Sports

Rays Beat Angels, Keep Pace With Yankees

B.J. Upton, Reid Brignac

(AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Carlos Pena hit a tying single with two outs in the ninth inning for Tampa Bay, then shortstop Brandon Wood’s throwing error with two outs in the 10th Saturday night gave the Rays a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The Rays stayed one-half game behind New York in the AL East, and continued to hold a sizable lead over Boston in the wild-card race.

Reid Brignac opened the Rays 10th with a double off Bobby Cassevah (0-2), and pinch-runner Jason Bartlett went on third on John Jaso’s grounder.

Slumping Ben Zobrist walked, Carl Crawford popped out and Evan Longoria was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Willy Aybar hit a grounder on a full-count pitch up the middle that Wood fielded, but he made a wild throw.

Tampa Bay made it 3-all on Pena’s single off Fernando Rodney in the ninth. Brignac put the Rays up 2-0 with a two-run homer in the fifth.

Rafael Soriano (3-2) threw a perfect 10th.

Juan Rivera ended a stretch of 19 consecutive scoreless innings by Rays ace David Price with a three-run homer in the seventh that gave Los Angeles a 3-2 lead. Price allowed only one hit going into the seventh.

Price was coming off a start Monday night in which he and Yankees ace CC Sabathia both threw eight shutout innings in a game eventually won by the Rays 1-0 in 11 innings. The pair is lined up to face each other again Thursday night in the finale of a four-game series at Yankee Stadium.

Angels starter Joel Pineiro, who had been out with a strained left oblique since late July, allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. The right-hander had gone 7-1 in his previous nine starts before the injury, which occurred while the pitcher was warming up in the bullpen before a scheduled start on July 28.

The Rays’ first baserunner came with two outs in the fourth when Carl Crawford singled.

Notes: An MRI exam taken Friday on Los Angeles INF Erick Aybar showed he has a sports hernia. His status will be evaluated in the next few days. … Angels RHP Scot Shields also had an MRI exam on Friday and it found inflammation in his right elbow. He hasn’t pitched since Sept. 7. … Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg attended the game. … To get a break from playing on the artificial turf, Los Angeles RF Torii Hunter was the DH. … Angels LHP Scott Kazmir will make his first start at Tropicana Field on Sunday since the Rays traded him to Los Angeles on Aug. 28, 2009. Kazmir said he is not sure what the crowd reaction will be.

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