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Angels fall to Rays in 10 in Trout's return
By Bill Chastain and Kaelen Jones
ANAHEIM -- On the night Mike Trout made his long-awaited return from the disabled list, the story for much of Friday night was the classic pitchers' duel occurring inside Angel Stadium between Rays rookie Jacob Faria and Angels veteran Ricky Nolasco.
A 1-1 deadlock was eventually snapped, thanks to the heroics of Brad Miller. The Rays second baseman lifted a double off of Angels reliever Cam Bedrosian to score Wilson Ramos for the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning, pushing Tampa Bay past the Angels, 2-1.
"I'm just glad, obviously, nobody caught it and it bounced around a little bit," said Miller, who has had the game-winning hit in the Rays' last two games. " ... I just kind of put the barrel on it. I was just hoping Trout or Calhoun didn't do anything crazy [in the outfield]."
The Rays' win combined with the Yankees' loss moved the Rays into second place in the American League East, behind Boston and ahead of the Yankees.
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria opened the scoring when he hammered a solo home run -- his 13th of the season -- off of Nolasco in the first frame to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 advantage. Los Angeles answered in the second inning, when Faria served up a 2-1 fastball to Albert Pujols, who took the rookie right-hander deep to even the contest at 1.
Despite the early runs, neither offense managed to generate much against the opposing pitcher. Nolasco (4-10, 4.82 ERA) turned in his team-best ninth quality outing of the season, firing seven frames of one-run ball on two hits, while relinquishing two walks against six strikeouts.
"Ricky pitched great," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Made one mistake to Longoria, when the ball floated back to the middle and he hit it out. Outside that, he pitched a terrific game."
Faria (4-0, 2.00) kept pace, tossing 6 2/3 innings while giving up one run on five hits and two walks, while punching out four batters. The Angels finished the night 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
"He continues to impress," said Rays manager Kevin Cash of Faria. "For a young guy who has [seven] starts in the big leagues. His presence on the mound and the way he carries himself seems more like a veteran that's been out there a lot more than he has."
In his return, Trout went 1-for-5, with a stolen base, and a game-ending strikeout.
"Mike's a player that makes everybody around him better," Scioscia said. "We need him, so hopefully, he'll get settled, and these groupings will work, and we'll get some offense, but Mike's obviously a huge part of that."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Faria leaves them loaded: The Angels loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fourth, sending leadoff hitter Cameron Maybin to the plate with a chance to score the go-ahead run in a 1-1 contest. However, Faria managed to escape the jam by coaxing Maybin into a soft lineout into right field on an 0-2 changeup to preserve the deadlock.
"We just didn't get that hit," Scioscia said. "We were in some situations where we could've broke the game open and we weren't able to do it, so give him credit."
Nolasco navigates the seventh: It took five innings before a batter notched a hit off Nolasco after Longoria's first-inning dinger -- and it was Longoria, again, in top of the seventh. Longoria launched a double off the wall in left field before tagging third on Logan Morrison's flyout to right. Steven Souza Jr. drew a walk to put runners on the corners with one out, but Nolasco ended the threat by forcing Ramos to roll into an inning-ending double play.
"That home run really energized him and the dugout right there. If we can get Evan Longoria going, it's just going to add to a good offense. He's been fine, but we know there's a lot in there he can be doing." -- Cash, on Longoria
"It was kind of like Opening Day for me. You take so much time off, and finally the day came. It was a fun day." -- Trout, on his returnMore >
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The Rays are 7-3 in extra-inning games this season.
The Rays challenged a safe call in the third on an attempted steal by Maybin. After a review, the call on the field was overturned and Maybin was out.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.75) will get the nod for the Rays when they play the Angels Saturday night in a 9:07 p.m. ET contest at Angel Stadium. The right-hander is 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA in his last six starts. He recorded his third scoreless start of the season Saturday when he pitched 7 2/3 innings against the Red Sox at Tropicana Field.
Angels: The Angels will send JC Ramirez (8-7, 4.46 ERA) to the hill for the second contest of a three-game set against the Rays, with first pitch scheduled for 6:07 p.m. PT. The right-handed Ramirez will make his second career start against Tampa Bay after earning his fourth win of the season against the club earlier this year.