ANAHEIM, Calif. >> By the time David Price figured out how to correct what went wrong, it was too late for Tampa Bay. The damage had already been done by the Los Angeles Angels, and it was enough to help Jerome Williams get his first victory in nearly three months.
Collin Cowgill hit a three-run double, one of 11 hits the Angels got against the reigning AL Cy Young winner through his first 21⁄3 innings, and Williams ended a streak of eight straight losing decisions in a 6-2 victory over the Rays on Thursday night.
Price (8-7) was charged with six runs while striking out six. The three-time All-Star left-hander, who won a career-high 20 games last season, has lost consecutive starts for the first time since dropping three in a row from July 20 to Aug. 2, 2011.
“He made some bad pitches at the wrong times,” manager Joe Maddon said. “He was off with some of his off-speed stuff. He was just missing early. Then he really settled in and pitched extremely well after that.”
The Angels built a 6-2 lead through the third, and everyone in the starting lineup had at least one hit by then. Price didn’t give up another hit after Kole Calhoun’s RBI single in the third, retiring 14 of his final 15 batters.
“I got better as the game went along, but 11 hits and a walk through three innings is pretty rough,” Price said. “It’s frustrating when you go out there and don’t perform well for your team.”
The Angels opened the third with five consecutive hits, including a leadoff single by Mike Trout, who was picked off and then thrown out at second. Mark Trumbo and Luis Jimenez both doubled during the rally, and Josh Hamilton had an RBI single. Jimenez scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Grant Green.
“David Price is as tough of a left-handed pitcher as you’re going to face, but our left-handed hitters hung in there,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “We had great at-bats tonight, and David Price had to work for every out.”
The Rays’ ninth loss in 12 games, coupled with Boston’s 9-8 win at New York, dropped Tampa Bay 61⁄2 games behind the AL East-leading Red Sox. Those teams will meet next week in a three-game series at Tropicana Field after the Rays complete their 10-game West Coast trip with three at Seattle.
Williams (6-10) allowed two runs and six hits over 61⁄3 innings, struck out seven and walked two as the Angels earned a split of the four-game series. The right-hander was winless in his previous 13 starts with a 6.58 ERA since winning at Baltimore on June 12. His eight straight defeats were the most by an Angels pitcher since 1993, when Scott Sanderson was 0-9 in his final 11 starts with the club.
“I just wanted to put up zeros and keep the guys in the hunt for a win,” Williams said. “I’m just going out here and doing my job, trying to do my best. Whatever happens happens, as long as at the end of the day and the end of the season I can look myself in the mirror and say: “I did OK. That’s fine.”