Erick Aybar smacked a two-run homer and added a two-run triple in the LA Angels of Anaheim's 11-2 rout of the Tampa Bay Rays in the opener of a four-game set.
Garrett Richards (5-6) surrendered just a run on two hits, but walked seven over five frames for the Angels, who have won five in a row and nine of their last 10 tilts.
"My control was to say the least a little off. I have to get back to pounding the zone. We got the win and that's the most important thing," Richards said.
Chris Archer (8-6) allowed five runs on nine hits and a walk over 3 2/3 innings for Tampa Bay, which dropped its fifth straight contest as is two games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles for the AL's second wild-card spot. The New York Yankees are 2 1/2 games back.
"We saw a lot of pitches from Richards, but we only had two hits. I think it's more about pressing. We need to come out and play like we did as kids," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Ben Zobrist cracked a solo shot and added an RBI single in defeat.
Zobrist's one-out solo shot in the first opened the scoring, but the Angels answered with a run in the home half, added another in the third and poured it on with a three-run fourth.
Josh Hamilton's RBI double in the home first tied it and Kole Calhoun's one- out single in the third put the Halos in front. A J.B. Shuck RBI groundout and Aybar's two-run blast accounted for the runs in the fourth to give the Angels a 5-1 spread.
Wil Myers struck out with the bases loaded in the fifth to keep it a 5-1 game. Zobrist's two-out RBI single in the sixth cut the spread to 5-2 before the Halos turned the game into a rout with a five-run home sixth.
Aybar had a two-run triple, Hank Conger deposited an RBI single into right field, Luis Jimenez registered a sacrifice fly and Peter Bourjos' two-out RBI single upped the Angels' advantage to 10-2.
Pinch-hitter Grant Green's first career homer, a leadoff shot into the front row of seats to right-center in the seventh, made it 11-2.