ANAHEIM, Calif. – Albert Pujols had three hits, including a two-run double, and Dan Haren won his second straight start since coming off the disabled list as the Los Angeles Angels beat Tampa Bay 3-1 Friday night to snap a six-game losing streak against the Rays.
Haren (8-8) allowed five hits in six-plus innings and struck out six, just hours after the Angels solidified their rotation with the acquisition of 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke in a trade that sent rookie shortstop Jean Segura and Double-A pitchers Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg to Milwaukee.
Jeff Keppinger had three hits in three at-bats against Haren, including a home run in the second and a leadoff double in the seventh that made him 7 for 14 against the right-hander.
Haren faced one more batter after that hit, issuing his only walk of the game to Carlos Pena. Kevin Jepsen retired Ryan Roberts and Jose Lobaton on fly balls before striking out Elliot Johnson.
Scott Downs pitched a scoreless eighth and Ernesto Frieri worked a perfect ninth for his 12th save in as many opportunities.
Alex Cobb (4-8) gave up three runs and eight hits in seven innings without walking a batter and struck out three. The 24-year-old right-hander, returning to the site of his first major league victory last June, left his previous start last Saturday against Seattle after two innings because of a bruised right leg. He is 1-5 with a 6.25 ERA in six starts since pitching two-hit ball over seven innings in a 3-0 victory against the Marlins on June 17.
The Angels scored all their runs and grabbed a 3-1 lead in the third with four consecutive two-out hits, including Pujols' two-run double off the glove of a diving Sam Fuld in left field and an RBI single by Mark Trumbo. AL batting leader Mike Trout started the rally with a single before Torii Hunter reached on a perfectly placed bunt single between third base and the mound.
Keppinger opened the scoring in the second with his fourth homer, marking the seventh straight start in which Haren has given up a home run. It was the 18th allowed by the three-time All-Star in his 19 starts, just two fewer than he served up in 34 starts last year.
Tampa Bay got five other runners as far as second base, but came up empty each time and finished 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position. The Rays are batting .183 in those situations since the All-Star break.
B.J. Upton grounded out in the third after a two-out double by Fuld, Pena struck out after a two-out single and stolen base by Keppinger in the fourth, and Matt Joyce flied out after a two-out double by Ben Zobrist in the sixth. Downs retired pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad with two on in the eighth.
NOTES: Tampa Bay sold the signing rights of 1B-OF Brandon Allen to the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Central League. The Rays acquired him off waivers from Oakland on April 19. ... The Rays lead the majors with 369 bases on balls. ... Joyce is 0 for 13 against Haren, and Zobrist is 3 for 24. ... The Angels had runners at the corners in the first when pitching coach Jim Hickey went out to talk with Cobb after just 17 pitches and a 1-0 count on Trumbo — who then grounded into an inning-ending double play. ... The Rays' six-game errorless streak is their longest this season and four shy of the franchise record. But they have committed 76 errors, three more than they had in 2011. ... The Angels placed SS Erick Aybar on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to July 22) because of a broken big toe on his right foot. INF Andrew Romine was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake and OF Vernon Wells — sidelined since May 21 with a torn ligament in his right thumb that required surgery — was activated from the DL. ... Tampa Bay relievers have allowed one run over their last 24 innings — a homer by Baltimore's Chris Davis against Burke Badenhop on Thursday.