C.J. Wilson tries to get Los Angeles back into the win column this evening when the struggling Angels resume a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
The Angels continued to be the league's biggest disappointment on Tuesday, as David Price went the distance for his second career shutout in Tampa Bay's 5-0 win.
Price (3-1) threw 80 of his 119 pitches for strikes and gave up only five hits and one walk while striking out six.
"He really had it going on," Rays manager Joe Maddon said about Price. "There was no rush to his delivery and he stayed in a good tempo pretty much all night long."
Offensively, the Rays got solo home runs from Desmond Jennings, Carlos Pena, Luke Scott and B.J. Upton, who also knocked in a run with a sacrifice fly. Tampa Bay has won three straight and five of its last six contests.
Torii Hunter had two hits, while Ervin Santana (0-4) absorbed the loss and was tagged for all five runs for the Angels, who have lost five of their last seven and fell to 6-11 on the season.
Albert Pujols was hitless in four at-bats and is mired in an 0-for-16 slide. The three-time National League MVP has only four RBI on the season and is now hitting a mere .232 in this the first year of a 10-year, $254 million deal he signed this past offseason.
"I don't concentrate on individual numbers, I concentrate more as a team," Pujols said. "I think we've got a better ballclub than what we've been showing. It seems like everybody in the lineup is struggling."
Now the Angels turn to another one of their high-priced offseason acquisitions in the lefty Wilson, who is 2-1 with a 2.37 ERA. Wilson suffered his first loss of the season on Thursday against Oakland, as he allowed four runs (three earned) and two hits in six innings. A throwing error by Wilson led to two runs and a three-run fourth inning.
"It was a fairly easy play," Wilson said after the game. "I just tried to make an easy throw, but I took it too easy and threw it short. It wasn't a short- arm, it was just kind of a changeup, just tried to lob it in there. It just didn't get there."
Wilson has faced the Rays 17 times (four starts) and is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA against them.
Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with reigning AL Rookie of the Year Jeremy Hellickson, who is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA. Hellickson beat the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday, holding them to a two earned runs in 5 2/3 innings.
One cause for concern though for the young right-hander has been his efficiency, as he has thrown 205 pitches in 10 2/3 innings of his last two starts.
"I definitely need to get better with my pitch count," Hellickson said. "That starts with attacking the zone better and letting my defense play."
Hellickson is 0-1 in two games (one start) versus the Halos with a 4.70 ERA.
The Angels split eight meetings with the Rays last season.