The Angels jumped on the sliding Rays early, scoring 3 runs in the first inning on four singles by Howie Kendrick, Bobby Abreu, Torii Hunter, and Alberto Callaspo. The Halos added another run in the second inning on Hank Conger's first at-bat of the season, a long home run to right field, and the first of his career. Both Hunter and Callaspo finished the night with two RBI, and Abreu reached base for his 8th consecutive plate appearance when he singled in the first after going 5-for-5 with 2 walks Sunday against Kansas City.
Jered Weaver, the Angels opening day starter, ran his record to 2-0 as he went 6.2 innings, giving up 3 hits, 3 walks and striking out 6. Weaver's only mistake came on a hanging curve to former Angel Sean Rodriguez. Rodriguez, who was part of 2009's Kazmir deal and is filling in for disabled Evan Longoria, sent Weaver's offering to deep left in the third.
In what looks to be an early season trend, the Angels bullpen made the game interesting when Hisanori Takahashi walked Ben Zobrist to lead off the 8th after relieving Weaver the previous inning. Takahashi was replaced by Michael Kohn who retired the next two batter before giving up a long home run to BJ Upton, drawing the Ray to within two before retiring Matt Joyce to end the inning.
Entering his first game as the Angels' closer, Jordan Walden pitched a perfect ninth for his second career save, and first of 2011.
The Angels are now 2-3, while the struggling Rays drop to 0-4 on the season. Tomorrow's game features Dan Haren (0-0, 1.29) facing Rays rookie Jeremy Hellickson who is making his first start of the season. Game time: 10:10am (Pacific)