Facing Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, the Rays did not have much room for error the last time Cesar Ramos took the hill. Tampa Bay committed four errors and Ramos gave up nine runs (five earned) in 6 2/3 innings on May 12 in Seattle.
As Ramos prepares for his next turn, facing Angels lefty C.J. Wilson on Saturday night at Angel Stadium, Rays manager Joe Maddon and the right-hander are focusing on the positives from that troublesom outing. The box score did not show how Ramos helped spare a bullpen that logged 11 innings in the previous three-game series against the Indians.
"What happened [Monday night], above all the negative stuff, Cesar was the ultimate professional," Maddon said. "What he did to get us as deeply into the game as he did prevented us from having to use more bullpen people, was really, really was beneficial to us [Tuesday] and the days to come."
One significant stepping stone for Ramos is his performance in the final 4 2/3 innings of his outing against the Mariners. He gave up just one more run and retired the final 12 batters he faced.
"It's always a game of adjustments," Ramos said. "And luckily, I guess I had enough time to make those adjustments after [a while] and be able to do something, or salvage something for the game. That was the first time as a starter I got beat up that early and find a way to figure it out and still finish strong and do something productive to save the bullpen."
Most of all, the experience of getting roughed up should help motivate Ramos. The Angels have tagged the Southern California native for three earned runs in 2 2/3 innings spread out across five relief appearances. Ramos could very well be in for another rough day, but that won't deter him.
"It definitely doesn't feel good," Ramos said. "I think that's something I learned in college. Just keep fighting. If you keep fighting and don't quit, it's going to turn out OK."
Wilson, too, could stand to have a better first few innings. His last start against the Blue Jays was his worst since a rough outing of his own against the Mariners on April 1, as he surrendered three first-inning runs and five total in six frames against Toronto.
Between his two rough days against the Mariners and the Blue Jays, Wilson recorded five quality starts in six tries and a 2.36 ERA. He hopes to regain that form with better command Saturday.
"My ball, it was inconsistent today," Wilson said following his most recent start. "I'd throw a pitch expecting it to move six inches and it wouldn't move at all, and other times it would move two feet."
Rays: Streaking Bedard
During his start Thursday night, Erik Bedard set a career high as he extended his streak of innings pitched without allowing a home run to 46 1/3 innings. His previous best was 43 innings, from April 20 to May 31, 2011. Bedard did get some help Thursday night when center-fielder Desmond Jennings robbed Collin Cowgill of a two-run homer to end the fourth inning.
Angels: Triple threats
Mike Trout's seventh-inning triple on Wednesday marked the Angels' Major League-leading 14th three-bagger. Trout's four triples are tied for the MLB lead with Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Indians outfielder Michael Bourn.
Erick Aybar and Ian Stewart each have three triples, which ties them with 12 other players for the second-best total in the Majors.
The Angels ranked second with 39 triples last season. Trout led the club with six, which ranked sixth among individual players in 2013.
• Evan Longoria's 31 plate appearances against Wilson are the most by any Rays player, but he is batting only .160 (4-for-25) with a homer, six walks and nine strikeouts against the left-hander.
• Only four current Angels have faced Ramos. Erick Aybar, Hank Conger, Raul Ibanez and Howie Kendrick have one plate appearance each. Conger is the lone Halo with a hit against the Rays' hurler.
• Trout's walk-off home run against the Rays in the Angels' 6-5 win Thursday night was the 15th allowed by the Rays since 2008. However, the Rays have 24 walk-off home runs since 2008, the most in the Major Leagues.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.