The Red Sox express pulled into Angels Stadium last night for the first of a three game set against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and kept on rolling, primarily fueled by two costly Angel errors and a David Ortiz two-run pinch hit homer in the eighth to ice a 6-2 Red Sox win.
Boston’s Felix Doubront (4-3, 4.22 ERA) and the Angels’ C.J. Wilson (8-5. 3.63 ERA), squared off in game one and both pitched well enough to win. The difference was Doubront’s defense didn’t let him down. The same can’t be said for Wilson.
Boston, winners of their last eight of 10 and riding a four-game winning streak going into the game, got off on the good foot again, taking a 2-0 lead in the second when Jarrod Saltalamacchia stroked a single that Angels’ left fielder J.B. Shuck misplayed, allowing both Johnny Gomes and Daniel Nava to score.
The Angels chipped away at Boston’s lead, eventually knotting the score at 2-2 on an Albert Pujols double play ball that scored Shuck (triple) in the third and a Howie Kendrick solo homer in the fourth.
In the sixth the Sox threatened to do some two out damage after singles by Brandon Snyder, Salthy and Jose Iglesias but Jacoby Ellsbury‘s broken bat liner died in Wilson’s glove to end the threat. In the meantime, Doubront settled down after the Kendrick home run, retiring the next nine Angel batters in a row.
The Angels season-long poor fielding – second worst fielding percentage in the AL – haunted them again in the seventh when Josh Hamilton dropped what should have been an easy inning-ending fly ball off the bay of Gomes that allowed Shane Victorino to score all the way from first base to give the Sox a 3-2 lead. Hamilton’s error was the 30th unearned run allowed by the Angels this season.
Boston’s final offensive blows were meted out after Wilson was lifted in the seventh. Dane De La Rosa gave up a double to Nava and a two-run homer to Ortiz in the eighth to make it 5-2 Boston. The Sox added an insurance run in the ninth when Mike Napoli homered, salvaging what had heretofore been a terrible 0-4 night at the plate.
It wasn’t pretty but the Sox found yet another way to win last night in a hostile park. All aboard! Get your tickets.
Game two of the series (10:05 EST start) features Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.11 ERA) against Jerome Williams (5-4, 3.89 ERA).