Simmons, Cron lead Angels past Rays

Simmons, Cron lead Angels past Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays were bidding for their first back-to-back wins since June 14-15, a stretch of nearly three weeks. And despite holding two one-run leads, they weren't able to get the job done in a 13-5 loss to the Angels on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field, with Andrelton Simmons leading the way for the Angels in a three-run sixth that put the visitors ahead to stay.

The Angels have dropped 12 of their last 15 games, but they've scored 42 runs over their last five.

"We did some things well, and some things not as tight as we need to," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "But it's good to see the guys break out, good to see the guys drive the ball the way we can. We got a lot of run support, and we needed it."

Angels' six-run 9th

Neither starting pitcher was effective. Jake Odorizzi gave up seven earned runs in 5 1/3 and Angels starter Tim Lincecum couldn't go five innings. He exited after 4 2/3, having given up a two-run single to Nick Franklin to give the Rays a 5-4 advantage.

"I place the blame on me. It's my fault," Odorizzi said. "They did their job, I didn't do my job. Nobody is more frustrated than me with my performance. Not just tonight, but this entire year. It's not me."

The rally was the first time the Rays came back to take the lead in a game since June 15. But the Angels got the first three men on in the sixth -- capped off by a two-run double from Simmons, who later would come around to score.

Tampa Bay was paced by a Logan Morrison home run and a three-hit night for Nick Franklin, who has 11 RBIs on the homestand. But the Angels dominated the slugfest that saw a combined 30 hits.

Franklin's two-run single

Joe Smith and Cam Bedrosian preserved the lead in a close game for the Angels with a scoreless seventh and eighth, respectively. And when Rays reliever Enny Romero came into pitch in the ninth inning, C.J. Cron blew the game open with a three-run homer, his second long ball of the game, in what became a six-run Angels ninth.

One drawback for the Angels was Lincecum, who has given up 14 runs in 12 innings over his last three starts.

"Not really where I want to be," Lincecum said. "I know I didn't see this happening or see myself here. I thought I would have ironed out some things by now, but obviously, I have been here for a long time and I need to find a way out of it."

Cron's second homer

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Feelin' it: Cron has homered five times in five games this month and is batting .385 since the middle of June, bumping his slash line up to a very respectable .284/.337/.484 for the season. Simmons is batting .426 (20-for-47) in 12 games, putting his slash line at .261/.285/.348.

Cron said he began to feel good at the plate coming off the Thursday off-day, which was followed by a six-hit performance at Fenway Park on Saturday.

"I don't know what it is, but in early BP I felt really good," Cron said. "I don't know what it is, I wish I did, but something just clicked. Hopefully something can keep going."

Cron's big knock

Oh no, Odo: Odorizzi was ineffective for the Rays, allowing seven earned runs. The Rays came back from 4-1 down to take a 5-4 lead, but Odorizzi allowed three straight hits to start the next inning, and the Angels took the lead to stay.

"The issue of the night was getting runs," Rays manager Kevin Cash said, "eventually getting the lead and not being able to find that shutdown inning."

Run prevention: The Angels played some sloppy defense early on, with Simmons throwing errantly to first, Shane Robinson and Kole Calhoun miscommunicating on a fly ball, and Carlos Perez tossing the ball high past Lincecum. But Simmons kept the Rays from tying it in the fourth, fielding a Hank Conger chopper up the middle and gunning down Franklin at the plate.

Simmons nabs Franklin

Can't do Enny-thing: Romero has now allowed eight runs over his last 2 1/3 innings. It was also his second straight appearance in which he's allowed a three-run homer.

"Enny, he's in a rough patch," Cash said. "It's a little unexplainable. ... It's tough on him. It's tough on us. There aren't many things going his way right now."

INJURY REPORT
Robinson and Daniel Nava each exited early and could be headed to the disabled list. Robinson rolled his right ankle trying to retreat to first base in the top of the ninth and Nava had a flare-up of the patellar tendinitis he previously nursed on his left knee, which forced him to miss 18 games earlier this season. Scioscia said he's "not sure" if a DL stint will be required, but the Angels are expected to call up at least one outfielder on Wednesday.

Robinson exits after getting hit

LACK OF HUSTLE
Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. was removed from the game for not hustling on the triple that resulted from Robinson and Calhoun miscommunicating on his fly ball in the third. Souza later apologized, saying: "I think the bottom line is that I play hard, but right there I didn't play very hard. I got caught slipping and took for granted a routine play."

Souza Jr.'s stand-up triple

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Rays outfielder Brandon Guyer got hit with his 52nd career pitch. It passed Carlos Pena for the most HBPs in Rays history. His 17 this season lead the American League by six.

Angels reliever Deolis Guerra has now worked 24 1/3 innings this season without issuing a walk, carrying a 2.22 ERA and striking out 18 batters in that span.

ROLE CHANGES
Bedrosian pitched in a setup role on Tuesday, with usual Angels eighth-inning man Smith handling the seventh. Bedrosian has a 1.20 ERA in 34 appearances this season, striking out 30 batters in 30 innings. Smith has a 4.45 ERA and was making his third appearance since missing four weeks with a left hamstring strain.

"We tried to match up Joe with some righties in that seventh, just until he gets his feet on the ground," Scioscia said. "As that inning went on, his stuff picked up." 

Smith escapes jam

WHAT'S NEXT
Angels: Jered Weaver (6-7, 5.51 ERA) takes the ball for the third of a four-game series on Wednesday at 4:10 p.m. PT. Weaver has given up 10 runs in 10 innings over his last two starts, both of them at home against the Astros and A's. The 33-year-old has a 3.29 ERA in six starts at Tropicana Field.

Rays: Drew Smyly (2-9, 5.33 ERA) will pitch for Tampa Bay, hoping to end a streak of eight winless starts when the Rays host the Angels at 7:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday. Smyly has allowed 16 earned runs and 24 hits over his last three starts. He has lost five straight decisions.

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Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg.

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for MLB.com since 2012. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and Facebook , and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.