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Angels battle back to best Rays

Jun 12, 2015 - 4:51 AM St. Petersburg, FL ( - Garrett Richards bounced back from a brutal last start, and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim scored three times in the seventh inning en route to a 6-2 come-from-behind win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Battered for six runs while recording just two outs in a loss to the Yankees on Saturday, Richards (6-4) rebounded by yielding only four hits and a walk and striking out seven over seven sharp innings. The right-hander committed just one mistake, serving up a two-run homer to Steven Souza Jr. in the second.

He was rewarded for the effort when the Angels rallied against the Tampa Bay bullpen in the seventh, with rookie Kyle Kubitza delivering a clutch game- tying single and Mike Trout lacing an RBI double later on.

Former Angel Kevin Jepsen (1-4) was charged with all three runs while retiring just one batter in the deciding seventh.

"It was just one of those days where they had a couple well-placed balls," Jepsen said. "Unfortunately we were on the wrong side of that."

Trout finished 3-for-5 with a homer and two RBI, while Albert Pujols added a two-run shot in the ninth for Los Angeles. Efren Navarro and Johnny Giavotella also collected three hits in the victory, only the Angels' second in their last eight outings.

Pujols' blast was the 537th of his career, breaking a tie with Mickey Mantle for sole possession of 16th place in MLB history.

"It's a great accomplishment," Pujols said. "It's been a great career so far."

Rays starter Alex Colome pitched well in a no-decision, allowing one run and four hits through 5 1/3 innings.

Called on to protect a 2-1 lead, Jepsen issued a leadoff walk to ex-Ray Matt Joyce in the seventh that proved costly. Navarro reached on an infield single and Kubitza shot a base hit through the right side two batters later, with Joyce sliding in just ahead of Souza's throw home to knot the score.

The Rays then weren't able to turn two on Erick Aybar's grounder against Brad Boxberger, enabling Navarro to trot home with the go-ahead run. Trout then ripped a double down the left-field line to plate Aybar for a 4-2 edge.

Pujols put the game out of reach with his ninth homer in 13 games, a towering drive off Preston Guilmet with Kubitza aboard in the ninth.

The Angels' bats had been kept mostly quiet by Colome through five innings of play, until Trout got them on the board by crushing an inside fastball from the Tampa starter into the left-field seats in the sixth to cut a 2-0 deficit in half.

Pujols and Kole Calhoun followed with back-to-back singles off Brandon Gomes that put the tying run at third. However, Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier kept his team briefly in front by cutting down Pujols at the plate after hauling in Giavotella's fly ball.

Richards, meanwhile, endured a shaky second inning in which he walked Logan Forsythe with one out, then left an 0-2 pitch to Souza out over the plate that landed over the wall in right for a 2-0 Tampa Bay lead.

He was outstanding from there on, though, retiring 17-of-19 hitters following the blast. The Rays mustered one hit after Rene Rivera doubled and was left stranded in the fifth.

Colome threw 42 pitches while laboring through the first two innings but was more efficient thereafter, permitting three singles from the third to fifth.

Game Notes

The loss was the Rays' seventh in their last eight home games ... Trout has six homers and 11 RBI over an 11-game stretch and raised his career average at Tropicana Field to .405 (15-of-37) ... Kubitza made a second straight start at third base in place of David Freese, who's dealing with a sore right hamstring ... Five of Souza's last nine hits have been home runs ... The teams split the six-game season series, with Tampa Bay taking two of three in Anaheim earlier this month.