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Rays go for sweep vs. Angels

Posted Apr 26, 2012 by Joey Johnston

Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 12:06 PM

The Rays go for a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with a day game today at 1:10. Overall, the Rays have won four straight games and six of their last season, while the Angels have slumped to a 6-12 start. The Rays have won their last three series (Blue Jays, Twins, Angels) and are seeking their first sweep since opening the season with three straight wins against the New York Yankees.

Rays rookie LHP Matt Moore (0-1, 5.12 ERA), making his sixth overall major-league start, goes for his first victory of the season. So far, things haven’t gone well. Moore has allowed 32 baserunners in 19 1/3 innings, while surrendering 12 walks. The Angels counter with RHP Jerome Williams (1-1, 7.71 ERA).

One of today’s subplots is the continuing slump of Angels 1B Albert Pujols, he of the 10-year, $240-million contract, who has now gone 72 at-bats without a home run and has just four RBIs (none since April 15). Overall, Pujols is 0-for-his-last-19 and has not homered in his last 101 regular-season at-bats dating back to last season with the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Rays begin today tied for first place in the American League East with the Baltimore Orioles (both at 11-7), one game ahead of the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays (both at 10-8).

Afterward, the Rays leave for Texas and a three-game road trip (all night games) with the Rangers before returning next Monday against the Seattle Mariners to start a seven-game road trip. It’s another themed road trip for the Rays—and Manager Joe Maddon has dubbed it a “minimalist’’ trip, meaning carryon bags and the like. RHP James Shields, Tampa Bay’s scheduled starter on Friday night, said he likes the approach. He’s bringing a carryon, but also his PlayStation game, which he termed “more of a necessity for me.’’ 

The lineups:

Angels

Erick Aybar SS

Howie Kendrick 2B

Albert Pujols 1B

Torii Hunter DH

Mark Trumbo RF

Vernon Wells LF

Alberto Callaspo 2B

Bobby Wilson C

Peter Bourjos CF

Jerome Williams SP

Rays

Desmond Jennings LF

Ben Zobrist 2B

Carlos Pena 1B

Evan Longoria 3B

Luke Scott DH

Matt Joyce RF

B.J. Upton CF

Jose Molina C

Sean Rodriguez SS

Matt Moore SP

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