Price solid as Rays use Angels miscues to win

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Tampa Bay Rays came out of their series in Anaheim with a lot more confidence than they came in with.

The same probably can't be said of Angels backup catcher Ryan Budde, who allowed two passed balls that helped the Rays win 4-3 Wednesday, taking a series at the Angels for the first time in 11 years.

"It's important because the Angels are a playoff team. And if you get into the playoffs, you may end up playing here. So we have to have a better feel about it than we've had in the past," manager Joe Maddon said. "You really want to be able to play better in their venue somehow, and this should do a lot for our confidence here."
The Rays last won a series in Anaheim in May 1999. Since then, they lost 14 series, including seven sweeps, and split one.

David Price pitched into the seventh inning to win his third straight decision, and Tampa Bay improved its major league-leading record to 24-10.

Price (5-1) was charged with three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. The left-hander struck out six, walked three and stranded five runners in scoring position -- two of them in the fifth when Bobby Abreu grounded out.

Rafael Soriano, the sixth Tampa Bay pitcher, threw a perfect ninth for his ninth save in as many attempts.

Abreu cut the Rays' lead to 4-3 in the seventh with a sacrifice fly against Randy Choate, who had just relieved Price.

Weaver (4-2) had a career-high 12 strikeouts in seven innings, but took the loss after giving up four runs -- one earned -- and six hits. The right-hander threw a career-high 120 pitches, after making 118 over 7 1/3 innings last Friday in an 8-0 win at Seattle.

Weaver used up 34 pitches in the first, allowing a pair of unearned runs after a throwing error by third baseman Kevin Frandsen on Jason Bartlett's leadoff grounder. Carl Crawford bunted for a hit, Ben Zobrist followed with an RBI double and Crawford scored on Budde's passed ball with two out and the bases loaded.

"I called for a slider and he threw a heater," Budde said. "We just talked about it two pitches before, so I really don't know whose fault it was. But I put the blame on myself. Mental mistakes are unacceptable around here, and I take full responsibility for what happened. I apologized to Weave. I should have been better back there today."

Two pitches earlier, Weaver struck out B.J. Upton looking and Budde started walking back toward the third base dugout with the ball in his hand, thinking it was the third out. He was about to roll it back to the mound when he saw Weaver breaking for the plate to cover in case Crawford tried to score.

"Things like that are going to happen," Weaver said. "Obviously it's not the way you want to start the game, with things going on like that, but it's a matter of what you're going to do from that point forward. I was a little upset after that first inning, but I tried to challenge my aggression in the right direction and keep the team in the game."

Weaver retired 13 straight batters -- a stretch that included five consecutive strikeouts -- before walking Bartlett with two out in the fifth and giving up a hit-and-run single by Crawford. Budde's second passed ball allowed Bartlett to score, giving the Rays a 3-1 lead.

Budde, making his third start this season, is on the roster because of injuries to Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson -- who has been on the DL since his collision with Mark Teixeira on April 23.

"Ryan Budde's a really sound defensive catcher, but he just missed a couple of blocked balls and got crossed up on one pitch," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Weave did what he could, but we didn't support him in the field like we needed to. There was a lot of damage done, but no one feels worse about it than Ryan does."

Game notes
The three unearned runs were the first this season against Weaver, who gave up only six unearned runs over the previous two seasons. ... Angels DH Hideki Matsui, fighting through a 6 for 52 rut and batting .228, didn't start. He grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth for Mike Napoli, who struck out all three times up in the DH spot. ... Abreu had his first RBI in 14 games since April 27.