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TB@LAA: Moore blanks the Angels over 6 1/3 innings

Going into Saturday's matchup, the Angels had scored just 11 runs against the Rays this season, but they exploded for eight. Still, it wasn't enough, as Tampa Bay came back to erase an eight-run deficit with a 10-8 victory.

The Angels are hoping for a similar offensive performance but better pitching as they try to avoid a four-game weekend sweep against the Rays on Sunday at Angel Stadium.

Zack Greinke will take the mound for the Angels. He picked up a victory in his latest start but struggled against the Indians, allowing four runs on eight hits and a walk in seven innings of work with five strikeouts.

The righty has struggled since being acquired from the Brewers but facing the Rays might be the remedy. In his first start with the Angels, he threw seven innings of two-run baseball against Tampa Bay, allowing seven hits and a walk with eight strikeouts. Since then, he's allowed at least four runs in each of his three starts.

Matt Moore will be starting opposite Greinke and is going for his fourth win in his last five starts. He pitched his way into a no-decision last time out, allowing one run in seven innings on six hits and a walk with nine strikeouts in what turned out to be a loss to the Mariners after closer Fernando Rodney blew a save in the ninth.

In day games, the lefty has struggled mightily with a 4.37 ERA as opposed to a 3.05 mark in night games. In his last afternoon start, Moore pitched pretty well, though, allowing one run over six innings in a win against Toronto.

Still, Moore said he likes pitching during the day.

"It's something to look forward to," Moore said. "Tomorrow morning I have a routine I'm going through. Starts with waking up and taking a shower, eat breakfast, everything just falls into order. There's really no down time throughout the day. I like that."

Rays: Upton finds power stroke in August
• With fewer than two weeks left in August, one player who hopes it never ends is Rays outfielder B.J. Upton.

The speedy center fielder went 1-for-5 at the plate Saturday night and is hitting .324 with six homers and 12 RBIs this month. Each of the long balls have come in the first nine games of the team's 10-game road trip with two against the Angels.

"B.J.'s playing at this higher level," manager Joe Maddon said. "I think the last time I saw something similar to this it was in the playoffs in 2008. It's fun to watch because I can really see that his focus is great. His confidence is soaring. You're starting to see the abilities matching the expectations. He's in a good place right now."

Upton had just nine homers in the four months prior to August.

Angels: Downs returns to bullpen
• The bullpen got a major boost Saturday when the Angels activated Scott Downs from the 15-day disabled list after recovering from a strained shoulder.

Downs pitched one-third of an inning in his return, retiring the only batter he faced Saturday. The lefty has been a crucial component to the bullpen this season, throwing more than 35 innings with a 2.55 ERA.

"Downs feels good," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's going to go out there and he's going to make pitches, whether he's making them in the seventh inning or eighth inning or ninth inning. We trust his stuff and trust where he is that he'll be able to go get outs." Steve Geltz was sent back down to the Minors to make room for Downs.

• Righty Jordan Walden is expected to be activated from the disabled list Sunday after completing a rehab assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake. He has a 3.86 ERA this year.

Worth noting:
• The Rays have hit eight home runs in the first three games of the series and 14 through nine games of a 10-game road trip.

• The Angels bullpen has thrown 15 2/3 innings in the first three games of the series. Comments