(SportsNetwork.com) - After registering just a single shutout through their first 38 games of the season, the LA Angels have now turned the trick twice in the last four outings and hope for similar results Sunday when they cap a four-game series with Tampa Bay at home.
Back on April 9 the Angels posted a 2-0 win on the road at Seattle, the only shutout for the club through seven weeks of action, but the team finally broke through with another strong defensive effort on Wednesday versus the Philadelphia Phillies (3-0) on the road. Yesterday the team treated the home town fans to their first shutout of the campaign with a 6-0 rout at Angel Stadium.
Starting pitcher C.J. Wilson went the distance for the hosts as he allowed five hits and a pair of walks, striking out seven, for his fifth win of the season.
"It's my first shutout here with the Angels," said Wilson. "It's what you work for between outings, lifting weights and studying scouting reports ... The defense really bailed me out tonight. The offense gave me six runs to work with, which is plenty."
The Angels scored two runs in each of the first three innings and never looked back as Collin Cowgill and Chris Iannetta both logged a pair of hits and Grant Green delivered his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the bottom of the third.
Cesar Ramos suffered the loss, his third of the campaign, as the starter lasted just 1 1/3 innings. Ramos was charged with four earned runs on four hits and a walk before yielding to four relievers out of the bullpen.
"Extremely surprised," Ramos said of his early exit. "And I don't think I was the only one."
With a six-game homestand set to start on Tuesday, three games each against Oakland and Boston, the Rays will still be in last place in the AL East once play concludes on Sunday regardless of outcomes within the division.
Tampa Bay has suffered a major power failure when it comes to hitting over the last week, placing last in the league in slugging with a mere .304.
Coming off his second complete game of the season, David Price readies himself for an afternoon meeting with the Angels today. The left-hander, who had a total of four complete games in 2013, came out on the winning side of a 2-1 final versus Seattle on the road earlier in the week, snapping a two-game slide.
The Tennessee native scattered six hits and struck out 12 without issuing a single walk. Despite a record of just 4-3, Price has one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios (70-to-6) in the majors. Coincidentally, Price is also 4-3 in his career versus LA in nine appearances, coming up with a 3.57 ERA through 58 innings of work.
Taking the ball for the hosts will be Matt Shoemaker, appearing in just his sixth major league contest. Shoemaker played in one game last season and this year he has just 11 2/3 innings under his belt.
The right-hander took a month-long break between appearances for the Angels before heading back to the hill on Tuesday versus Philadelphia. Shoemaker picked up the first win of his career as he lasted five innings, giving up two runs on three hits, striking out three, at Citizens Bank Park.
The Angels claimed a 4-3 advantage in the season series a year ago, but only after being crushed by Tampa Bay in 2012 (9-1).