ST. PETERSBURG -- The Los Angeles Angels used early power from Mike Trout and Josh Hamilton, and a strong performance by Matt Shoemaker and four relievers to hang on to a 5-3 decision from the Tampa Bay Rays Friday.
Los Angeles needed just two batters to get on the board, as Hellickson started the game by walking Kole Calhoun, then gave up a two-run blast to Trout, his 25th on the season.
Albert Pujols followed with a double off the wall in left-center, and after Hamilton grounded out for the first out of the game, Erick Aybar singled in Pujols to make it 3-0.
Tampa Bay got one run back in the second, as James Loney doubled to lead off the frame, moved to third on an infield single by Yunel Escobar, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Cole Figueroa.
Hellickson could not get a shutdown inning though, allowing a two-out solo home run to Josh Hamilton, his seventh of the year.
Tampa Bay got back to within a run in the fifth, as Ben Zobrist started a two-out rally with a single. Matt Joyce doubled Zobrist to third base before Evan Longoria scored both runners with an infield single and throwing error on David Freese.
The Angels pushed the lead back to two runs with a two-out rally of their own in the top of the sixth, as J.B. Shuck drew a walk from Kirby Yates, and Chris Ianetta plated him with a double down the left field line.
Shoemaker (9-3) allowed three runs in five innings of work, but got scoreless outings from relievers Jason Grilli, Kevin Jepsen, and Joe Smith before Huston Street made it dramatic by loading the bases with nobody out, but finished the game without allowing a run for his fifth save with Los Angeles and 29th of the year.
Tampa Bay will look to rebound in the second of the three-game set, when Chris Archer (6-6, 3.37 ERA) takes on C.J. Wilson (8-6, 4.33 ERA). First pitch is set for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE starting at 6:00 with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.