Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays 3, Angels 2: Odds and ends from their 4th straight win
Posted Apr 26, 2012 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 12:06 AM
ST. PETERSBURG The Rays made it four-straight wins with a 3-2 victory Wednesday night against the Angels at the Trop.
Jeremy Hellickson improved to 3-0 with six innings of one-run ball, and Ben Zobrist homered in the third inning for just his second hit against a left-handed pitcher this year.
The Rays are tied with the Orioles for first place in the AL East, both with 11-7 records.
Here are some odds and ends from the victory culled from the post-game notes …
—The Rays 12 strikeouts tied a season-high set on Opening Day against the Yankees. It is the fourth time this season the Rays have struck out at least 10 times. They are 3-1 in those games.
—Hellickson is the second pitcher to start the season 3-0 after winning the rookie of the year the previous season, joining Dontrelle Willis (2004).
He is 2-0 in two starts this season at the Trop, allowing one run on eight hits in 14 2/3 innings. He is 6-1 with a 2.24 ERA in his last 10 starts at the Trop.
—Fernando Rodney is 6-for-6 in save chances. He was 3-for-7 last season with the Angels.
—Jeff Keppinger was 0-for-14 with runners in scoring position before his third inning double scored Carlos Peña from second. Keppinger is batting .333 against lefties this season and only .147 against righties.
—Peña was on second with a stolen base. It was his first stolen base of the season and 11th as a Ray. He stole two bases last season for the Cubs.
—Chris Gimenez threw out two base stealers for only the second time in his career. He first did it Sept. 5, 2010 against the Mariners while catching for the Indians. The last Rays catcher to do that was Kelly Shoppach on April 10, 2011 in Chicago against the White Sox.
—Brandon Allen made his Rays debut as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning for Gimenez, He drew a walk to force in the third run of the night of the Rays. It was the first time Allen reached base this season. He had eight plate appearances with the A;s before being waived last week.
—Angels starter C.J. Wilson lost for the first time in 18 career appearances, including five starts, against the Rays. He has a 1.55 ERA with 34 strikeouts in 29 innings at the Trop. He struck out 11 on Wednesday.
—Jason Isringhausen, who walked Allen in the ninth inning after walking the bases loaded, has issued 14 walks with the bases loaded during his career.
—The Angels have lost three straight and six of their last eight. Their 6-12 record is tied for their worst start in team history. It has been done two other times, the last in 2002, which was also the year they won the World Series.
—The Rays have won 12 of their last 13 and 19 of their last 22 regular season games played at the Trop.
—The game drew 14,638, the smallest crowd of the season.