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Monday, June 6, 2011
Rays 5, Angels 1: Three Up, Three Down

By Mark Saxon

ANAHEIM -- In his first appearance on the Angel Stadium mound since starting the 2010 All-Star game, David Price dominated the Angels for seven innings in the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1 victory Monday.

Then again, you don't have to be David Price to shut down the Angels these days. It seems like everybody is doing it. The Angels have gone 9-16 since May 10 and have scored three runs or fewer in six straight games.

The Good:

Clutch hit. Vernon Wells hit a three-run double. Unfortunately for the Angels, it was at a place called High Desert, where the club's Single-A affiliate was playing Monday night. Wells, who was batting .183 when he went on the disabled list May 10, played his second rehab game and figures to be activated before Tuesday's game.

Clutch hit. When Jeff Mathis bounced a single up the middle to drive in Mark Trumbo in the eighth inning of a game that felt like a lost cause, something felt new about it. The Angels had been 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position to that point, kind of a typical night for this team right now.

Hits, period. Maicer Izturis had a couple and seems to have emerged from his long slump; Torii Hunter and Trumbo had ringing doubles to the opposite field. The Angels didn't generate much offense, but three of their key hitters at least showed a pulse.

The Bad:

Streak halted. Tyler Chatwood had been on the best roll of his young career, having allowed one run or fewer in four of his previous five outings, but the Angels didn't support him in the field early and he left a pitch over the middle of the plate that .083-hitting Justin Ruggiano smashed for a two-run home run.

Alertness. The Angels' infield looked like it wasn't ready for the start of the game. In the first inning, three balls that could have led to outs ricocheted off infielders' gloves, one of them for an error (on Alberto Callaspo).  Chatwood throws a sinker and gets a ton of ground balls, so it was a bad way to launch his outing.

Atmosphere. There were about 30,000 fans at Angel Stadium to begin the night and half of them, many looking utterly bored, had left by the eighth inning. It's hard to blame them for walking. This team's not very fun to watch right now. The Angels are batting .239 at home and averaging 3.2 runs per game here.