Wil Myers broke out of his slump Wednesday with three hits, two home runs and three RBI as the Tampa Bay Rays downed the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-1, at Angel Stadium.
Myers' power, coupled with a solid start from the struggling Jeremy Hellickson, helped the Rays win back-to-back games for the first time since Aug. 23-24.
Tampa Bay still holds a 2 1/2-game lead over the New York Yankees for the AL's second wild card spot.
Hellickson (11-8) scattered four hits and two walks over 5 1/3 scoreless innings to pick up his first win since July 26. The right-hander had been in the minors for a week to work on his mechanics after pitching to a 9.00 ERA over a six-start stretch.
Chris Iannetta smacked a pinch-hit home run in the seventh inning, but that was the only damage done by an Angels offense that went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Jered Weaver (9-8) served up both of Myers' home runs and was charged with three runs and six hits in seven innings of work.
"Jered threw a lot of pitches early...and he couldn't get (past) the seventh," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Myers had his average dip from .324 at the beginning of August to .283 coming into the third installment of this four-game set.
The highly-touted rookie had not homered since Aug. 14 but quickly changed that in the second inning when he hammered a first-pitch fastball into the rocks beyond the center field wall for a 1-0 Rays lead.
Weaver settled in from there but had no offensive help while he was on the hill. He made two more mistakes in the seventh, walking Desmond Jennings with one out and grooving a slider that Myers clobbered over the wall in left.
"The only way to get out of a slump is to keep hitting. I was able to get a couple of pitches to hit," Myers said.
Jake McGee shook off Iannetta's leadoff homer in the seventh, Joel Peralta tossed a scoreless eighth and Fernando Rodney retired the side in order in the ninth to post his 32nd save.
Myers also homered twice against the Yankees on July 28 ... Weaver was trying to reach the 10-win mark for the eighth straight season ... Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun, who had an RBI in eight straight games with an at-bat, went 1- for-3 ... The Angels have dropped 11 of their last 13 home games.