Morton’s streak ends as Angels beat Rays
- Jan-Jaap Abbink
Charlie Morton lost for the first time in 22 starts and Los Angeles hit three homers to lead the Angels to a 5-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Saturday.
The loss was Morton’s first since Aug. 11, when he was pitching for Houston against Seattle. He struck out nine in six innings, giving up four runs on five hits.
David Fletcher, Justin Bour and Kevan Smith homered for the Angels. Fletcher’s three-run home run in second inning off Morton (8-1) spotted left-hander Jose Suarez an early lead in his third major league start, and the Angel bullpen preserved it with 3 1/3 shutout innings.
Hansel Robles pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 12 opportunities.
The win was the fourth in five games for the Angels. The Rays fell into a virtual first-place tie with the New York Yankees, who were scheduled to play Saturday night.
Brian Goodwin drove in the Angels’ first run with a double and scored on Fletcher’s two-run homer, giving Los Angeles a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Bour made it 4-0 with a homer in the fourth, his sixth of the season.
Yandy Diaz got the Rays back in the game with a three-run homer, his 11th, after hits by Avisail Garcia and Tommy Pham in the sixth. Pham had two singles in his fourth straight multi-hit game.
Smith’s second homer of the season, off reliever Jake Faria, regained a two-run lead for the Angels in the eighth.
Suarez (2-1) gave up three runs on five hits, including Diaz’s homer, in 5 2/3 innings.
Angels: SS Tommy LaStella remained out of the lineup with left forearm tightness. ... RHP Trevor Cahill threw from up to 180 feet as part of his recovery from right elbow inflammation.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (strained right forearm) threw briefly off a bullpen mound for the first time. He can come off the 60-day IL on July 10.
Angels: Struggling reliever Cody Allen, 0-2 with a 6.26 ERA in 25 games, was designated for assignment one day after allowing four runs over two-thirds of an innings in Friday’s 9-4 loss to the Rays. RHP Taylor Cole was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake.
Rays: RHP Jake Faria was recalled from Triple-A Durham due to a taxed bullpen and INF Daniel Robertson was optioned to the International League club. Robertson was hitting just .205 with two homers and 15 RBIs in 58 games.
RHP Griffin Channing, one of four pitchers in AL history to have recorded five or more strikeouts in each of his first eight starts, makes his ninth start in Sunday’s series finale against a Rays opener yet to be announced.