|4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, May 23, 2017
Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida Attendance: 9,014
Angels' Shoemaker shuts down Rockies
(TSX / STATS) -- ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Los Angeles Angels starter Matt Shoemaker ended last season with three consecutive wins, allowing a combined four earned runs in 20 innings.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia was reminded of that stretch after a gem Tuesday night.
Shoemaker won his third straight start -- the first Angels pitcher to do so this season -- by pitching into the seventh as Los Angeles pulled away to a 4-0 win against the slumping Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
"Shoe was throwing the ball as well as he did at any time during that stretch last year, and that was encouraging," Scioscia said. "He battled and got us to a certain point (in the seventh). Matty was pitching with his back against the wall the whole night, and he got the job done."
Thanks to Shoemaker and back-to-back home runs by Cameron Maybin and Mike Trout to open the game, the Angels (25-23) have won three straight.
Shoemaker (4-2) gave up three hits and three walks while striking out five in 6 1/3 innings.
The Rays (23-25) have dropped three straight at home, scoring a combined four runs in the defeats. The shutout -- a three-hitter -- was Los Angeles' third this year and second in a Shoemaker start, while Tampa Bay took its third shutout loss of the season.
"The bats have kind of gone quiet here the last two days," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "This team can hit. We are a good team and we will get out of this."
The Rays, held to one hit by Shoemaker through the first six innings, finally had an opportunity in the seventh. Shoemaker gave up a one-out double to Logan Morrison and walked Tim Beckham, then saw Colby Rasmus send a fly ball to deep right field that hit off the fencing at the top of the wall, bouncing back into play. Runners had to hold up for a potential catch, so it was only a single, loading the bases with one out.
Reliever Yusmeiro Petit came in for Shoemaker and got Tampa Bay's Steven Souza, Jr. and Derek Norris to both strike out swinging to strand all three runners and end the inning.
Petit and Jose Alvarez combined to get all five of their outs on strikeouts, and Keynan Middleton pitched a perfect ninth to close out the win.
Rays starter Alex Cobb (4-4), after giving up home runs to the first two batters he faced, held the Angels scoreless into the eighth inning. He left with one out in the eighth after giving up a walk to Trout and single to Albert Pujols, and reliever Danny Farquhar allowed an RBI single to Luis Valbueno to make it a 3-0 game.
Los Angeles added another run on a sacrifice fly by Kole Calhoun, so both of Cobb's runners scored as Tampa Bay's bullpen woes continued for a second straight night.
"It's kind of difficult to go out there in the first and put your team behind that quickly," Cobb said. "Definitely happy with the ability to get some quick outs and the ability to work into the eighth."
The Angels led 2-0 after five innings, getting dominant pitching from Shoemaker, who held the Rays to one hit and a weak one at that.
Maybin, who had homered the night before, led off the game with a solo shot to left, his third on the season. Trout followed on the next pitch with his own solo shot to left, his 15th, for a 2-0 lead before Cobb had an out.
NOTES: The Angels went back to Danny Espinosa at second base on Tuesday, after having rookie Nolan Fontana, 25, make his major league debut on Monday. Fontana, who had five home runs and 25 RBIs with Triple-A Salt Lake City before his promotion, went 0-for-3 in his debut. ... The Rays crowd was announced at 9,014, the team's lowest for any home game in more than two years, since a May 2015 game against the Rangers. ... Rays OF/DH Corey Dickerson entered Tuesday's games leading the American League with a .345 batting average. Only twice had the Rays had a qualified hitter leading the AL in batting average this late in the season -- SS Jason Bartlett in 2009 and OF Matt Joyce in 2011. Dickerson went 0-for-4, giving the AL batting lead back to Los Angeles CF Mike Trout, who went 1-for-3 and is hitting .324. Dickerson's average fell to .337.
Updated May 23, 2017