St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) – Brandon Wood hit a go-ahead leadoff homer in the ninth inning to give the Angels a 4-3 win over the Rays in the opener of a three-game series at Tropicana Field.
Wood’s blast to left-center off Dan Wheeler (2-4) was his first since June 27 and gave Los Angeles its sixth win over the last eight games.
“He hasn’t been getting consistent at-bats,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of the 25-year-old Wood, who was hitless in 11 at-bats in September coming in. “He’s been working hard on the side.”
Bobby Abreu went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI for the victors.
Fernando Rodney notched his 11th save of the season after getting Ben Zobrist on a game-ending groundout to third with runners on first and second.
Tampa Bay came in a half-game ahead of the Yankees in the AL East race, but swapped places after New York edged Baltimore on Friday.
Dan Johnson hit a solo homer in defeat but was struck out looking by Michael Kohn (1-0) to leave the bases loaded in the eighth.
Angels starter Dan Haren fanned 10 and gave up three runs on three hits and three walks in seven innings.
His counterpart, Wade Davis, also received a no-decision after allowing three runs — two earned — on seven hits over six frames. The rookie also struck out eight and remained unbeaten over 11 starts,
Mike Napoli got the scoring started in the second when he singled, advanced to third on John Jaso’s errant throw on an attempted steal and trotted home on Howie Kendrick’s base hit to left.
Johnson tied it in the bottom half by golfing an 0-2 offering into the right- field seats for his fourth homer over the past five games.
“I feel pretty good at the plate, seeing the ball well and putting good swings on it,” Johnson said.
The Angels got two more in the third, as Alberto Callaspo doubled with one away and scored on a single by Abreu, who raced around from first on Torii Hunter’s two-bagger.
Haren set down 11 straight before giving up a hit to Jason Bartlett with one out in the sixth. Jaso followed with a walk, and two batters later Crawford tripled over Abreu’s head in left to bring home both runners for a tie game.
Both teams stranded a runner in scoring position in the seventh.
Kohn recorded his first major-league victory…The Angels were 7-14 in their last 21 contests in St. Petersburg…Crawford’s triple was his league-leading 13th…Haren turned 30 on Friday.