ANAHEIM -- A strong season debut from Matt Andriese and a pair of home runs led the Rays to a 3-1 win over the Angels on Sunday and a sweep of the three-game series at Angel Stadium.
"Great sweep," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "... Matt Andriese was outstanding. Set the tone. Not an easy thing to do to come face a Big League lineup, come travel cross country. Really looked sharp. Made some big pitches."
Andriese, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham to make the start for the Rays, allowed a sacrifice fly to Albert Pujols in the first inning then posted six scoreless innings before leaving after the seventh.
The Rays scored all of their runs on home runs by Brad Miller and Curt Casali against Angels starter Nick Tropeano, who struck out 10 over 5 1/3 innings but took his second loss of the season.
"He obviously had good stuff but there were just a couple pitches that he couldn't locate in the zone and they ended up coming out of the park," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "This was a strong outing for Nick and hopefully he's still going to grow with his command and he'll be a little more pitch-efficient so he can go a little deeper into games. That's going to be an important step in his development."
Alex Colome retired the side in order in the ninth to earn his ninth save in nine attempts.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Rays power: Brad Miller went deep in the third inning and Curt Casali followed suit in the fifth, giving the Rays nine home runs in their last four games, and 21 over the last 12. As a team, they have hit 39 through 29 games.
Simmons sprains thumb: The injuries continue to mount for the Angels as shortstop Andrelton Simmons exited the game in the third inning with a sprained left thumb. With one out and the Angels down, 2-1, after Miller's home run, Simmons went to the hole to make a diving stop on a grounder by Evan Longoria and landed on his left thumb. Simmons was evaluated by the trainer and left the game immediately. More >
Forsythe run saver: With two outs in the bottom of the fourth and Mike Trout on third representing the tying run, Johnny Giavotella grounded through the middle for what appeared to be an RBI single. Instead, second baseman Logan Forsythe back-handed the ball and threw falling away to first. Steve Pearce fielded the one-hopper to complete the fielding gem that saved a run.
Squandered opportunities: The Angels looked like they would mount a comeback in the bottom of the sixth. With none out and two on and the heart of order due up, Trout worked the count full against Andriese but struck out. Pujols then grounded into a 3-4-1 double play to end the inning.
"You want to get over .500, but you also want to continue it. We're playing good baseball. We're playing tight games right now. And the guys are really responding well to these crunch situations." -- Cash, when asked about his team being over .500 for the first time this season at 15-14
"Some guys just aren't squaring the ball up very well. There's not one magic pill for the whole team. Some guys are having really good at-bats, some guys are hitting the ball hard with not a lot to show for it, and some guys just are not in their game and not comfortable in the batters box." -- Scioscia on the Angels' offensive struggles in the series
Forsythe was called out trying to steal second in the seventh inning for a strike-em-out, throw-em-out. The Rays challenged the call. After 55 second delay, the call on the field was confirmed.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays: The Rays travel to Seattle to begin a three-game series against the Mariners at 10:10 p.m. ET on Monday. Matt Moore will get the start and hopes to avoid some of the pitfalls he experienced during Tuesday's start against the Dodgers when he allowed seven runs.
Angels: The Angels are off Monday before the Cardinals open a three-game series at 7:05 p.m. PT Tuesday at Angel Stadium. Hector Santiago will start Tuesday but manager Mike Scioscia had not yet named a starter for Wednesday's game.