Amed Rosario, Ryan Pepiot help Rays split 4-game set with Angels

Hot-hitting Amed Rosario went 2-for-4 with a triple, Ryan Pepiot fired six strong innings and the Tampa Bay Rays managed a split of their four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, beating them 2-1 Thursday afternoon in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Batting third in the lineup, Rosario produced his big hit in the first inning, tripling in a run and then scoring on a sacrifice fly. The offseason acquisition increased his hitting streak to 10 games and boosted his average to .339.

Yandy Diaz was 2-for-4 and Richie Palacios singled and scored as the Rays had just five hits.

Pepiot (2-2) yielded just one run on three hits and three walks. He fanned seven over 92 pitches.

The Rays won the seven-game season series 4-3.

For the Angels, Mike Trout went 0-for-3 but stole two bases and scored. Miguel Sano singled, walked and had an RBI. Luis Rengifo had two hits.

Starter Griffin Canning (0-3) allowed two runs and four hits over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked one.

In the bottom of the first, Rosario put his side up 1-0 by slicing a triple down the right field line, plating Palacios, who had walked.

Harold Ramirez staked them to a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly to right.

Pepiot stranded two Angels in scoring position in the second when Nolan Schanuel flied out to left, and the right-hander settled in nicely in his fourth start for Tampa Bay.

Through the first five scoreless innings, Pepiot allowed three hits and two walks, but a brief moment of wildness in the sixth helped put the visitors on the board.

Trout led off the frame with a walk and soon stole both second and third. Sano then brought him home with a sacrifice fly to right to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Tampa Bay mounted a strong threat in the sixth after Palacios and Rosario singled to open the inning, chasing Canning from the game. Reliever Luis Garcia then forced a double-play grounder.

After closer Pete Fairbanks blew a save in the Angels’ 5-4 rally on Wednesday, the Rays’ bullpen got redemption by shutting down Los Angeles over the final three innings.

Following scoreless innings by Garrett Cleavinger and Phil Maton, Colin Poche allowed two singles in the ninth before retiring pinch hitter Brandon Drury on a fielder’s choice for his second save.