Jason Vargas allowed two hits over seven innings and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 on Thursday.
The Rays have lost four of five, and are top of the AL wild-card standings with Oakland. The Angels have won five of six.
Vargas (8-5) gave up a leadoff double to Desmond Jennings in the first and Ben Zobrist's sixth-inning infield single. The left-hander struck out seven and walked three.
Rays rookie Wil Myers drew a leadoff walk from Ernesto Frieri in the ninth and went to third on Yunel Escobar's one-out double. Frieri rebounded to earn his 28th save, retiring Kelly Johnson on a foul pop and getting pitch-hitter David DeJesus on a flyball.
Jake Odorizzi (0-1) gave up one run and four hits in five innings.
Luis Jimenez and Kole Calhoun each drove in a run for the Angels.
The Rays droped two of three to the Angels, and now start a 10-game road swing Friday night at Oakland. Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon set a theme for the trip that deals with the start of the college football season. He is letting players and staff wear football jerseys on the team flight.
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner David Price, Friday night's scheduled starter, got into the swing of things early by throwing his bullpen session Wednesday in a Vanderbilt helmet, football jersey and pants.
Jimenez, recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake before the game after third baseman Chris Nelson went on the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, hit an RBI single in the second. He finished with two hits and had a throwing error at third.
Los Angeles made it 2-0 on Calhoun's run-scoring single off Alex Torres in the sixth.
The Rays loaded the bases with one out in the first, but failed to score when Sean Rodriguez popped out and Escobar flied out. Vargas also worked out of a two-on, one-out jam in the sixth.
Odorizzi, recalled from Triple-A Durham Wednesday night to start the series finale with the Angels, allowed one run and four hits over five innings.
NOTES: Los Angeles slugger Josh Hamilton (shoulder) was the DH for the second consecutive game. He went 0 for 3 with a walk and had his career-high road hitting streak end at 15 games. ... Myers went 0 for 1 with three walks, but is hitless in his last 19 at-bats. ... Angels 1B Mark Trumbo, in a 3-for-22 skid, was rested. He entered in the eighth as defensive replacement.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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