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ANAHEIM (AP) — Rookie Alex Cobb pitched 6 1-3 strong innings to earn his first major league victory, B.J. Upton homered and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-1 on Tuesday night.
The Rays won the series opener 5-1 a night earlier, giving them back-to-back victories for the first time since May 11-13, when they won three in a row. Despite the wins, they’ve lost 14 of their last 23 since they were a season-high eight games over .500 on May 13.
The Angels dropped their fourth in a row and sixth in their last seven.
Cobb (1-0) allowed seven hits and one run in his third major league start and first on the road. The right-hander struck out three and walked none. He had a no-decision against the Angels on May 1 in Florida.
Kyle Farnsworth retired the side in the ninth to earn his 12th save in 13 chances.
Dan Haren (5-4) gave up eight hits and three runs in seven innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked one after being pushed back three days in the rotation because of lower back tightness last week.
John Jaso extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 4-1 with a two-out single off Rich Thompson in the eighth inning.
Upton’s homer on the first pitch from Haren with two outs in the third landed in the Angels’ bullpen in left field, making it 2-0.
Upton didn’t play Monday because of the stomach flu that has swept through the team’s clubhouse. Rays 3B Evan Longoria missed his second straight game because of the bug.
Johnny Damon’s RBI double with two outs in the fourth made it 3-0. Damon reached base safely in his 33rd consecutive game, extending his career high with the longest active streak in the majors.
Damon opened the game with a triple and scored on Ben Zobrist’s groundout. Damon was 3 for 5 with two doubles and the triple.
The Angels’ run came on Torii Hunter’s RBI single with two outs in the sixth.
The return of Vernon Wells failed to ignite their slumping offense. Wells went 0 for 3 with a strikeout coming off the disabled list. The Angels have scored three runs or less in 18 of their last 31 games, including each of the last seven.
They got three hits in the first inning, but failed to score.
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