American League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, July 29th
(All times eastern)
Tampa Bay Rays (52-49) at LA Angels of Anaheim (55-46), 3:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Tampa Bay - Jeremy Hellickson (5-6, 3.42)
LA Angels - Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.44)
(Sports Network) - Zack Greinke makes his debut for the Los Angeles Angels of
Anaheim on Sunday when they close out a three-game set with the Tampa Bay Rays
at Angel Stadium.
Back in the American League after starting his career in Kansas City in 2004
before moving to Milwaukee in 2011, Greinke was acquired by the Halos on
Greinke started off the 2012 campaign quite strong with a record of 9-2, but
since defeating Cincinnati a little over a month ago the right-hander has
failed to tally another victory and has just one loss to show for five total
On Tuesday the Florida native pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies at
Citizens Bank Park and held the hosts in-check through seven innings, allowing
just one run on three hits and striking out five. However, the Phils put on a
late run and eventually captured a 7-6 win even as Greinke lowered his ERA to
Having spent so much time in the AL previously, Greinke is somewhat familiar
with the Rays, although his 12 appearances against the club resulted in just a
Like everyone else in the American League East, the Rays continue to chase the
New York Yankees in the division standings and need to pick up victories
everywhere they can. Last night Tampa Bay snapped a brief two-game slide by
posting a 3-0 triumph against the Angels, which means the club is now tied
with Baltimore for second in the division, 8 1/2 games out of contention.
The Rays scored single runs in each of the first three innings and tightened
their belts on defense to keep the Angels from making a charge.
Ben Zobrist hit his 12th home run of the season and knocked in two runs for
the visitors, while B.J. Upton accounted for half his team's four hits.
On the mound, Matt Moore pitched a gem as he allowed just four hits and two
walks, striking out six over the course of 6 1/3 shutout innings. In all,
Tampa pitchers registered 11 strikeouts, one coming from Fernando Rodney in
the ninth as he posted his 29th save of the season.
Over on the other side, C.J. Wilson dropped to 9-7 in 2012 as he gave up the
three runs, although only two were earned, over the course of 6 2/3 innings.
The hurler surrendered just four hits, walked three and struck out seven in
Torii Hunter reached base three times for the hosts and accounted for two of
his team's five hits. Bobby Wilson, one of four to strike out twice in the
meeting, logged a double for the team's lone extra-base hit.
"Moore's got great stuff, but we've beaten a lot of guys this year," C.J.
Wilson said. "So you just always have that optimism that the team's going to
score and come up with hits, but obviously in those situations we didn't get
the big hit. They scratched out that run in the first inning and that was all
they needed after that. So it's more frustrating."
Ironically enough, while the Angels were the ones having trouble reaching base
and mounting any sort of offensive attack on Saturday, it is Tampa Bay that
actually ranks last in the AL in total bases and is second-to-last in slugging
(.373) at this stage of the season.
Getting the call for Tampa Bay today will be Iowa native Jeremy Hellickson as
he attempts to win back-to-back games for the first time since the middle of
May. The right-hander actually started off the season with a 4-0 mark, but
after that he suffered six consecutive setbacks and only recently was able to
celebrate his fifth win of the campaign.
On Tuesday Hellickson was pitted against Baltimore on the road and surrendered
just one run on three hits, while striking out four through 6 1/3 innings as
the Rays slipped by the O's, 3-1.
Now in his third professional season, Hellickson won his previous outing
against the Angels as he gave up one runs on five hits and struck out five
through six innings. The victory evened his career record versus Anaheim at
1-1, his ERA over three games leveling out at 3.29.
Tampa Bay is dominating the season series to this point, winning four of the
first five matchups against the Angels and partly because of that, Anaheim now
finds itself in third place in the AL West, trailing both Texas and Oakland
entering play on Sunday.
07/29 10:22:15 ET