Weaver, bullpen shut down Sox LA Angels walk-off late

Jered Weaver pitched well Thursday helping Angels stay in the game. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Jered Weaver pitched well Thursday helping Angels stay in the game. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Angels started an important series against long-time rivals the Boston Red Sox Thursday night and what an opening it was for the Halos.  Jered Weaver had a strong start going 5.2 innings giving up only one run and keeping the Angels in the game.

With the LA Angels trailing 1-0 in the sixth inning Weaver was lifted for J.C. Ramirez who got out of a jam that kept the game 1-0.  On the Boston side David Price showed the form Boston has hoped when they signed him pitching eight scoreless innings allowing seven hits striking out six.

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Fernando Salas, Joe Smith, and Cam Bedrosian each pitched one scoreless inning a piece to keep the Angels in the game going into the bottom of the ninth only down 1-0.  In the bottom of the ninth Boston put new closer Brad Ziegler in to finish off the Boston victory, but the Angels had other ideas.

Mike Trout led off the ninth with an infield single.  Albert Pujols followed with a solid line drive single to left.  After Carlos Perez pinch-hit for Jefry Marte struck out while trying to bunt the runners into scoring position.  Andrelton Simmons got a line drive single to center to load the bases.  Former Red Sox Daniel Nava pinch-hit for Jett Bandy hoping to get back at his former team.

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Nava hit a hard ground ball that first baseman Hanley Ramirez threw home in hopes of forcing out Mike Trout at home, but it was over the head of Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon allowing Trout to score the tying run.  As the ball bounced over near the Angels dugout Ji-Man Choi who had pinch run for Albert Pujols raced home with the winning run and the Angels had a thrilling walk-off 2-1 victory.

It was the first time in 51 games that the Red Sox lost a game after leading going into the ninth inning. The walk-off win was a big lift for the Angels who are trying to make a push to get back in the playoff race as they gained a full game on the Red Sox.  They now trail Boston by 10.5 games with a chance to cut into the Red Sox lead even further.

Friday night the Angels will send righty Tim Lincecum to the in hopes that the righty will bounce back from his worst out of his career where Lincecum lasted just a 1.1 innings giving up eight runs in a 13-3 loss to Houston last Sunday.  If he does not pitch well again Lincecum may end up being banished to the bullpen in favor of either Jhoulys Chacin who seems to have found himself since going to the bullpen nearly a month ago.  The Angels could also call up top pitching prospect Nate Smith from Triple-A Salt Lake City.

Next: Lincecum struggles again in loss

Hopefully for the Angels Lincecum will find himself and prove he is worthy of a 2.5 million dollar contract.  If he does so, it could not come at a better time for the Angels.