A change of scenery did Red Sox starter Allen Webster well, as his start on the road in Anaheim went much smoother than his outing at Fenway against the Yankees last week, while the Red Sox scored enough to get a much-needed win against the Angels on Friday night.
The Sox starter went 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits with two walks and three strikeouts, earning his second win of the season. Angels hurler Jered Weaver took the loss after going six innings and allowing four runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
The Red Sox jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, as three straight hits from Christian Vazquez, Brock Holt, and Dustin Pedroia saw the Sox strike first. Yoenis Cespedes then picked up his first RBIs in a Red Sox uniform with two outs, scorching a double down the left field line that scored Holt and Pedroia to put a three-spot in the board for the Red Sox.
The Angels answered with a couple runs of their own in the bottom of the third, as Yoenis Cespedes botched a grounder down the left field line, allowing Efren Navarro to score from first, while Mike Trout hit a sac fly to center to score Chris Iannetta and cut the Sox’ lead to one.
Mike Napoli gave the Red Sox another in the top of the fifth, smacking a solo shot over the left field wall to up the Sox’ lead to 4-2.
MVP: Dustin Pedroia
The Sox second baseman is starting to find his stroke, as he collected two hits on the night, while picking up an RBI and scoring a run. He also turned a nice double play in the fourth inning, catching a David Freese line drive and quickly throwing to first to double off Howie Kendrick.
GOAT: Mike Trout, Albert Pujols, and Josh Hamilton
The All-Star 2-3-4 hitters for the Angels were mostly silent on Friday, with Pujols (double in the eighth) recording the only hit and Trout (a sac fly in the third) had the only RBI of the bunch. In total, the group went 1-for-9 on the night and did little to help the Angels attempts to push past the Sox.
ICYMI: With Koji Uehara in trying to save the game in the ninth, Howie Kendrick hit a shot to right center that would have easily gone for two, if not three, bases. But Jackie Bradley Jr., who entered the game as a defensive replacement, added yet another sensational catch to his impressive defensive resume, turning sure-fire extra bases into the first out of the frame.
TWEET OF THE GAME:
High Five City. Koji Time = Bed Time. Night, all.— Tom Caron (@TomCaron) August 9, 2014
NUMBERS TO KNOW: Yoenis Cespedes’ third inning double plated his first RBIs since joining the Red Sox at the trade deadline… Mike Napoli’s solo homer in the fifth was his 14th in 39 games against his former team, also representing his 27th RBI…With the homer, he upped his career batting average against the Angels to .353…Allen Websters 6 2/3 innings represented the longest MLB start; he had never pitched longer than six innings before this game…The walk to Chris Iannetta that Koji Uehara issued in the bottom of the ninth was his first in over a month; he last walked a batter on July 6.
WHAT IT MEANS: With their win on Friday, the Red Sox improved to 51-64 on the year. The Sox sit 15 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for the lead in the AL East, while they still haven’t made up any ground on the Rays in getting out of the division basement; they remain five behind Tampa Bay. The Sox are 10.5 games behind the Kansas City Royals for the second Wild Card spot in the American League.
LOOKING AHEAD: Clay Buchholz gets the start for the Red Sox in their second game of this three-game set in Anaheim. He comes into the game with a record of 5-7 and a 6.20 ERA. In his last start, Buchholz coughed up two different three-run leads to the Yankees on Aug. 3, allowing seven runs on eight hits over five innings in a Red Sox’ loss.
Garrett Richards is set to start for the Angels, sporting a 12-4 record and a 2.58 ERA in 23 starts. Richards threw a complete game shutout against the Dodgers in his last start, allowing just five hits and two walks in the game, while setting down nine by way of the K.