ANAHEIM, Calif. — Because he was one of the players obtained from the White Sox for Kevin Youkilis earlier this season, righthander Zach Stewart was always going to have a place in Red Sox history.
Stewart got a chance to become more than a footnote on Wednesday night when he was given a start against the Los Angeles Angels.
Stewart’s first impression was not a good one. He gave up nine runs in three innings as the Sox were beaten, 10-3, before a crowd of 37,841.
You have to go back to April 26, 1902 to find a pitcher who gave up more runs in his debut with Boston. That was Pep Deininger of the Boston Americans, who allowed 11 runs against the Washington Senators.
Stewart (1-3) gave up seven extra-base hits as the Red Sox fell behind, 9-1, before the third inning was over. He shouldn’t feel too bad. Jon Lester allowed nine earned runs in two innings against Toronto on Aug. 20, 2010.
“I’ve had a few bad ones. It’s always difficult, you never want to have a start like that,” said Stewart, who was optioned back to Triple A Pawtucket after the game. “It’s one of those things, all you can do is turn the page and go from there.”
The Sox have allowed 10 or more runs in 11 games this season. Their starters now have an earned run average of 4.94.
Torii Hunter had three hits and two RBIs for the Angels, who have won six of their last eight games. Chris Iannetta had two hits and two RBIs. Los Angeles had 14 hits off Stewart and three relievers.
Rookie first baseman Mauro Gomez had three of the 11 hits for the Red Sox.
The Angels took a 4-0 lead four batters into the bottom of the first inning.
Mike Trout led off with a single and scored on a double to left by Hunter. Trout rounded the bases like he was running a relay leg in the Olympics. It was his 102d run in 107 games
Albert Pujols singled to drive in Hunter and took second on the throw to the plate. Kendry Morales then hammered a hanging slider into the stands in right field for his 17th home run.
“He got too many pitches up. He has to pitch down in the zone to be effective,” manager Bobby Valentine said of Stewart. “He just wasn’t able to do that tonight. It’s tough to come up and make a start against this team and have things go bad from the first hitter.”
Erick Aybar led off the bottom of the second inning with a double to right field, his line drive getting over the head of Cody Ross. Aybar tagged up and went to third on a Trout fly ball to right field. Ross made a strong throw but Aybar slid in under the tag. Hunter’s single gave the Angels a 5-1 lead.
The lead grew to 9-1 in the third inning as Stewart continued to get rocked.
Morales doubled and scored on a two-out double by Alberto Callaspo. Aybar doubled in another run before Iannetta cracked a two-run homer to left field.
Stewart was finally pulled after three innings and 72 pitches. He is now 3-9 his career with a 6.55 earned run average in 32 games.
Junichi Tazawa went two innings in relief and allowed one run. Andrew Miller was next out of the bullpen and pitched a scoreless inning despite loading the bases with one out.
With the Sox trailing, 10-3, Alfredo Aceves came on for the seventh inning. Tuesday night, he gave up two runs in the ninth to cost the Sox a victory.
Aceves allowed a single by Kendrick and then walked Callaspo before getting out of trouble. He got Aybar to pop up before striking out Iannetta and Trout. Aceves then pitched a scoreless eighth.
Angels starter C.J. Wilson (10-9) entered the game 0-5 with a 6.09 ERA over a stretch of 11 starts since his last victory on June 26. Wilson, who was signed to a five-year, $77.5 million deal in December, has been a disappointment. But he did get the win, allowing three runs over six innings.
He scattered eight hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Wilson threw 108 pitches and improved to 5-0 in his last seven starts against the Red Sox.
Gomez singled in the second inning, took third on a single by Mike Aviles, and scored on a sacrifice fly by Scott Podsednik.
Podsednik singled and scored on a throwing error by Iannetta in the fifth inning. Jacoby Ellsbury later scored on a single by Dustin Pedroia.
That extended Pedroia’s hitting streak to nine games. He has hit safely in 22 of the last 23 games with 15 RBIs. Pedroia is 34 of 95 (.358) in that stretch. His average is up to .282 on the season.
If the Angels make their way into the playoffs, they should vote the Red Sox a share. Los Angeles is 5-0 against the Sox this season, all of the wins coming in the last nine days.
Going back to last season, the Sox have lost seven straight games against the Angels.