ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Juan Rivera's sacrifice fly in the 11th inning led the Los Angeles Angels to a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays after closer Brian Fuentes blew a three-run lead in the ninth Monday night.
Kendry Morales led off the 11th with a single against Grant Balfour (0-1), advanced on Reggie Willits' bunt and took third on a wild pitch. Manager Joe Maddon then went to a five-man infield, adding outfielder Ben Zobrist to the mix, but Rivera flied to center and Morales scored after the catch by Gabe Kapler.
The ending was a shot in the arm for the three-time defending AL West champions, who were coming off a 2-8 road trip that was their worst since 2001. Torii Hunter and Mike Napoli homered, and Trevor Bell (1-0) struck out the only batter he faced in his season debut after getting called up from Triple-A Salt Lake earlier in the day.
The Rays, who came in with a major league-best 22-9 record, have lost 14 of their last 15 games in Anaheim, and 35 of their last 41 at the Big A.
The Rays, who had a perfect game pitched against them by Oakland's Dallas Braden on Sunday, were held to five hits by Joel Pineiro through the first 6 1-3 innings and trailed 4-0 heading into the eighth.
But John Jaso triggered their comeback with a two-out RBI single against Fernando Rodney, and the Rays got three more in the ninth against Fuentes, whose blown save was his second in six chances.
After Willy Aybar homered to left field with one out, Jason Bartlett beat out an infield single to the right of second base, Zobrist walked with two outs, and Evan Longoria drove Fuentes' next pitch to the fence in left-center to score both runners. It was his first career at-bat against the four-time All-Star, who led the majors last season with a career-high 48 saves.
Tampa Bay's Matt Garza allowed four runs and seven hits over 7 2-3 innings, struck out six and was lifted after walking Hideki Matsui with his 117th pitch.
Zobrist singled with two outs in the first, ending a string of 37 consecutive Tampa Bay batters retired — including the final eight Saturday. That's the second-longest drought by any losing team in the last 14 perfect games pitched in the majors since 1923. When Mike Witt pitched his perfect game for the Angels on the final day of the 1984 season at Texas, the final 11 Rangers batters were retired the night before.
Tampa Bay had allowed only one home run in a span of 95 innings entering the game. But Hunter hit his fourth of the season into the left-field bullpen in the third, and Napoli increased the Angels' margin to 4-0 in the fourth after a leadoff single by Howie Kendrick.
NOTES: The Rays played without center fielder B.J. Upton, who was in St. Petersburg for the birth of his son. ... The Angels are scheduled to face Braden either Saturday or Sunday at Anaheim. According to research by the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other pitchers to face the Angels in their first start following a no-hitter were Boston's Dave Morehead on Sept. 22, 1965, and Oakland's Vida Blue on Sept. 26, 1970. Morehead allowed his first four batters to reach base and retired only two of the nine he faced in a 10-1 loss to Dean Chance at Dodger Stadium. Blue squared off against Rudy May, retiring his first seven batters and pitching four innings (one run, three hits) in the Athletics' 4-3 win at Anaheim.