The Angels are hoping that lefty C.J. Wilson can snap out of his own personal funk and give the club a win in the third game of the four-game weekend series on Saturday night at Angel Stadium.
The southpaw is winless since June 26, picking up five losses in nine starts while allowing 37 runs (31 earned) in 55 1/3 innings in that stretch.
He lost in his last start against Cleveland by giving up three runs, two earned, in 6 2/3 innings of work on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
"Our thought process is, 'OK, it's going to turn around -- this is the inning, this is the game, this is the at-bat,' and we haven't been coming through," Wilson said. "That's all there is to it. It's very cut and dried. We have the opportunity, and everybody in here has had the opportunity. I've had an opportunity to pitch better."
Of course, if Wilson wants to find his way into the win column again, he'll have to get run support from the Angels' lineup, which has scored just three runs in the current series and 11 in the season series of eight games.
Alex Cobb will look to continue the Rays' success against the Angels on Saturday.
He's been on a roll as of late, allowing just one run in each of his last three starts, including a seven-inning outing against Seattle in which he yielded just four hits and two walks to go with five strikeouts.
"Everything's been going well in all aspects right now," Cobb said. "We've been hitting well, throwing well and playing the field well. I heard the position players talking on the bench that they really feel like this is the peak of our season right now. Everything's rolling well right now. As long as we can keep doing our job pitching, we should find ourselves on top of the Wild Card and chasing down the division."
Rays: Zobrist continues stellar play at short
Before August began, the last time utility man Ben Zobrist played shortstop was 2009, but judging by manager Joe Maddon's kind words, he might seem like he'd played the spot every day since then.
That is, if being "boring" at short is an accolade.
"I like boring out of a shortstop," Maddon said. "And I mean that as the highest compliment possible, where he just comes in very fundamentally, picks up the ball, and zip, a nice, accurate throw to first base. He's been very boring at shortstop and I love it."
Since first seeing time at shortstop Aug. 9, Zobrist has fared well at the plate too, batting .343.
Angels: 2002 championship team to reunite
More than 25 of the players and coaches who helped the Angels win their first World Series title in 2002 are set to reunite before Saturday's game.
They will be honored with a ceremony and an induction to the team's Hall of Fame will follow. Troy Glaus, Scott Spiezio, Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon and Troy Percival are all expected to be there.
Each player and coach who is returning will wear a 2002 Angels jersey, which will be autographed and auctioned off to benefit the Angels Baseball Foundation. After Saturday's matchup, Fox Sports West will rebroadcast Game 7 of the 2002 World Series against the Giants.
"I think as you get some rear-view mirrors on that special year, you start to understand what it meant to the Angel fans of the '60s and '70s and '80s and '90s," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Just the fact of people that came up to me when I was in the supermarket or Starbucks or whatever, and saying how their grandfather would've loved it and didn't quite get to see it. That's something you don't get from being out here every day and just going through the grind. It gives you perspective on just what this game is about."
Eight Rays starters recorded a hit in Friday's matchup with five players recording at least two hits. The only player held hitless was Matt Joyce, who was 0-for-5.
Angels lefty reliever Scott Downs is expected to be activated from the 15-day disabled list and rejoin the team Saturday.