With Angels' right-hander Matt Shoemaker throwing a no-hitter for his first 6 2/3 innings, the Red Sox could not avoid a loss, 2-0, or a sweep in the four-game series.
The loss extended the Sox' losing streak to five games and six of their last seven as they fell to a new season-low 15 games below .500, at 56-71.
Rubby De La Rosa took the loss despite a solid outing. He went 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and three walks with eight strikeouts and a wild pitch. His record falls to 4-5, as he lowered his ERA from 3.79 to 3.69.
The Angels got a run in the first as lead-off hitter Kole Calhoun singled, going to second on Mike Trout’s ground out, and scoring on Josh Hamilton’s double.
The Angels added a run in the sixth as Erick Aybar led off with a ground-rule double and stealing third with Chris Iannetta at the plate. After Iannetta walked and Collin Cowgill struck out, Calhoun’s sacrifice fly scored Aybar, putting the Angels ahead, 2-0.
Meanwhile, the Red Sox could do little with Shoemaker until Will Middlebrooks lined a clean, two-out double to left in the seventh. Before that the only Sox base runner was Brock Holt, who led off the bottom of the first getting hit by a pitch before Shoemaker struck out Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Nava, and Yoenis Cespedes.
Middlebrooks was perhaps the unlikeliest of Sox batters to break up the no-hitter. He entered the game, hitting just .188, as a replacement in the fourth inning for Cespedes who left the game, not with an injury but for personal reasons.
Shoemaker earned the win, improving to 12-4. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up one hit, one walk, and one hit batter with nine strikeouts, one shy of his season high.
MVP: Matt Shoemaker
Shoemaker kept the Sox hitless until two outs in the seventh when Middlebrooks doubled to left. He went 7 2/3 innings, giving up one hit and one walk with nine strikeouts. After hitting lead-off batter Brock Holt with a pitch in the first, he retired 20 in row before Middlebrooks’ double.
NUMBERS TO KNOW:
The Sox had just one hit in the game, the second time this season they have been one hit, including July 24, at Toronto. The last time they recorded just one hit in a game at Fenway was against the Mariners on April 11, 2007, when Felix Hernandez threw a complete-game, one-hit shutout. ..Yoenis Cespedes threw out Josh Hamilton attempting to score in the first inning for his 13th outfield assists of the season. Entering the game, his 12 outfield assists were second in baseball behind Jackie Bradley’s. Cespedes left the game after the third inning because of a family medical emergency...In their five-game losing streak, the Sox are just 2-for-42 with runners in scoring position, leaving 44 runners on base.
WHAT IT MEANS:
The Sox were swept by the Angels and have lost five in a row, and six of the last seven. It is the first time they have been swept in a four-game series since April 16 – 19, 2010, against the Rays. They are now a season-low 15 games under .500.
After getting swept in four games by the Angels, the Sox won’t get a break, as they host the Mariners for three games at Fenway, beginning Friday at 7:10 p.m. when they will face right-hander Felix Hernandez (13-4) who leads the American League with a 1.99 ERA.
Right-hander Joe Kelly (0-1, 5.29) is scheduled to start for the Sox. This will be his first career start against Seattle. In his three starts with the Sox he is 0-2 with a 6.41 ERA, allowing 19 runs over 26 2/3 innings.