BY: John Mamola /

The Rays bats fell silent as Jason Vargas and the Los Angeles Angels pitching staff prevailed in a pitchers duel at Tropicana Field with a 2-0 victory on Thursday afternoon.  Vargas earns his third career win over the Rays pitching seven stellar innings only allowing two hits and striking out seven Rays batters.

Vargas was the beneficiary of an early offensive tally by the Halos as Rays starter Jake Odorizzi ran into some trouble in the Angels’ half of the second inning.  With Hank Conger on second base with two outs, Luis Jimenez singled to left field scoring Conger on a throw wide of home plate by Sam Fuld.  Jimenez was thrown out attempting to advance to second base, but the Angels had the 1-0 lead.

The Angels added another run in the top of the sixth inning as Los Angeles struck again with two outs and runners in scoring position on Odorizzi.  Kole Calhoun’s RBI single to center field scored J.B. Shuck giving Los Angeles a 2-0 lead on the Rays.

The Rays just didn’t have an answer for the arms the Halos were sending to the mound.  For the Rays, it was the seventh time they’ve been shut out this season and the first since August 10th at the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Rays three thru nine hitters were a combined 1-24 with 7 strikeouts.   

Jake Odorizzi pitching in his first game with the team since June threw five innings allowing a run on four hits with three strikeouts.  Vargas moves to 8-5 on the season, and Ernesto Frieri earns his 28th save.

The Rays will head to the west coast for the next ten games beginning in Oakland tomorrow night and then heading to Los Angeles and Seattle.  You can catch David Price against Jarrod Parker for Oakland tomorrow night on WDAE beginning at 9:00pm with the pre-game, and a 10:05pm first pitch.