ANAHEIM: Logan Forsythe capped a bizarre top of the ninth inning with a two-out, two-run single off Angels closer Joe Smith to give the Tampa Bay Rays a 4-2 victory in Angel Stadium on Saturday (Sunday in Manila).
Steven Souza opened the ninth with a routine grounder to second, but with the Angels infield shifted to the left side, the ball rolled to right field for a single.
Souza attempted to steal with Logan Morrison at the plate and stopped when Smith pitched out and catcher Geovany Soto made a strong throw to second. Shortstop Andrelton Simmons chased Souza back to first in the rundown, but his throw hit Souza in the back and caromed into foul territory, allowing Souza to take second. Morrison walked.
Then first baseman C.J. Cron fielded Desmond Jennings’ bunt, spun and threw to third for an out. Kevin Kiermaier grounded into a fielder’s choice for the second out, and Curt Casali walked to load the bases. Forsythe then dumped his single into center field to break a 2-2 tie. It was the sixth loss in eight games for the Angels.
Simmons, dropped to the ninth spot and mired in a one-for-23 slump, snapped a scoreless tie in the fifth when he followed singles by Cron and Johnny Giavotella and Soto’s sacrifice bunt with a two-run single to left for a 2-0 lead.
Angels starter Jered Weaver, mixing his usual variety of soft and softer pitches, blanked Tampa Bay through five innings, escaping a runner-on-third, one-out jam in the fifth.
Among his offerings that left Rays batters scratching their heads was a 71-mph changeup that Corey Dickerson struck out on to end the third and a 68-mph curve that Evan Longoria swung through for strike three.
But Dickerson reached on a one-out error in the sixth when Cron ranged far to his right for a grounder and flipped high to Weaver, who made a lunging grab but couldn’t get his foot on the bag.
Souza then pounded a full-count slider over the left-field wall for a two-run homer — his seventh of the season — and a 2-2 tie.