That certainly hasn't been the case lately for Wil Myers, who has five hits - four for extra bases - in the last two games to break out of a 2-for-31 slump. The rookie right fielder had two homers among his three hits Wednesday.

"The only way to get through a slump is to keep hitting," Myers said. "You can't take days off. It's good to be able to help the team like that. Definitely a nice feeling."

The Rays hold the second of the AL's two wild-card positions. They lead the New York Yankees by 2 1/2 games in that race, but are still trying to cut into the 5 1/2-game deficit to East-leading Boston.

"We don't want just a wild card," Myers said. "We're still trying to win the division. It's nice to not be looking from the outside the wild card, but we still want more than that."

The Angels, losers of 11 of 13 at home, are scheduled to turn to Jerome Williams (5-10, 4.68), who hasn't won since beating Baltimore on June 12.

The right-hander is 0-8 with a 6.15 ERA in 15 games - 13 starts - since, but has shown some improvement lately. He has a 2.93 ERA over his last three games - two starts.

Williams allowed three runs in six innings before leaving without a decision in a 6-5 win at Milwaukee on Saturday.

"Finish the year strong, hopefully show people - not only this team, but anybody - that I can pitch and I can be a part of a rotation," Williams told the Angels' official website.

Williams is 1-0 with a 1.85 ERA in seven games - two starts - versus the Rays. He allowed one hit in three scoreless innings of relief to finish an 8-3 loss at Tampa Bay on Aug. 19.

Rays left fielder Kelly Johnson is 8 for 19 (.421) against Williams while Matt Joyce is 3 for 6 with a pair of doubles and a triple.

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