ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - David Price kept Albert Pujols and the Los Angeles Angels in an early-season funk
The two-time AL All-Star pitched a five-hitter for his second career shutout, Tampa Bay homered four times, and the Rays beat the Angels 5-0 on Tuesday night.
``I don't know if we've seen a better game against us,' Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said.
Pujols went 0 for 4 and is hitless in 16 at_bats. The Los Angeles slugger has not homered in 17 games this year, a stretch of 69 at_bats.
``I'm not trying to go out there to try to do too much,' Pujols said. ``I've been in this situation before. It's part of the game. You can't let into your head. You just need to keep fighting and knowing it's a long season.'
Los Angeles has dropped 5 of 7 and are 6-11 overall.
``I don't concentrate on individual numbers, I concentrate more as a team,' Pujols said. ``I think we've got a better ballclub than what we've been showing. It seems like everybody in the lineup is struggling.'
Pujols did hit several balls hard, including a drive that went foul down the left-field line and a liner to short.
``It's just startling,' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``Hey, it's early in the season. He's in a new environment. But he's going hit his share by the end of the year. I'm going to do the Joe-Willie (Namath), I guarantee that.'
Price (3-1) gave up all singles in his first shutout since a four-hitter against Toronto on April 25, 2010. His only other complete game came July 2, 2010, against Minnesota.
``I think everybody in the league knows that he throws a lot of fastballs, but he was mixing up his pitches pretty well and keeping the ball down,' Pujols said. ``He didn't make a lot of mistakes. He was pretty comfortable pitching from the wind-up all the time.'
Desmond Jennings, Luke Scott, B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena hit solo homers off Angels starter Ervin Santana (0-4), who has given up at least two home runs in each of his first four starts this season - a total of 10 overall. Don Sutton, in 1986, is the only other Angels pitcher to allow multiple homers in his first four starts, according to Stats LLC.
``He just missed some spots and they didn't miss the pitches,' Scioscia said.
Santana gave up five runs and eight hits over five-plus innings.
``Just keep pitching, fix it in the bullpen,' Santana said. ``That's how you get better and that's what I'm going to do. Locate my fastball, that's it.'
Price allowed just one baserunner - a leadoff walk in the fourth to Erick Aybar - through four innings. The left-hander snared a liner hit by Vernon Wells to end the second, and right fielder Matt Joyce made a diving catch near the foul line on Chris Iannetta's pop fly in the third.
Mark Trumbo got the Angels' first hit, a leadoff single in the fifth. Price then induced a double-play grounder from Wells.
Jennings put the Rays up 1-0 on a first-inning leadoff homer. He has gone deep three times in the last five games after hitting just two home runs over his previous 41.
Tampa Bay took a 3-0 lead on solo homers by Scott and Upton in the fourth and fifth innings.
Pena got his 1,000th big league hit, a solo homer, in a two-run sixth that extended the lead to 5-0. Upton added a sacrifice fly in the inning.
The Rays had a team-record four sacrifice flies in their previous game, a 6-2 win over Minnesota on Sunday.
NOTES: Pujols has not driven in a run since April 15 and has four RBIs this season. ... Tampa Bay RHP Kyle Farnsworth (strained right elbow) is nearing the start of a throwing program. ``It's going forward,' he said. ... Trumbo started in right field, his fifth different position this season. ... Los Angeles LHP C.J. Wilson (2-1) and Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (2-0) are Wednesday night's starting pitchers.
The Associated Press News Service
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