The Los Angeles Angels now have two low points to define their slide out of contention in August.
On Aug. 1, they blew ninth- and 10th-inning leads at Rangers Ballpark, coming within two outs of cutting the Texas Rangers' lead in the AL West to two games only to collapse. They lost nine of 12 games starting with that crushing defeat.
A series win over the Indians made it seem like they might be getting their feet back under them. Then the Tampa Bay Rays came to town.
The Angels have struggled with the Rays this season and lost the first two games of the four-game series. But they took an 8-0 lead in the third inning on Saturday -- only to blow all of it and lose 10-8. The Rays completed their first-ever four-game sweep of the Angels Sunday, outscoring the Angels 37-14 in the series while setting a franchise record for runs scored in a four-game series.
Saturday's loss -- matching the largest blown lead in Angels history -- led to the second team meeting in less than a week. This time, the clubhouse doors stayed closed for 30 minutes after the game as veteran Torii Hunter called a players-only meeting to try and rally the troops.
Hunter called it "a family discussion, that's all."
"We really have to dig deep and figure out what we want to do," Hunter said afterwards. "For me, that should be nothing less than getting to the playoffs and winning the World Series.
"But to do that, we've got to have playoff at-bats, playoff pitching and playoff defense. We've got to play the game at another level. We can't stay where we are. We've got to turn it up a notch and play smart, better baseball."