Aybar has four RBIs as Angels rout Rays

Aybar has four RBIs as Angels rout Rays

Aybar has four RBIs as Angels rout Rays

ANAHEIM -- Mike Scioscia has repeatedly stressed how important it is for the Angels to set the game up on their terms.

The manager wants to see his starting pitcher go deep into the game, his bullpen put up zeros and his offense manufacture a few runs.

The template may sound simple, but the Angels have had very few stretches in which they accomplished all three tasks on a consistent basis.

However, the Angels -- who have won nine of their last 10 games -- are in the midst of one of those stretches.

"I think we're better when we're worried about our game, what we need to do in house, the process we need to go about to play a good game," Scioscia said. "Since we've been doing it, especially on the pitching end, these last couple of weeks, you're seeing the results that we had hoped for earlier in the season."

After winning eight of nine on the road trip, the Angels opened up a seven-game homestand with a 11-2 victory over the Rays on Monday night.

"We're just putting it together," J.B. Shuck said. "We've been working hard all year, we just hadn't been able to get something to click and now it is. We're playing with a lot of enthusiasm."

Garrett Richards, making his second consecutive start against Tampa Bay, struggled with command, but was able to keep the Rays offense in check and lower his ERA to 3.21 since rejoining the rotation on July 27.

Despite a career-high seven walks, Richards allowed just one run on two hits in five innings.

"You can give Garrett an A for effort, he hung in there," Scioscia said. "Never really got command of counts. His ball-strike ratio was very poor and his first-pitch-strike ratio was bad. Couldn't really get his secondary pitches into the game, but when it's all said and done, it's a win for us."

Richards gave up a solo home run to Ben Zobrist on the sixth pitch of the game, but the Rays' lead did not last long.

Mike Trout singled, stole second and scored on Josh Hamilton's double to tie the game, 1-1, in the first.

The stolen base was Trout's 30th of the season, making him the youngest player in MLB history to hit 20 home runs and steal 30 bases in back-to-back seasons.

Kole Calhoun gave the Angels their first lead of the game with an RBI groundout in the third and they padded their lead with a three-run fourth.

Andrew Romine and Peter Bourjos led off the inning with a pair of singles, Shuck drove in a run with a groundout up the middle and Erick Aybar -- who had nine hits in his previous 60 at-bats -- capped the three-run inning with a two-run home run to left field. Rays starter Chris Archer was out of the game one batter later. He allowed five runs on nine hits.

"Yeah, but leading up to that, I didn't control the damage very well," Archer said when asked if he thought he could salvage the night after Aybar's homer. "Had a lot of two-strike hits. I felt really good. I just wasn't executing when I needed to."

While Archer was unable to make pitches when it counted, Richards -- despite his troubles -- did just that.

"He did a great job," Shuck said. "He didn't have his best stuff, but he really battle out there, kept us in the ballgame. He gave us a chance."

Aybar struck again when his two-run triple highlighted a sixth inning in which the Angels scored five times and sent 11 batters to the plate.

"Erick puts the ball in play," Scioscia said. "He's a little bit of a slasher, but he's dangerous with guys in scoring position because he's got speed and he can use the whole field."

Grant Green pinch-hit for Aybar to lead off the seventh and belted his first career home run.

William Boor is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.