ANAHEIM (AP) — Daniel Robertson hit his first career grand slam and the Tampa Bay Rays held on after Mike Trout’s ninth-inning homer for their sixth straight victory, 5-3 over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night.
Sergio Romo made his first career start after 588 appearances as a reliever, striking out the side on 18 pitches in the first inning before being replaced by rookie left-hander Ryan Yarbrough as Rays manager Kevin Cash intended.
Yarbrough (4-2) gave up one run, four hits and one walk in 6 1/3 effective innings. He struck out four during his unconventional stint as a long reliever.
Trout’s two-run homer pulled the Angels within 5-3, but Alex Colome came in and got his 10th save.
Robertson homered for the second consecutive game by going deep to left-center and making it 4-0 in the second as the Rays capitalized on a throwing error by first baseman Jefry Marte that extended the inning. Marte’s underhanded lob after fielding a ground ball by Mallex Smith was well past the reach of Andrew Heaney going to the bag, giving Tampa Bay runners on first and second instead of ending the inning, and Jesus Sucre walked to load the bases.
Heaney (2-3) took the loss without giving up an earned run. He allowed three hits and walked five in six innings while striking out seven, as the Angels lost their fifth in a row.
Marte drove in Ian Kinsler in the eighth to get the Angels on the board after Wilson Ramos had an RBI in the seventh to put the Rays up 5-0.
Rays: SS Adeiny Hechavarria was placed on the 10-day disabled list retroactive to Friday because of a hamstring strain he sustained Thursday. RHP Ryne Stanek was recalled from Triple-A Durham to fill the open roster spot.
Angels: LF Justin Upton (left hand) returned to the lineup after being hit by a pitch Thursday. He went 0 for 4.
Rays: Cash did not announce a starter for the series finale on Sunday and will likely turn to his bullpen to carry the Rays through the game.
Angels: RHP Shohei Ohtani (3-1, 3.58) allowed one run while striking out 11 in 6 1/3 innings in the Angels’ 2-1 win over Minnesota last Sunday. Ohtani has struck out at least 11 batters in two of his three home starts, and his 43 strikeouts through his first six starts are a franchise record.
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