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Rays aim to stay hot at plate vs. Angels

(SportsNetwork.com) - Following their offensive eruption on Saturday, the Tampa Bay Rays will try to secure a series victory on Sunday when they finish up a three-game set with the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field.

Evan Longoria's two-run home run in the first inning started a six-run burst across the first two innings for the Rays, who never looked back en route to a 10-3 victory on Saturday.

Chris Archer benefited from the early lead, picking up the win after allowing three runs over six innings, while striking out nine batters.

"It's just nice to go out there and beat team's aces," Archer said.

Ben Zobrist went 4-for-5 in the contest and Logan Forsythe had two hits including a home run. The win ended a two-game skid for the Rays.

C.J. Wilson had a rough go of it in his return from the DL, allowing six runs in just 1 1/3 innings. Wilson has not pitched since July 9 due to a sprained right ankle.

"We need him. We need him to figure it out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Wilson. "We need him to get back in to making pitches and being effective."

Sunday features an intriguing pitching matchup, as the Rays' talented youngster Jake Odorizzi tries his luck against Los Angeles ace Jered Weaver.

After a rough start to the campaign, Odorizzi has really come into his own. He went just 1-3 with a 6.83 ERA in his first six starts, but since then is 6-5 with a 2.83 ERA. In total he owns a 7-8 record and an ERA of 3.80, which is the lowest it has been since he threw six shutout innings in his season debut.

The 24-year-old put forth another fine performance last time out, when he let up just a single run over seven innings of work in a 2-1 victory over Milwaukee. The Rays have now won each of his last three starts.

It is nearly a year to the day that Odorizzi pitched in his first and only other game against the Angels. On Aug. 7 of last season he was tagged for one run in five innings of work, but the Rays ended up dropping the contest 2-0.

Weaver has a chance to earn his 12th win on Sunday, which would give him the most among starters in the Angels rotation.

On the season Weaver does not have the sparkling ERA of fellow starter Garrett Richards (2.74), but at 3.62 he has certainly been solid, and he has been eating up as many innings as his teammate, with each having thrown 144 1/3 innings thus far.

If Weaver hopes to get that 12th win, which would top his total for last season, he will need to pitch better than he did on Tuesday against Baltimore. The right-hander allowed six runs over five difficult innings as the Angels lost 7-6. Fortunately for Weaver, he did not factor in the decision keeping his streak of four-straight winning decisions in tact.

Weaver pitched well in his only other outing against Tampa Bay this season, surrendering two runs on three hits in seven innings. However, the rest of the Angels did not help him out offensively, as they fell 3-0. Weaver is now 4-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 10 career starts against the Rays.

The Angels took three of four from the Rays in Anaheim from May 15-18.

08/03 08:53:29 ET

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