The Rays hope for more of the same and to pick up their seventh win in eight tries against the Angels on the season in the second game of a four-game weekend series.
Another solid outing by Tampa Bay's pitchers wouldn't hurt the cause either, with the Rays rotation combining to allow eight runs -- six earned -- so far in the season series.
James Shields will take the mound for the Rays on Friday after coming off a no-decision in his last start. In that game, a 10-inning Rays win over the Twins, Shields allowed three runs (two earned) in seven innings on five hits and a walk to go with a pair of strikeouts.
After giving up five runs to the Orioles on July 26, Shields has been nearly untouchable, allowing just three earned runs on 10 hits in 24 innings over three starts.
"Just being aggressive, I've minimized my walks," Shields said about what's been key to his recent success. "I've stayed in the strike zone for the most part. My deep counts have gone down and I'm getting ahead of hitters. If I can just stay aggressive and utilize all my pitches, I think I'll be good."
The righty will have a tough task, going up against one of the American League's best pitchers in fellow righty Jered Weaver.
Weaver is coming off his first loss after winning his previous nine starts. In a loss to Seattle, the 29-year-old lasted seven innings and gave up three runs on four hits -- including two long balls -- and three walks to go with five strikeouts.
"I made some bad pitches and [Jesus Montero] put them where he's supposed to [over the fence]," Weaver said after his last start. "You can't hang your head too much. ... I tried to keep us in it, obviously the two-run homer hurt a little bit, but there's nothing you can do. That's going to happen. You just have to move on to the next one."
Rays: Tampa Bay continues to be on wrong end of perfection
Tampa Bay joined MLB in 1998 and since then, three players have thrown perfect games against the franchise, all since 2009.
Dallas Braden was the first to do it, and Mark Buehrle followed up with his own just two months later before Felix Hernandez recorded his own Wednesday. Rays utilityman Ben Zobrist had his own theory of why 13 percent of all perfect games have been against Tampa Bay.
"Pitchers have a lot more intel and things to know what to do with [hitters]," Zobrist said. "And know that in particular counts we're not going to swing at a certain pitch if they can throw a first strike and get ahead, and then get to their nasty stuff easier than just throwing a fastball."
Angels: Aybar hopes to rekindle 2009 swing
Though shortstop Erick Aybar was on the disabled list doing his normal rehab work, Angels manager Mike Scioscia wanted to make sure Aybar was making the most of his time.
Scioscia asked Aybar to watch video from 2009 of his swing that helped him set career highs in batting average (.312), on-base percentage (.353) and slugging (.423).
The assignment appeared to pay off for Aybar, who's hit .368 in 10 games since coming off the disabled list.
"His swing, his mechanics are much more in line with what he was doing in '09 than anything he's done the last couple years," Scioscia said. "Sometimes you're not going to square balls up at the plate and I think at times hitters tinker. He had some success with the little toe-tap, but as time went on it bred more inconsistencies into his swing than things it fixed."
Rays starter David Price picked up his Major League-best 16th win of the season in Thursday night's matchup.
Lefty reliever Scott Downs tossed 20 pitches in a simulated game Thursday. He is expected to be activated prior to Saturday's game.