Ray stymies Halos as D-backs win 4th straight
ANAHEIM -- Robbie Ray's impressive run with Arizona reached another level on Monday night, when the rookie left-hander shut the Angels out through seven innings while leading the D-backs to a 7-3 win at Angel Stadium, their fourth victory in a row.
Ray didn't allow a baserunner until there were two outs in the fourth, didn't allow a hit until there were two outs in the sixth and finished having scattered just a couple of walks and a couple of hits, putting his ERA at 1.09 through four starts this season.
Arizona (31-32) got on the board with a third-inning three-run homer to straightaway center field from Paul Goldschmidt, his 18th, then got a solo shot from Yasmany Tomas in the sixth. Jered Weaver was charged with five runs (four earned) in seven innings in the loss, putting his ERA at 4.68.
The Angels (32-32) made it interesting in the eighth, when pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta reached on a throwing error by third baseman Jake Lamb and Erick Aybar drew a walk, loading the bases with two outs for Mike Trout. After a run scored on a wild pitch, Trout hit a rocket to left-center field for a two-run double off Addison Reed. Albert Pujols followed with a deep drive to center field, but it was caught near the warning track by A.J. Pollock.
"I almost passed out and fell down the stairs to be honest," D-backs manager Chip Hale said of his reaction when Pujols connected. "I've seen that so many times."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Rotation rolling: Ray continued a string of strong performances from the D-backs' starting rotation. In Arizona's just-completed three-game series with the Giants, starting pitchers allowed just two runs in 20 2/3 innings. With Ray's outing Monday, the starters have a 0.65 ERA over the past four games.
Sloppy, sloppy: After a three-error game against the A's on Sunday, the Angels' defense was shaky again on Monday. Third baseman Kyle Kubitza saw Carlos Perez's pickoff throw bounce off his glove, allowing a run to score. Aybar was thrown out trying to stretch a single to a double to end the sixth, with the Angels trailing by five and Trout up next. And the offense was hitless until Daniel Robertson smacked a two-out single in the sixth.
"We're searching for it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, referencing the consistency in his lineup. "... We're going to continue to grind it out and hopefully create some length in our lineup, and give us the ability to pressure teams every inning. Right now, that's kind of our Achilles heel."
Goldy gone: Over the last few weeks, teams have taken to walking Goldschmidt to make sure he does not beat them. Weaver unintentionally took a different tack as he walked Pollock in front of Goldschmidt to put runners on first and second. Goldschmidt then hit a 1-0 breaking ball over the wall in center for a 3-0 D-backs lead. The slugger was a triple shy of the cycle when he came to the plate with runners on second and third in the ninth. He was intentionally walked by Angels reliever Fernando Salas. More >
Up and over: Weaver gave up both D-backs homers and has now allowed 16 this season, tied with three National League pitchers -- James Shields, Kyle Lohse, Kyle Kendrick -- for the Major League lead. Weaver gave up 27 homers last year, but averaged just 20 per season from 2007-13.
"I have to figure out a way to keep the ball in the yard, man," Weaver said. "It's been my nemesis this year. I just have to keep working through it and try to get something going." More >
"I'm a little inconsistent right now. I got off to a bad start, had some good ones and now I'm scuffling again. I'm important to this team, and I just have to keep that on my mind. I don't want to put too much stress on myself, but at the same time, I need to figure out a way to keep runs off the board." -- Weaver, who has a 6.64 ERA in June after posting a 1.98 ERA in his previous five starts
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
The Angels burned their challenge in the fourth inning, when the out call on Pujols' double-play grounder to second base was allowed to stand. Pujols appeared to beat the throw from shortstop Nick Ahmed, who took the feed from second baseman Chris Owings after Pujols' slow roller to the right side. But after a three-minute, 42-second review, the Replay Command Center in New York decided there wasn't conclusive evidence to overturn the call.
Another review lasted four minutes and 50 seconds in the ninth inning. That came after Kole Calhoun caught Pollock's sac fly and fired home to score what ended up being the D-backs' seventh run. Replay showed Perez's glove might have swiped Ahmed's back before he touched home plate, and Scioscia convinced umpires to initiate a crew-chief review. Once again, the call was allowed to stand. The Angels are now 9-for-18 in challenges this season.
Perez said he undoubtedly tagged Ahmed before he touched the plate, and Scioscia took exception to both calls.
"We're seeing, in my estimation, too many calls that aren't reversed," Scioscia said. "Not only for us, but going for the other team also. I know it's a work in progress, but believe me, there's a frustration level. I think some things need to evolve as far as how we determine these calls, because there's no standard for what is going to overturn a call. It comes to individual umpires' interpretation, and that's why I think some things will eventually be addressed."
D-backs: Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 5,29 ERA) will look to continue the Arizona rotation's recent run of success as he takes the mound Tuesday night. The right-hander was roughed up in his last start, when he allowed five runs in 3 2/3 innings against the Dodgers.
Angels: Garrett Richards (6-4, 3.97) takes the ball for the finale of a two-game set at Angel Stadium. The hard-throwing right-hander had a nice bounce-back start on Thursday, pitching seven innings of two-run ball against the Rays five days after yielding six runs in the first inning at Yankee Stadium.
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