ANAHEIM, Calif. » For the first time in six games, Tampa Bay gave itself some breathing room offensively.
Evan Longoria homered and drove in another run, Matt Joyce homered and the Rays defeated the Los Angeles Angels 10-3 last night to remain tied with the Yankees atop the AL East, ending a streak of five one-run games.
"That was nice not having to hold our breath going into the eighth, ninth innings," catcher John Jaso said.
The Rays’ second straight win over the Angels — and fourth overall — and New York’s 11-5 win at Toronto kept the teams tied with identical 78-48 records, best in the majors.
"We know every game is important," Joyce said. "They’re going to win a lot of ballgames. I don’t think it takes our focus off what we have to do."
Wade Davis (10-9) became the fifth Rays starter with 10 or more victories, making them the only major league team to boast such a staff. The right-hander allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked three. His 10 wins lead all AL rookies.
"My command was pretty good. A couple times it got a little wild," he said. "I got a little tired toward the end."
Earlier yesterday, Davis came off the 15-day disabled list, where he had been with a strained right shoulder, to make his first start since Aug. 5.
"He had really good stuff. It’s a nice first step coming back," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "The ball was jumping out of his hand well. He looked healthy."
Longoria hit his 19th homer in the third inning, extending the Rays’ lead to 5-1. His RBI double with two outs in the seventh made it 7-2.
They added three in the ninth off Angels closer Brian Fuentes.
Maddon was ejected in the fifth for arguing a caught stealing call.
Longoria singled with two outs and then tried to steal second, but his momentum carried him off the bag while Erick Aybar kept his glove in contact with Longoria.
Maddon appeared to claim that Longoria was nudged off the bag, but he was ejected for the fourth time this season by umpire Angel Campos. Maddon’s 15th career ejection — the sixth against his former team, the Angels — ties him with former manager Larry Rothschild for most in club history.
"Got some text messages done," Maddon said. "It goes back a little bit, two consecutive calls I didn’t like. Tonight I might have been a little over the top. I said something that deserved it."
Joyce’s homer in the sixth chased Ervin Santana (13-9), who had his three-game winning streak snapped. The right-hander gave up six runs and eight hits in 5 1/3 innings, struck out six and walked three. It was just the second time in his last 12 starts that he failed to get out of the sixth inning.
The Rays led 4-0 in the second, the same lead they owned after two innings of Monday night’s 4-3 win in the series opener.
"Ervin tried to minimize some damage, but obviously four runs is not what you’re looking for there," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He went out there and battled, but I don’t know if we’re going to rewrite what he’s been doing just because of one game. Ervin’s been throwing the ball very well for us and we hope he can in his next start."
Dan Johnson doubled down the right-field line, with Angels first baseman Juan Rivera failing to snag the ball before it went into the outfield. He scored on Jaso’s two-run single up the middle. Angels center fielder Peter Bourjos’ throw hit the mound and bounced straight up in the air, giving Jaso extra time to score.
Ben Zobrist followed with a sacrifice fly for the fourth run.
"I don’t have any more excuses. I’m out of them," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said. "It seems like we’ve been in a slump for a long time and we need to fight through it. If I had a cure, I’m pretty sure we would have used that already. We’re just stuck with this disease."