The Red Sox succumbed to the Angels in today’s 5-2 loss, providing the Angels with their second 3 game sweep of the year. Zack Greinke took the mound for the Angels and looked wild at first, as his pitches constantly landed in the dirt. However, that didn’t stop Greinke from going seven innings with two earned runs. Lester started for the Red Sox and began badly, a start he couldn’t shake. In the first inning he walked lead-off hitter Mike Trout on four pitches, even managing to throw a ball when Trout was trying to bunt. Tori Hunter then singled, Trout advanced to third, and Albert Pujols doubled them both in with a shot down the third base line. All before recording an out. This left the Red Sox in a 2-0 hole they could never dig their way out of. Lester ended up going eight innings with five earned runs.
The Angeles scored twice in the third, letting up four straight line drives to Hunter, Pujols, Trumbo, and Alberto Callapso in order. The Red Sox scored once on a second inning sac fly from Mike Aviles, and once in the sixth inning off of James Loney’s solo homer (his first big fly with the Red Sox). The Red Sox showed little heart, leaving eight men on base and going 0-6 with runners in scoring position.
In the top of the eighth the Red Sox looked ready to strike back, with Pedroia on second (walk), Loney on first (single) and Saltalamacchia with a lefty-righty advantage on pitcher Kevin Jepsen. Saltalamacchia made very good contact, driving the ball to deep center but Mike Trout had ample time to get under it. In the ninth, Scott Podsednik struck out looking to end the game while Mike Aviles was on second.
Lester looked bad tonight, it seemed every Angel was driving his pitches to the outfield, but after the fourth they stayed up long enough for the Red Sox outfield to get under them. Pedroia had a bizarre game, striking out on 3-2 in the first inning. He was clearly sitting on the fastball, and he got it but swung just under it. In his next at bat he hit one deep that ended up bouncing in the left field warning track for a double. He was advanced to third but couldn’t score. He grounded out in his next at-bat, but showed a very good eye in his last at-bat, and drew a walk after a 0-1 hole.
This game just puts the Sox further out of contention and lowers team morale by showing their ineptitude at hitting with men on. We saw very little of Bobby Valentine, preferring to send his coaches out to talk to Jon Lester on the mound. It really seems as if the Sox are complacent playing out this season and crossing their fingers for 2013.
Red Sox 2 Angels 5 BOXSCORE