Angels Stave Off Red Sox, Protect Half-Game Lead in West
Aug 19, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Los Angeles Angels catcher Chris Iannetta (17) hits an RBI double against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports
Brennan Boesch isn’t a household name. He’s on his second tour with the Angels and entered Tuesday night’s game in Boston on a 0-for-14 bender.
One hit may have saved Boesch’s slot on the ball club. For now.
The utility outfielder’s extra-base hit in the top of the ninth inning set Chris Iannetta up for a game-winner as the Angels held on to beat the Red Sox 4-3.
Call to the Pen
The Halos rallied for three runs in the third off young right Allen Webster who didn’t allow a run past the inning. Iannetta scored on Kole Calhoun’s single and Calhoun crossed home on Mike Trout’s triple to left-center field. It was Trout’s third hit of the series after going 1-for-19 over the last week.
Albert Pujols’ liner down the third baseline was snagged by Will Middlebrooks whose throw appeared to reach first in time. Angels manager Mike Scioscia challenged and Pujols was awarded an RBI single to give the Halos a 3-1 lead.
Of all the places Jered Weaver has pitched, Fenway Park may be the one he prefers to avoid. The venerable right-hander left a changeup up to David Ortiz, who laced it over the Green Monster. It was Ortiz’s fourth career homer off Weaver hand his fourth against the Angels since last season.
Weaver labored through 5 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and four walks. After shifting in and out of trouble through the first four frames, he allowed a single to Dustin Pedroia and walk to Ortiz in the fifth before a wild pitch placed both in scoring position. Mike Napoli’s grounder to short scored Pedroia, all but ending Weaver’s night. He hasn’t pitched past the sixth inning since July 23.
Jason Grilli, Fernando Salas, and Joe Smith tossed 2 2/3 scoreless innings in setting up the Halos for a decisive ninth inning. They are critical cogs in a bullpen that holds a 2.39 ERA since the All-Star break.
Boesch has received considerable playing time over Efren Navarro. For a moment, he made the decision worthwhile.
Boesch knocked Koji Uehara’s first pitch to the deepest part of the ballpark for a ground-rule double. It was his first hit since rejoining the club Aug. 12. Iannetta’s 21st double of the season brought Boesch home and gave closer Huston Street a one-run lead to work with.
Street allowed his first earned runs as an Angel on Sunday. Boston wouldn’t be as luck. Yoenis Cespedes led off with a single but wouldn’t get past second base; Street notched his 34th save by striking out Pedroia and Napoli.
Red Sox hitters went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. They’ve left a total of 22 on halfway through the four-game set and haven’t scored more than three runs since last Saturday.
The Angels hold their half-game lead over Oakland and move a season-high 24 games over .500.