ANAHEIM -- Chris Archer celebrated his 100th Major League start in style, while the Angels had to work without a true starter as the Rays defeated the Angels, 5-2, at Angel Stadium on Friday night.
"[The win is] big, it is different, the travel change, all of that, you want to start with wins whatever series you go into," said Rays manager Kevin Cash about getting a win in the first game of a six-game West Coast road trip. "This was a night where it was good to get an early lead. Something we haven't done a ton of. We had some opportunities to add on -- we did not, but we got enough early to get the win."
Archer held the Angels scoreless on five hits while walking two and striking out six in six innings to claim his second win of the season.
On the flip side, the Angels went into the game knowing they were going to have to run through a parade of relievers after getting caught in a starting-pitching lurch. That translated to Cory Rasmus making his first start of the season, which he made knowing he would be limited to 50 pitches or less.
The Rays got busy against Rasmus in the first, scoring first on an Evan Longoria sacrifice fly before Corey Dickerson added to the damage with a three-run homer that put the Rays up 4-0. Brad Miller -- who went 4-for-5 on the night -- finished off Rasmus with his third home run of the season, a solo shot in the third. Rasmus allowed five runs on five hits in 2 1/3 innings to take the loss.
"I put us in a hole early and we couldn't come back from it," Rasmus said. "I don't feel like I put guys away very well. My command wasn't how I would like it. At the same time, I thought I pitched competitively but in that situation, I didn't have that pitch or two that would have gotten me out of the inning."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Dickerson breaks out: Dickerson entered Friday night's game in an 0-for-23 slump, the longest hitless streak of his career. The prospects of breaking out didn't look promising when he batted with two outs and two on in the first and fell behind, 0-2. But the hard-swinging left-hander changed everything when he swung at a 92-mph fastball from Rasmus. Dickerson had his sixth home run of the season and the Rays had a 4-0 lead. According to Statcast™, the blast had an exit speed of 104 mph and traveled a projected 413 feet from home. More >
Starting struggles: Rasmus was limited to 50 pitches and ended five shy of that total. It was his eighth career start and the first in which he allowed more than two runs. Rasmus pitched in place of Garrett Richards, who was placed on the 15-day DL earlier in the day with a torn ligament in his right elbow and is likely set for season-ending surgery. It was because of Richards' knee injury in 2014 that Rasmus was originally converted into a starter. More >
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Rasmus would have more opportunities as a starter.
"We're going to have to absorb it somehow and the only way we can absorb it is to get guys into the game and get them to pitch to a certain point in the game," Scioscia said. "Cory proved that he can do that a couple years ago. He had a rough one tonight and wasn't quite as crisp. ... We're going to turn the page on it."
Finding relief: The pitching-starved Angels may have found an answer to some of their problems in Javy Guerra. The right-hander, whose contract was selected earlier in the day, made his first appearance with the team and his first Major League appearance in more than a year with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning. Guerra struck out Longoria, got Steve Pearce to fly out to center field and struck out Steven Souza Jr., getting out of the jam and preventing further damage.
Ramirez to the rescue: The Rays were in a jam in the seventh inning after the Angels loaded the bases against Steve Geltz, who then walked Mike Trout to force home a run. That's when Cash signaled for the reliable Erasmo Ramirez to enter and pitch to Albert Pujols with the bases loaded. The Rays right-hander threw one pitch and the Angels slugger swung, sending a deep fly ball to right that Souza hauled in for the third out.
"I think it speaks volumes how talented the guy is. I still don't think he was as sharp as he was capable of." -- Cash on Archer's performance
"You get thrown in the fire and it's a good thing. I think it gets everything out of the way and you feel back to normal. For the most part, you just pick up where you left off." -- Guerra on facing a bases-loaded jam in his first Major League game appearance since April 12, 2015
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Brandon Guyer knows about taking one for the team. On Friday night the Rays outfielder felt the horsehide smack against his flesh for the eighth and ninth times this season. Guerra hit Guyer with a pitch in the top of the fifth. A.J. Achter then hit Guyer in the eighth, adding to Guyer's Major League lead in the hit-by-pitch category. He has been hit an AL-leading 33 times since the beginning of the 2015 season.
Souza got caught between second and third in the seventh inning. Angels catcher Carlos Perez had the ball and waited to see which way Souza would break. He took off for third base and was called out on the play. The Rays challenged the call. After a delay of 3 minutes and 20 seconds, the call on the field was confirmed.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Jake Odorizzi starts for the Rays at 9:05 ET on Saturday, hoping to perpetuate his mantra of getting quicker outs. The right-hander is locked in on getting ahead in counts, disposing of hitters more quickly, and therefore pitching deeper into the game.
Angels:Jered Weaver takes the mound at 6:05 p.m. PT on Saturday. Weaver is coming off of his first loss of the season after allowing a season-high seven earned runs at Milwaukee on Monday. But Weaver has been effective at home, having gone 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA in his two starts at Angel Stadium.