ST. PETERSBURG -- A Wednesday night that began with a splash ended with a thud, as the Angels fell to the Rays, 7-2, at Tropicana Field to extend their losing streak to three games and dip back below .500.Kole Calhoun dunked a solo home run into the rays tank in
ST. PETERSBURG -- A Wednesday night that began with a splash ended with a thud, as the Angels fell to the Rays, 7-2, at Tropicana Field to extend their losing streak to three games and dip back below .500.
Kole Calhoun dunked a solo home run into the rays tank in right-center field to put the Angels on the board in the first inning, and Andrelton Simmons extended the lead to 2-0 with an RBI single in the fourth. But the Rays erased the deficit with a three-run fourth and then added an insurance run on Willy Adames' solo homer off right-hander Nick Tropeano in the sixth.
Tampa Bay capped its offensive output by scoring three more runs in the eighth, highlighted by Jake Bauers' two-run shot off reliever Hansel Robles, to secure the series victory.
Tropeano was charged with the loss after yielding four runs on seven hits while walking four and striking out four over 5 2/3 innings. Since returning from the disabled list on July 21, Tropeano is 1-2 with a 5.29 ERA in three starts.
"I think Nick battled," manager Mike Scioscia said. "I don't know if he had his best stuff tonight. He missed with some spots, but he battled. He got us into the sixth. We had a chance to win the game. We just couldn't put enough pressure on those guys."
The Angels (54-55) entered Wednesday batting .309 and averaging 7.6 runs per game over their previous nine contests, but their bats were kept relatively quiet by newly acquired Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow and reliever Jake Faria, who combined to pitch the first 6 2/3 innings and allowed only two runs. The Angels were limited to six hits -- none after the fifth inning -- and went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
Calhoun continued to swing a hot bat for the Angels, going 1-for-2 with two walks to put the memory of his early-season slump even further behind him. He is slashing .302/.368/.683 with 13 home runs and 30 RBIs in 36 games since returning from the disabled list on June 18, raising his batting average from .145 to .211 over that span.
"Kole Calhoun might be the hottest guy in our league right now," Scioscia said.
Calhoun's first-inning home run off Glasnow was his 14th of the season and the seventh to land in the rays tank since it opened in 2006, according to the Rays.
The Angels tacked on another run in the fourth after Faria entered the game to replace Glasnow. Justin Upton and Jose Pujols produced back-to-back singles to put runners on the corners with one out, and Simmons shot a 105-mph liner that deflected off Adames' glove and trickled into center field for an RBI single. The Angels had a chance to add more, but Faria struck out Luis Valbuena and Eric Young swinging to end the inning.
Tropeano fell into trouble in the third after Mallex Smith doubled, Kevin Kiermaier walked and Matt Duffy singled to load the bases with one out, but he escaped the jam after Simmons turned an unassisted double play on Bauers' grounder up the middle.
Still, Tropeano couldn't escape damage in the fourth. After hitting Tommy Pham to open the inning, Tropeano surrendered a double to Joey Wendle that put runners on second and third with one out. That brought up Ji-Man Choi, who lined out to left fielder Upton for the second out. Upton then threw to cutoff man Valbuena, who attempted to flip the ball to Simmons to nab Pham at third, but his errant throw missed Simmons completely, allowing Pham to score and cut the Angels' lead to 2-1.
"Errors are part of the game," Tropeano said. "It's our job to pick up our teammates, just like they pick us up with the bats, and I was unable to do that today."
Adames tied it with an RBI single to left field, and Smith subsequently drove in the go-ahead run with a triple to center field.
"I think the issue this season, and especially today, has been the big inning," Tropeano said. "It's been haunting me this year. I think that just stems from free passes. I've just got to get my mechanics more clean, let my stuff eat over the plate and just trust my stuff."
Left-hander Andrew Heaney starts for the Angels as they close out their three-game series with the Rays on Thursday at 10:10 a.m. PT at Tropicana Field. Hunter Wood will take the hill for the Rays. Heaney faced Tampa Bay on May 19 at Angel Stadium and took the loss after giving up four runs (all unearned) over six innings. He is seeking his first road win since Sept. 2, 2015, at Oakland.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.