BOSTON – Making his first start since Aug. 7, Brandon Workman made a strong showing Monday night against the Angels at Fenway Park. Unfortunately for the right-hander, he came away with a tough-luck loss, as the Red Sox fell, 4-2.
Workman went seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He threw 89 pitches, 59 for strikes, as he dropped to 1-7, lowering his ERA from 4.45 to 4.26.
The only runs he allowed came in the third inning. He retired the first two batters on four pitches, getting Efren Navarro and Chris Iannetta to ground out. After that, he allowed the next three batters to reach base. Angels’ lead-off hitter Kole Calhoun walked, scoring on Mike Trout’s double to center. Albert Pujols’ single to right scored Trout, giving the Angels a 2-0 lead.
The Sox cut the deficit in the fourth. After Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts both struck out looking at 91-mph fastballs from Angels’ starter C.J. Wilson, Mookie Betts walked, and Christian Vazquez and Brock Holt hit consecutive singles before Dustin Pedroia flied out to end the rally.
But Junichi Tazawa let the Angels pull away in the eighth. No. 9 hitter Iannetta led off with an 11-pitch walk before Calhoun singled. After Trout struck out on three pitches, Tazawa issued an intentional walk to Howie Kendricks. Although Tazawa got a first-pitch tailor-made comebacker for a potential double play, he committed two errors on the play — one fielding, one on the throw to Christian Vazquez at the plate – as two runs scored, putting the Angels ahead 4-1.
The Sox had runners on base in every inning. But as has been the bane of their season, could not drive them in. Their best opportunity came in the sixth, when they had the bases loaded with one out but couldn’t score as Pedroia grounded into his 12th double play of the season, one behind David Ortiz for the team lead.
Wilson earned the win, despite going just 5 1/3 innings and needing 115 pitches. He gave up one run on five hits and five walks with five strikeouts, improving to 10-8 (4.59).
The Sox got a run in the ninth off Kevin Jepsen as Holt and Pedroia led off with consecutive singles. After Ortiz struck out, Cespedes hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Holt. But Mike Napoli flied out on a drive to center field ending the game.
Jepsen earned his first save since 2012.
MVP: Kole Calhoun
Calhoun went 2-for-2 with a double, two walks, and two runs scored. It was the sixth time this season he has reached base at least four times in a game.
He has hit safely in eight of his last night games, going 17-for-41, batting .415. He led off the game with a single, reaching base for the 35th time in 67 plate appearances as the Angels lead-off hitter. He is batting .448, going 26-for-58, as the lead-off hitter.
GOAT: Junichi Tazawa
With the Sox trailing by a run in the eighth inning, Tazawa gave up two runs on one hit and two walks with two of his own errors.
The play in the eighth inning on which Tazawa committed two errors, allowing two runs to score, turned out to be the turning point of the game, as the Sox scored a run in the ninth, what could have been the game-tying run.
NUMBERS TO KNOW:
Workman’s seven innings matched a career high for the third time, all this season. The two runs he allowed matched his fewest in any start this season…Brock Holt went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and an RBI. He extended his career-best hit streak to 12 games, in which he is hitting .302, going 16-for-53, with two doubles, three RBI, and 11 runs scored. It is the longest active streak in the American League and longest by a Sox batter since Stephen Drew’s 12-game streak last season…David Ortiz’s fifth-inning double was the 544th of his career, passing Tony Gwynn for sole possession of 28th place on the all-time list. He is three doubles shy of tying Manny Ramirez for 27th place. Ortiz reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with two walks, for the fourth time this season…Mike Napoli has reached base in 14 straight starts, in which he is hitting .245, going 12-for-49…Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-5 and has multiple hits in six of his last nine games, in which he is hitting .350, going 14-for-40…Christian Vazquez threw out both attempted base stealers, the first time he has thrown out two runners in a game in the majors. He has now thrown out six of 14, 43 percent, attempted base stealers…The Sox went 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position, leaving 12 runners on. Yoenis Cespedes was responsible for leaving six runners on, while Dustin Pedroia and Napoli were responsible for five each.
WHAT IT MEANS:
Since May 4, 2011, the Sox are 5-13 against the Angels. Prior to that, from May 3, 2010-May 3, 2011, they were 15-1.
The Sox and Angels play the second game of their four-game set at Fenway on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. right-hander Allen Webster (3-1, 4.79) is scheduled to start, opposed by right-hander Jered Weaver (13-7, 3.66). This is a rematch of their Aug. 8 match-up, a 13-7 Sox win.
Webster will be making his fifth start of the season. This will be the second time he has faced the Angels in his last three starts. He earned the win on Aug. 8 in Anaheim, going 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on four hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
In that Aug. 8 outing, Weaver took the loss, going six innings, giving up four runs on seven hits and two walks, with three strikeouts and a home run. He earned the win in his last outing, Wednesday against the Phillies, giving up two runs over six innings.