Rays hope to rebound in opener with Angels

The Tampa Bay Rays try to put a miserable performance behind them on Tuesday when they open a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Tropicana Field.

The Rays should have no problem bouncing back from their 11-1 loss to the Kansas City Royals on Monday, as they have beaten the Angels in 12 of the last 13 meetings. Last year they were 9-1 against them.

In Monday's shellacking, though, Matt Joyce collected three of Tampa Bay's seven hits and scored the team's only run, as the Rays dropped their second straight game to fall 1 1/2 games back of idle Boston atop the AL East.

"They beat us up," manager Joe Maddon said.

The Rays, of course, still hold the top spot in the AL Wild Card chase.

"We hit the ball hard all day long and they were able to make some plays, run some balls down," Rays outfielder David DeJesus said. "They were getting those little dinky hits, but those dinky hits were adding up and then a big hit. Those add-on runs were huge for them."

Jeremy Hellickson (10-8) had a forgettable outing, yielding five runs on seven hits and two walks in just 2 2/3 innings to absorb the loss.

Hoping for a better effort on Tuesday, the Rays will turn to righty Roberto Hernandez, who is 0-2 with a 7.53 ERA in three starts this month. With Matt Moore close to returning from the disabled list, this may be Hernandez's last go in the rotation.

He is 0-4 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts versus the Angels.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will counter with lefty C.J. Wilson, who has won his last five decisions. Wilson did not get a decision last Tuesday against Cleveland, despite a solid effort that saw him allow a run and four hits in 7 1/3 innings of a 4-1 loss. He is 13-6 overall on the year with a 3.30 ERA.

Wilson has faced the Rays 20 times (7 starts) and is 4-2 with a 3.24 ERA.

The Angels enter this series on a bit of a high note after completing a three- game sweep of the Seattle Mariners over the weekend. That, though, came on the heels of a four-game slide.