Preview: Rays at Angels

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: May 16 2014 07:34:47 AM CDT
Updated On: May 16 2014 07:34:47 AM CDT

Mike Trout needed some type of spark to snap out of a monthlong slump and he couldn't have asked for a better one than his game-winning, three-run homer Thursday. Trout looks to build off those heroics when his Los Angeles Angels host the Tampa Bay Rays in the second of a four-game series Friday night. Trout was 7-for-50 this month before belting his ninth-inning homer as the Angels won for the sixth time in seven games and thwarted Tampa Bay's chance at a third straight victory.Rays manager Joe Maddon said closer Grant Balfour would be back in his role Friday despite being pulled when he walked two and allowed a hit before Trout's blast off Brad Boxberger. Erik Bedard gave Tampa Bay its third straight strong outing from a starting pitcher and Chris Archer will try to make it four when he opposes veteran Jered Weaver. The Rays need more from Evan Longoria, who is 1-for-11 with five strikeouts on the road trip.TV: 10:05 p.m. ET; Sun Sports (Tampa Bay), FSN West (Los Angeles)PITCHING MATCHUP: Rays RH Chris Archer (2-2, 5.16 ERA) vs. Angels RH Jered Weaver (4-2, 3.22)Archer has struggled in his last four starts since moving to the No. 2 spot in the rotation with Alex Cobb and Matt Moore injured, allowing 16 runs in 20 2/3 innings. The 25-year-old gave up four runs over five frames in a loss to Cleveland in his last outing. Trout is 4-for-6 in his career against Archer, who is 1-1 in two starts while yielding six runs in 10 2/3 innings versus the Angels.Weaver got off to a slow start in his first three outings, but has limited opponents to two or fewer runs in the last five while going 4-0. The three-time All Star, who gave up 13 runs combined in his first three outings, has permitted 42 hits in 50 1/3 frames overall. Wil Myers homered in two of his three at-bats against Weaver, who is 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA in nine lifetime starts versus Tampa Bay.WALK-OFFS1. Rays SS Yunel Escobar has seven errors this season, matching his 2013 total.2. Los Angeles OF Collin Cowgill has reached base safely in 22 of 23 starts after going 2-for-5 in the series opener.3. Tampa Bay 1B James Loney took over the team lead in RBIs with 24 after recording two Thursday.PREDICTION: Rays 4, Angels 2

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