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Early struggles from Jon Lester put the Sox behind from the beginning, and Zack Greinke kept them there, leaving the Sox victims of a 5-2 defeat and another sweep at the hands of the Angels.
Unfortunately, the Red Sox seem to be having first-inning difficulties with some regularity yet again. Jon Lester was the victim this time, surrendering a walk, a single, and a double to the firs three batters he faced, resulting in two early runs.
While Lester managed to get through the second inning 1-2-3, it was not a frame without tons of hard contact. Ironically, Lester would seem to pitch a lot better in the third, getting ground ball after ground ball, but have far worse results, as three straight found the outfield, ultimately resulting in another pair of runs. The Angels tacked on a fifth in the next inning, and just like that Lester had five runs to his name. The southpaw would manage to make his outing slightly less egregious by going eight innings.
Zack Greinke, meanwhile, had only one, scored off of him in the second when the Sox could only get a sacrifice fly with the bases loaded and one away. He would continue to keep the Sox quiet into the sixth, when James Loney wrapped a homer around the right field foul pole to make it 5-2.
That, however, would be it against Greinke, who exited after the seventh, turning the ball over to Kevin Jepsen. The Sox managed to bring the tying run to the plate against Jepsen, but the reliever managed to send the game to the ninth with no damage done. Ernesto Frieri got through the ninth, and the Sox were swept by the Angels once again.
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The Red Sox can only hope to retain a small bit of dignity as they set out to salvage a game from their series against the Angels.
We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Los Angeles.
Angels 5, Red Sox 2, Mid 8th -- The Sox manage to bring the tying run to the plate against Kevin Jepsen, but get no further as Cody Ross lines out and Salty follows suit to end the threat.
Angels 5, Red Sox 2, End 7th -- Lester does manage to make his way through the seventh without offering up anything to the Angels, allowing him to leave with some positives taken from this even if the Red Sox seem unlikely to.
Angels 5, Red Sox 2, Mid 7th -- The Red Sox get their fifth hit of the night on a Mike Aviles single, but nothing more. Time is fast running out to make something of this game.
Angels 5, Red Sox 2, End 6th -- Lester gives up just a Chris Iannetta walk as he gets through a scoreless sixth. If he can make his way through the seventh, he'll at least have pulled this back from the point of disaster, though it still will be a far cry from a good outing.
Angels 5, Red Sox 2, Mid 6th -- James Loney takes a big looping swing at a a bit of a looping slider, and gets his full weight behind it, curling the ball around the right field foul pole for a solo shot that brings the Sox within three.
Angels 5, Red Sox 1, End 5th -- Lester's second 1-2-3 inning of the night is slightly better than his first, with less loud contact to go around.
Angels 5, Red Sox 1, Mid 5th -- An impotent inning for the Red Sox leaves them retired in order, much like in the first, just with each batter shifted up one, starting with Pedro Ciriaco rather than Scott Podsednik.
Angels 5, Red Sox 1, End 4th -- Lester surrenders another run, with his start clearly no longer a matter of a rough start to a good outing. It's not Zach Stewart level, but incredibly concerning given how Lester was just starting to find his way back into form before tonight.
Angels 4, Red Sox 1, Mid 4th -- Another wasted baserunner marks the fourth--this time a single from the leadoff spot courtesy of Cody Ross. The catchers can't get a ball out of the infield, however, and Mike Aviles hits a fly ball to end the inning.
Angels 4, Red Sox 1, End 3rd -- Ironically enough, Jon Lester's best inning, arguably, costs him two more runs. The problem this time is that ground balls don't do the trick for him, with three straight getting through for hits. A flare into the outfield is enough to complete the rally before Lester can finally get the outs he needs.
Angels 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 3rd -- A one-out double from Dustin Pedroia that nearly gets out of the park altogether is wasted, as Jacoby Ellsbury grounds out and Vernon Wells manages to...adjust after nearly overrunning a line drive from James Loney, falling backwards as he makes the grab for the third out.
Angels 2, Red Sox 1, End 2nd -- Jon Lester survives perhaps the worst perfect inning of all time, surrendering hard contact and loud fly balls or line drives to each batter he faces. Every one finds a glove, but that was far from a guarantee.
Angels 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 2nd -- The Red Sox grab one back in the top of the second, but it could have been more. With James Loney being granted a generous single on a low throw from Erick Aybar, the Red Sox picked up a pair of one-out walks from their catchers to load the bases. From there, however, they could grab only a sacrifice fly, scoring just the one run.
Angels 2, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- Even against Jon Lester, the Angels continue to pound the Red Sox into submission in the early innings. This time the first costs Lester two runs in the first, with four pitches giving the Angels a leadoff walk, and two more giving Torii Hunter a flare to center. Up comes Albert Pujols with two men on, and he makes good, cleaning out a fastball down and slightly in for a line drive down the left field line that plates both runners. Lester manages to get the next three outs in order, and he's had some bad beginnings to good starts of late, but this is the last thing the Sox needed.
Red Sox 0, Angels 0, Mid 1st -- An unimpressive beginning for the Red Sox against Zack Greinke. There's little in the way of contact for the top three, and none for Dustin Pedroia, who goes down swinging at strike three.
The Red Sox will be out to salvage some small measure of dignity as they aim for their first win in six tries against the Los Angeles Angels Thursday night. First pitch is at 10:05 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
James Loney will supplant Cody Ross at the cleanup spot Thursday night, with the right fielder moving to fifth. While Ross has far better numbers than Loney on the season, Ross is facing his worst scenario: away from the cozy confines of Fenway Park, up against a right-handed pitcher. Thus, Loney at first, Ross in right.
The ever-rotating DH spot will be filled by Jarrod Saltalamacchia tonight, as Ryan Lavarnway gets the start behind the plate. So long as Lavarnway doesn't have to leave the game for any reason, that's fine. Otherwise? It could be bad news for the Sox.
Boston Red Sox (62-69)
Los Angeles Angels (68-62)
Red Sox CF Jacoby Ellsbury is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, and his agent, Scott Boras, is doing what he does best. Boras is famous for being a driving force behind escalating player salaries, often focusing on more than just the on-field impact of a player in negotiations. He goes deeper, looking into how a star can impact ticket and retail sales.
Boras spoke about Ellsbury on Wednesday and had predictably high praise, according to ESPNBoston.com:
"We view him as a franchise player," Boras said, employing a phrase that he should trademark, he uses it so often.
Ellsbury, a fifth-year veteran out of Oregon State, is struggling through an injury-shortened 2012 season. He is batting .273 with two home runs and 16 RBI in just 52 games.
The Red Sox fell to the Los Angeles Angels 10-3 Wednesday night thanks to a disaster outing from Zach Stewart in his Red Sox debut.
Throwing flat junk in the strike zone, Zach Stewart essentially ended the game in the first inning-three at best. A massive Kendrys Morales homer to right capped off a four-run assault in the first inning, all coming before the first out.
The Red Sox managed to get a run back in the top of the second, with Scott Podsednik making some good of a pair of leadoff singles with a sacrifice fly. They would score two more in the later innings, but by then it was all over.
While Stewart almost managed a scoreless second, a two-out hit cost him a fifth run. Sent back out to preserve the haggard bullpen as much as possible, Stewart would have a third inning much like the fourth, with Chris Iannetta the man behind the climactic two-run shot this time.
And, frankly, that was about it. 9-1 is not a terribly surmountable deficit. The two runs in the fifth would at least make it a decent offensive night against C.J. Wilson, but that's cold comfort in the midst of a terrible blowout.
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For those still up and dealing with this ever-frustrating Red Sox team, a baseball game:
Angels 10, Red Sox 3, End 7th -- Alfredo Aceves finds himself in the seventh inning on this particular night, and once again gives up two leadoff baserunners. This time, however, Aceves gets out of it without any further trouble.
Angels 10, Red Sox 3, Mid 7th -- The Sox go back to quick innings, going 1-2-3 as Jordan Walden replaced C.J. Wilson with a productive seventh.
Angels 10, Red Sox 3, End 6th -- Andrew Miller gets himself in trouble, facing a 2nd-and-3rd situation with one out. An intentional walk to Albert Pujols loads the bases, but a strikeout of Kendrys Morales brought him to the point where Mark Trumbo's fly ball could do nothing but to end the inning.
Angels 10, Red Sox 3, Mid 6th -- Mauro Gomez and Scott Podsednik provide singles, but the Sox can't push any more runs across in the sixth.
Angels 10, Red Sox 3, End 5th -- Early trouble--a leadoff walk and single--gives the Angels a run off of Junichi Tazawa. But a double play helps keep the damage to a minimum in the fifth.
Angels 9, Red Sox 3, Mid 5th -- The Sox put together a small fifth-inning rally to get two more runs off C.J. Wilson. Scott Podsednik and Pedro Ciriaco led off the inning with a pair of infield singles, and while Jacoby Ellsbury was unable to follow suit, he still helped the attack. After grounding into a fielder's choice, with Pedro Ciriaco getting out in his stead at second, Ellsbury stole the vacated base, and when the throw got away into center field, Podsednik was able to take off and score from third. A Dustin Pedroia single behind him, and the Sox had their third run of the night.
Angels 9, Red Sox 1, End 4th -- Zach Stewart's night is mercifully over, as Junichi Tazawa replaces him on the mound. Tazawa, as it happens, also is a good pitcher, allowing the Sox to finally get a scoreless inning in the fourth, complete with two strikeouts.
Angels 9, Red Sox 1, Mid 4th -- Gotta hand it to the Red Sox batters, they're really keeping the best interests of the fans in mind for this one. Now that the game is basically over, they're rushing through their innings to get this debacle over with as soon as possible.
Angels 9, Red Sox 1, End 3rd -- Once again, Zach Stewart almost makes his way through a scoreless frame after a leadoff double. This time, though, the fall is rather more dramatic. Much like in the first, back-to-back hits score two runs, but really just serve to set up the huge homer, this time off the bat of Chris Iannetta, that makes it a four-run frame. This one is so very over.
Angels 5, Red Sox 1, Mid 3rd -- C.J. Wilson settles down with a quick third. The Angels just need him to eat innings now.
Angels 5, Red Sox 1, End 2nd -- The good news is that Zach Stewart almost got out of the second without allowing any more runs after a leadoff double. The bad news is that Zach Stewart almost got out of the second inning without allowing anymore runs after a leadoff double right until the two-out single from Torii Hunter did the trick.
Angels 4, Red Sox 1, Mid 2nd -- The Red Sox manage to grab one back in the top of the fourth courtesy of leadoff hits from Mike Aviles and Mauro Gomez. The base knocks put Gomez on third, allowing Scott Podsednik to contribute to the scoring effort with just a long fly ball to get the Sox on the board.
Angels 4, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- Zach Stewart rewards those staying awake for his first Red Sox start with a one-inning ball game. It takes him all of four batters to surrender four runs, throwing flat pitches up in the zone one after the other, leading unsurprisingly to just about nothing in the way of outs. Mike Trout, Torii Hunter, and Albert Pujols get the Angels going with a single, double, and single respectively--the last two of the RBI variety--before Kendrys Morales destroys a hanging slider--not Stewart's first of the inning--hitting an absolute no-doubter into the right field stands to make it an early 4-0 lead. The question now is how many innings can he spare the limited bullpen.
Red Sox 0, Angels 0, Mid 1st -- A surprisingly patient and even promising inning for the Red Sox ends without runs, but at least with some decent positives. Long two-out at bats from Dustin Pedroia and Cody Ross provide the Sox with a pair of free passes. While Ryan Lavarnway ends up not being able to complete the rally, it's only thanks to a line drive down the right field line that stayed in the air just a bit too long.
The Red Sox will try to recover from their frustrating ninth inning loss as they send Zach Stewart to the mound in his Red Sox debut against C.J. Wilson and the Angels. First pitch is at 10:05 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
The Boston lineup still looks like something out of Pawtucket--probably because about 50% of it is--but at least now they've got Cody Ross back to batting fourth. His numbers on the road aren't quite what they are at Fenway Park, but he hits lefties like nobody's business, and gives them at least one really strong bat regardless of position.
The really shocking thing is having Mike Aviles in as the DH, but that's just the kind of season it's been.
Boston Red Sox (62-68)
Los Angeles Angels (67-62)
The Red Sox suffered a 6-5 walkoff defeat against the Angels Tuesday night as Alfredo Aceves was inexplicably allowed to blow yet another save.
Clay Buchholz got off to another concerning start against the Angels. On just his second pitch of the game, he had to turn and watch Mike Trout's long fly ball wind up over the wall in left-center. The next two batters would also reach, and while Buchholz was able to keep the Angels from adding anymore hits in the inning, he still left facing a 2-0 deficit.
On a night where their lineup resembled nothing so much as a Triple-A batting order, that could have been enough to seal their fate. Tuesday, however, the Red Sox were shockingly capable against the likes of Jered Weaver. While Weaver had the advantage early, retiring the first five Sox he faced, a slightly hanging curveball to Jarrod Saltalamacchia ended up being golfed into the right field stands to cut the deficit to 2-1.
The real damage, however, came in a conga-line fourth. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury would lead off the frame with base hits, with a Ryan Lavarnway walk loading the bases with zero outs. A pair of singles from James Loney and Jarrod Saltalamacchia served to keep the bases loaded while bringing two more runs across, and while Ryan Kalish would ground into a double play behind him, it was enough to earn a 4-2 lead.
The Sox would add another run in the sixth when Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single, moved to third on a stolen base and the errant throw it earned, and then scored on a sacrifice fly. The Angels would respond louder, however, pushing two across against Buchholz in the bottom of the inning as the righty suffered another mini-meltdown. He would manage to maintain the lead, however, and pitch through the seventh with the lead.
The problem, however, would enter in the eighth, even if it wouldn't be felt until the ninth. As much as it seemed like the whole suspension incident had been the end to the unfortunate Alfredo Aceves era, the pitcher with a 4.60 ERA was called upon to make a two-inning save. The result: a clean eighth, and awful ninth. A hit batsman, a walk to the number nine man, and a Mike Trout single were enough to score the equalizing run and put the winning runner on third with one out. All it took was one long fly ball, and the game was over.
Bobby Valentine did not have access to Andrew Bailey after pitching four-of-five games, but he did hav access to Craig Breslow, Junichi Tazawa, and Clayton Mortensen, all in the middle of very impressive years compared to Alfredo Aceves' long season of failure. Why he not only went with the worst option, but also reopened an old wound in doing so nobody will ever know.
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|Los Angeles Angels||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||2||6||7||2|
|WP: Kevin Jepsen (3 - 2)
LP: Alfredo Aceves (2 - 9)
The Red Sox will start their West Coast trip with a three-game set against the Angels. We'll keep you up-to-date on all the action as it goes down in Anaheim.
Red Sox 5, Angels 4, End 8th -- Alfredo Aceves enters in what has been unfamiliar territory of late, but retires the side in the eighth inning to bring the Sox within three outs of victory.
Red Sox 5, Angels 4, Mid 8th -- No insurance for the Sox in the 8th despite a Ryan Lavarnway double that, a few yards to the left, would have found a part of the outfield fence with a much shorter wall.James Loney walks behind him, but Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out to end the inning.
Red Sox 5, Angels 4, End 7th -- Ryan Lavarnway makes the play of the game to get the Red Sox a much-needed out in the seventh. With Mike Trout doubling off Buchholz to give the Angels a runner in scoring position with one out, Torii Hunter attempted to lay down a bunt, but had it bounce harmlessly off his bat, barely up in the air and off towards the first base side. While most times this would just be a harmless foul, Lavarnway doffed his mask and dove to his right all in one motion, making the grab to record the second out. With Albert Pujols flying out behind him, the lead was preserved.
Red Sox 5, Angels 4, Mid 7th -- Pedro Ciriaco gets a hit, but it comes with two outs and the Red Sox do no more in the inning.
Red Sox 5, Angels 4, End 6th -- From dominance to near-meltdown, Clay just barely preserves the lead in the fourth. An Albert Pujols homer ends up in about the same place as Mike Trout's did in the first, and a walk and double prove good for a fourth run. Buchholz manages to get out of the inning with a ground ball to first, but much of the good work against Weaver has gone to waste now.
Red Sox 5, Angels 2, Mid 6th -- Jacoby Ellsbury wreaks havoc on the basepaths after a leadoff single, stealing second and advancing to third on an errant throw into center field to set up Ryan Lavarnway for a sacrifice fly behind him to extend the lead to three runs.
Red Sox 4, Angels 2, End 5th -- Another clean inning makes it 10 straight batters retired since a Chris Iannetta single in the second.
Red Sox 4, Angels 2, Mid 5th -- The outfield helps Weaver recover from his rough fourth inning by doing some work for him in the fifth. Mike Trout comes in to make a diving grab and rob Pedro Ciriaco of a leadoff hit, and Mark Trumbo handle the next two outs, tracking back to the wall to get Podsednik and staying in his tracks to glove a line drive from Dustin Pedroia.
Red Sox 4, Angels 2, End 4th -- Clay Buchholz is rolling now, giving up nothing in the way of strong contact and getting a pop-up, ground out, and strikeout to end the fourth in rapid fashion.
Red Sox 4, Angels 2, Mid 4th -- In one of the more shocking events in baseball tonight, the Red Sox lineup which could be mistaken at first glance for a minor league team establishes a conga line on Jered Weaver. Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury get it started with base hits, and Ryan Lavarnway draws a walk to load the bases. James Loney and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both come through with singles, scoring one run a piece and reloading the bases, and while Ryan Kalish grounds into a double play, a fourth run comes in the back door and the Sox take a 4-2 lead.
Angels 2, Red Sox 1, End 3rd -- Clay Buchholz grabs that elusive 1-2-3 frame in the third, striking out Torii Hunter and getting a pair of ground balls. With James Loney, Dustin Pedroia, Jose Iglesias, and Pedro Ciriaco manning the infield, those grounders should be valuable tonight.
Angels 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 3rd -- The bottom of the order looks like the bottom of the order, with Jose Iglesias managing to get out so quickly that the TV camera's aren't even around to see it.
Angels 2, Red Sox 1, End 2nd -- A ground ball up the middle keeps Clay Buchholz from picking up the clean inning, but he does get Mike Trout with a called strike three to end it immediately after.
Angels 2, Red Sox 1, Mid 2nd -- With Jarrod Saltalamacchia at the plate, you can be pretty sure you're either going to get a strikeout or a home run. The Red Sox will count themselves lucky that it was the latter this time, with Salty golfing at a curveball that stayed just too high and depositing it in the right field stands to cut the deficit to one.
Angels 2, Red Sox 0, End 1st -- And the Red Sox get just about the last thing they need: concerns for Clay Buchholz. After being hammered by the Angels in his last outing, Buchholz once again feels the wrath of Los Angeles in the first inning. Mike Trout jumped all over just the second pitch of his outing for a long home run to left-center, and before Buchholz could even get his first out the Angels had first and third on a walk and single. Buchholz was able to settle down from there, holding the Angels to just a sacrifice fly, but it's an ugly bit of work to start the game for a guy the team is depending on going into 2013.
Red Sox 0, Angels 0, Mid 1st -- On a night where the Red Sox lineup is all of about three deep, the team starts the game with a 1-2-3 first. Dustin Pedroia goes down on an unchecked swing at a pitch that may have caught the strike zone anyways, honestly, and Jacoby Ellsbury gets good wood on the ball, but can only hit a fly ball to right-center for the third out.
The Red Sox will take on the Angels in the first game of a three-game set Tuesday night as they send Clay Buchholz to the mound against Jered Weaver. First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. EST with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.
And this? This is about the weakest Red Sox lineup you will see. At least outside of late September games where the Sox are preparing for the playoffs rather than trying to win a game. Nothing more needs be said.
Boston Red Sox (62-67)
Los Angeles Angels (66-62)
The Red Sox will close out an August that has seen disappointment after disappointment by starting another West Coast trip against the Los Angeles Angels.
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