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Angels starter Ervin Santana pitches three-hitter as listless Tampa Bay Rays lose third in a row

A frustrated David Price reacts during the Angels’ three-run sixth inning that put the Rays in a 6-0 hole.

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A frustrated David Price reacts during the Angels’ three-run sixth inning that put the Rays in a 6-0 hole.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Joe Maddon said after Tuesday's game he fully expects to see the Rays coming back here to face the Angels in October.

Not if they keep playing the way they did in the 6-0 loss.

A night that started with four innings of no-hit pitching by David Price ended in frustration.

An anemic offense was held to three hits in a complete-game win by previously struggling Ervin Santana, there was some uncharacteristically shaky play in the outfield and Price allowed hits to eight of his last 14 batters as the Angels scored all six runs with two outs.

The loss was the Rays' third straight and fourth on the six-game West Coast swing that ends today, dropping them to 61-52 and to 3½ games behind the wild-card-leading Red Sox and a can-you-see-them-from-here nine behind the first-place Yankees.

It also was the 12th in their past 13 in Anaheim. "It just seems to me California is a nice place to live but a tough place to visit," Maddon said.

Price couldn't have started any better, retiring the first 10 Angels before hitting Maicer Izturis in the fourth and not allowing a hit until Juan Rivera singled to lead off the fifth.

Price got two quick outs, but it was the beginning of the end. After a fielder's choice grounder (that Maddon noted, and some replays confirmed, should have been a double play) and a flyout, Price allowed No. 8 hitter Jeff Mathis to single hard to left.

Worse, Carl Crawford booted the ball, allowing the runners to second and third and setting up the always aggressive Angels, who lead the majors in hitting with runners in scoring position, to capitalize. "I don't know what happened," Crawford said.

No. 9 hitter Reggie Willits singled to center to score two, then took second when B.J. Upton missed the cutoff man and sailed his throw home. That mattered, too, because Willits was running on the pitch and scored when Chone Figgins followed with another single.

"You can't do that," Maddon said. "You can't permit this team to take extra bases on you. You've just got to throw the ball to the right base."

The Angels scored three more the next inning. They loaded the bases on three singles, then Mathis struck again, driving a ball to left that Crawford may have misjudged but at least couldn't catch up to as it hit off the wall, scoring all three.

Price, as usual, was tough on himself.

"I needed to make a big pitch right there, that's what I've done my entire life, and I couldn't do it tonight," he said.

He gave up eight hits but seemed most annoyed with the Mathis single that sparked the first rally: "0-2, runner on first and I guess the guy's hitting .210 and I can't … (an) 0-2 hit, that's ridiculous."

The Rays didn't do much of anything against Santana, who shut them down and out on 97 pitches. "It didn't look unhittable at the plate," Crawford said, "but obviously we weren't hitting it so he was doing something right."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com

Angels 6

Rays 0

Angels starter Ervin Santana pitches three-hitter as listless Tampa Bay Rays lose third in a row 08/12/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 4:47pm]
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