Ryan Pepiot pitches 6 strong innings as Rays beat Angels 2-1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ryan Pepiot allowed one run and three hits in six strong innings, Amed Rosario hit an RBI triple in Tampa Bay's two-run first and the Rays beat the Los Angeles Angels 2-1 on Thursday to split their four-game series.

Pepiot (2-2) struck out seven and walked three after having some stomach issues before the game. He was acquired in a trade in which Rays ace Tyler Glasnow was dealt to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Pretty strong performance,” Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “I didn't think he felt that well going into the game. It's amazing how sometimes people find out they got that extra gear. He certainly pushed it.”

Pepiot felt physically fine on the mound, but a little tired.

“I was going to take the ball no matter what,” he insisted.

Colin Poche, the third Rays reliever, worked out of a jam with two on and two outs in the ninth for his second save in three chances. Struggling closer Pete Fairbanks, who has a 9.00 ERA, pitched in the previous two games.

Rosario extended his hitting streak to 10 games with his RBI triple that made it 1-0 in the Rays’ opening inning against Griffin Canning (0-3). He has nine RBIs over the stretch.

Harold Ramírez's sacrifice fly to right drove in Rosario to make it 2-0.

The Angels got within 2-1 in the sixth when Mike Trout walked, stole second and third and scored on Miguel Sanó's sacrifice fly. Trout has five steals this year after having just a combined six over the previous four seasons. It was his 23rd multisteal game, and first since July 23, 2018.

“That’s what he does," Angels manager Ron Washington said. “That’s a part of his game. It’s a part of his skill set. It doesn’t always have to be where you hit balls out of the ballpark.”

Canning allowed two runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings. His ERA decreased to 8.05 from 9.88.

Cash said before the game he is sticking with Fairbanks (0-2, 9.00 ERA) as his closer. The right-hander allowed five consecutive batters to reach in blowing a save Wednesday night and has given up eight runs — seven earned — in eight games.

“I’m confident he’s going to right himself and we’re going to be appreciating giving him the ball with one-run leads here soon,” Cash said.

Slumping 2023 AL All-Star Randy Arozarena was out of the Rays' starting lineup and popped out as pinch hitter in the eighth. The Rays left fielder hit .127 (7 for 55) with no homers and three RBIs in his previous 14 games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rays: OF Josh Lowe, sidelined since the start of the season with a right oblique strain, is starting a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Durham. He hit .292 with 20 homers, 83 RBIs, and stole 32 bases last season.

UP NEXT

Angels: LHP Tyler Alexander (2-1, 1.47 ERA) will start Friday night at Cincinnati.

Rays: Will face New York Yankees RHP Clarke Schmidt (1-0, 3.68 ERA) on Friday night. Tampa Bay had not announced its starter.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB