Tonight in MLB: Rays look to rebound at Angels

Tonight in MLB: Rays look to rebound at Angels
September 2, 2013, 10:00 am
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The Rays have lost four straight games heading into Monday's series opener against the Angles. (AP)

Kyle Kendrick's woes continued Sunday after being tagged with another loss -- he's 3-8 over his last 12 starts -- as the Phillies fell to the Cubs (see story). Ryne Sandberg's club dropped two of three games to the Cubs in their three-game series.

Rays at Angels, 9:05 p.m.
The Tampa Bay Rays' slump includes a pair of losses to the red-hot Los Angeles Angels, but they've performed well in recent visits to Anaheim.

The Rays will also have the only pitcher to beat the Angels in the past 11 days, Chris Archer, starting in Monday night's series opener.

Tampa Bay (75-60) suffered its seventh loss in eight games and fourth in a row Sunday, 5-1 in Oakland. Percentage points ahead of Boston in the AL East on Aug. 24, the Rays have fallen 5 1/2 games back in that race and are three games ahead of Baltimore for the AL's final wild card berth.

A struggling offense carries much of the blame. Tampa Bay has batted .217 - including .191 with runners in scoring position - while producing 17 runs in its last eight games (see full preview).

Orioles at Indians, 4:05 p.m.
While the Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians both sit quite a ways back in their respective division races, they continue to keep pace in the highly competitive AL wild-card hunt.

The Orioles try to distance themselves from the Indians when these teams open a pivotal three-game set Monday at Progressive Field.

After dropping four of five to begin a nine-game trip, Baltimore salvaged Sunday's finale against the New York Yankees with a thrilling 7-3 victory. J.J. Hardy hit a go-ahead three-run homer and Adam Jones followed with a three-run shot of his own as the Orioles put together a seven-run seventh inning.

Cleveland returns home after concluding a 1-5 trek with Sunday's 4-0 win over Detroit. Mike Aviles provided all the offense with a ninth-inning grand slam as the Indians climbed within 7 1/2 games of the Central-leading Tigers (see full preview).

Tigers at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m.
The most productive offenses in baseball have lifted the Boston Red Sox and the Detroit Tigers to the AL's top records.

The availability of the majors' best hitter for a showdown between the clubs remains uncertain.

A banged-up Miguel Cabrera has sat out the last two days heading into Monday's opener of a three-game set at Fenway Park, where his Tigers have been awful over the past decade.

An abdominal strain kept Cabrera sidelined over the weekend after it caused him to leave games early Thursday and Friday. The injury bothered him throughout August - he's also battled hip and leg problems - and manager Jim Leyland said he's unsure when Cabrera will return.

Both clubs' division leads have since increased. The Red Sox (82-56) are atop the East with the AL's best record, having won seven of eight, and the Tigers (80-57) lead the Central by 7 1/2 games (see full preview).