ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Peter Bourjos hit a tiebreaking three-run homer, Scott Kazmir won for the first time in six weeks and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Tampa Bay Rays 6-3 on Sunday.
Bourjos connected on a full-count pitch from Jeff Niemann (10-7) with two out in the fourth, giving Los Angeles a 4-1 lead. Both baserunners — Howie Kendrick and Hank Conger — reached on walks.
Kazmir (9-14) picked up his first win since Aug. 7, allowing one run and six hits over five innings. He was 1-9 in his previous 12 starts.
Bobby Abreu added a pair of solo homers for the Angels, who took two of three from Tampa Bay. It was the Rays' first series loss at home since losing two of three to Arizona from June 25-27.
Kelly Shoppach homered for the Rays, who trailed the AL East-leading Yankees by a half-game before Sunday's action. The two teams open a four-game series at Yankee Stadium on Monday night.
Abreu went deep in the first and seventh, giving him 20 homers on the year and helping the Angels build a 6-1 lead. Hideki Matsui doubled in a run in the fifth.
Jordan Walden got the final out for his first major league save.
Niemann lasted just 4 1-3 innings, giving up five runs and six hits. The right-hander is 0-4 in five starts since returning from a strained right shoulder on Aug. 25.
Tampa Bay tied it at 1 when Shoppach homered in the second. Dan Johnson drove in a run with an eighth-inning grounder and Ben Zobrist added an RBI single in the ninth.
Kazmir made his first appearance at Tropicana Field since being traded to Los Angeles by the Rays on Aug. 28, 2009. He has lost two starts against Tampa Bay at Angel Stadium.
Kazmir worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the first by striking out Rocco Baldelli and Sean Rodriguez. The left-hander also walked two during the 38-pitch inning.
NOTES: Abreu has 15 multihomer games. ... Angels C Mike Napoli was scratched from the starting lineup because of right forearm tightness. ... Shoppach's homer was his first since he went deep twice and drove in five runs on Aug. 14 against Baltimore. ... Kendrick went 2 for 3 and has 19 hits in 35 at-bats overall this season against the Rays. ... Zobrist snapped out of an 0-for-23 rut with a ground-rule double in the eighth. Angels RF Torii Hunter was OK after tumbling over a short wall down the line after fielding Zobrist's hit.