SOX DROP GAME, SERIES (6:56, END 9, 5-4 ANGELS)
Ortiz drove in Green with two outs, and Youkilis followed with a single, putting the tying run in scoring position. The game was in Drew’s hands. He struck out on four pitches, and the Angels win. The Sox are 2-4 after one week.
OKAJIMA GETS OUT (6:48, END 8, 5-3 ANGELS)
Okajima got out of the inning without further damage by striking out Napoli.
Green led off the ninth by being hit by a Brian Fuentes pitch. Rocco Baldelli is pinch hitting for Ellsbury.
Here’s a great and telling stat from Chuck Waseleski: Through the eighth inning of today’s game, the Red Sox are now 3 for 29 (.103) with two or more runners on base.
RUDE GREETING FOR OKAJIMA (6:41, BOT 8, 5-3 ANGELS)
Guerrero crushed the second pitch Okajima threw over the left-field fence, giving the Angels at least a two-run cushion for the ninth.
SOX BLOW CHANCE (6:37, MID 8, 4-3 ANGELS)
Lowell popped up foul to third on a 2-0 pitch from Shields. Varitek lined the first pitch he saw to center, but it stayed up just long enough for Matthews to charge and make the running catch, and the Red Sox wasted their bases-loaded, one-out chance.
Okajima is in, replacing Lopez.
SOX RALLYING (6:32, TOP 8, 4-3 ANGELS)
Shields walked Ortiz, Youkilis, and Bay to load the bases with one out for Lowell.
YOUKILIS SAVES THE RUN (6:24, END 7, 4-3 ANGELS)
Abreu ripped one to the right side. Youkilis shuffled and made a lunging play on one hop, then tossed to Lopez covering.
Scot Shields has entered for the Angels to face Ortiz.
ANGELS THREATENING, LOPEZ IN (6:19, BOT 7, 4-3 ANGELS)
Izturis grounded to second. Figgins walked, and then tried stealing second with Kendrick at the plate. Varitek gunned him down, the first base stealer the Sox have caught this season. And it was a good thing — Kendrick tripled to right-center on the next pitch. Big at-bat here: Javier Lopez has come on to face Abreu. Abreu is 2 for 20 against Lopez in his career.
RALLY STALLS (6:04, MID 7, 4-3 ANGELS)
Varitek led off by smoking a double to right after he fell behind, 0-2. Green was charged with moving him over. He fouled away two bunt attempts. After the second, Francona and trainer Paul Lessard came out to check on Varitek, who appeared to be fine. Green struck out on a curveball, bringing Ellsbury to the plate. The count went full, and he walked, putting men on first and second for Pedroia. Pedroia bounced to Figgins, starting a 5-4-3 double play, his second of the day.
Delcarmen has entered.
ANGELS CAN’T CONVERT (5:53, END 6, 4-3 ANGELS)
Guerrero and Matthews led off with consecutive singles. Morales had a chance to put the Angels comfortably ahead, but he grounded inot a 5-4-3 double play; Pedroia made a great turn on Lowell’s low thrown. Napoli walked, but Rivera struck out on a devastating, 77-mph curveball.
Beckett has thrown 103 pitches, and Manny Delcarmen was warming during the inning. It seems unlikely that Beckett will return for the seventh. Francona said before that game that, if the Red Sox were to win, we’d probably see both Hideki Okajima and Takashi Saito.
ARREDONDO GETS LOWELL (5:39, MID 6, 4-3 ANGELS)
Lowell struck out swinging at a 84-m.p.h. slider low and away, stranding Youkilis, the tying run, at third. Having thrown 81 pitches, Beckett comes out for the sixth.
ANGELS THROW IT AWAY (5:34, TOP 6, 4-3 ANGELS)
The Red Sox have drawn to within one because of some shaky defense. Pedroia led off with single, and Ortiz flied to left. Youkilis grounded what should have been an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play, but Izturis’s throw pulled Kendrick off the base. After Drew flied out, the Red Sox tried a double steal. Napoli’s throw to second sailed into center, allowing Pedroia to scamper home.
Moseley intentionally walked Bay, and now his day is over. Jose Arredondo is coming on to pitch to Lowell.
ANGELS ADD A RUN (5:27, END 5, 4-2 ANGELS)
Izturis led off with a single and went to second when Beckett balked trying to pick him off, a call that Beckett protested. After Figgins struck out, Kendrick laced a single to left. Izturis scored, but Kendrick was thrown out trying to get to second. Abreu struck out to end the inning. All six Angels hits have been singles.
TWO-OUT RALLY FALLS HORT (5:10, MID 5, 3-2 ANGELS)
Varitek walked with two outs, and Green followed with a single to center. (Not to be snarky, but Green has more hits in two at-bats than Lowrie does in 18.) Ellsbury ripped one to first, and Morales dove. The ball deflected off his glove, and Hendrick scampered to shallow right to grab it. He fired to Moseley covering in time to get Ellsbury.
ANGELS DOWN QUICK (5:01, END 4, 3-2 ANGELS)
Beckett blew a fastball by Morales, Napoli popped to shallow left, and Rivera grounded to third.
ORTIZ CAUGHT STEALING (4:57, MID 4, 3-2 ANGELS)
Ortiz led off by lining a single to right. After Youkilis popped out foul, Ortiz tried swiping second. In spring training, Ortiz stole a base, and the next day Francona was asked jokingly if Ortiz was going to be a base stealer this season. His answer was serious — he said if first basemen were going to play way off first when Ortiz was on base, then he would steal to keep them honest and take away the extra defender when Ortiz was on first. Well, he tried to steal, and after Drew swung through a strike, he was thrown out by Napoli. Drew then ended the inning by striking out.
ANGELS RALLY, TAKE LEAD (4:46, BOT 3, 3-2 ANGELS)
Beckett seemed to still be in command when he struck out Rivera with a 78-m.p.h. curveball to lead off the inning. Four batters later, the Angels lead and there’s still one out. They did what they do — the Anaheim Singles Torture. Izturis singled up the middle. Figgins walked. Kendrick singled to right, scoring Izturis, and went to second on Drew’s throw over Youkilis’s head. Abreu got some revenge by singling to right and scoring a pair. Guerrero chopped to Youkilis. Two out, Matthews up.
NOTHING DOING (4:35, MID 3, 2-0 SOX)
Ellsbury flied to left center, where Matthews made the catch after some shaky communication with Juan Rivera. Green had run almost to second, and Matthews made an incredibly strong throw to first on the fly. Perhaps screened by Green sliding back in, Morales dropped the throw. The mistake didn’t hurt, though, because Pedroia grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
MORE EJECTIONS (4:29, TOP 3, 2-0 SOX)
Nothing new happened, but there were two ejections from before that just came to light. Turns out Speier was tossed, as was Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher.
Also, Green led off the third with a single up the box.
FIRED UP (4:27, END 2, 2-0 SOX)
Beckett is not the type of pitcher you want to rile. The Angels went down in order in the second, and Beckett has retired five in a row since the Abreu incident. He got help from Nick Green, made a nice backhanded play on a grounder from Matthews and a one-hop throw, which Youkilis scooped. Kendry Morales popped to Lowell, and Mike Napoli grounded to Lowell.
MOSELEY SETTLES IN(4:20, MID 2, 2-0 SOX)
After the first Red Sox back-to-back home runs this year, they went down in order. Bay and Mike Lowell struck out, and Jason Varitek grounded to second.
Also, Mike Scioscia was ejected from the dugout during the top of the second, which is why he went out to argue some more during the inning. Wild start here.
YOUKILIS, DREW SEND A MESSAGE (4:13, TOP 2, 2-0 SOX)
First, Kevin Youkilis slammed a 3-2 home run to right, his first of the season. J.D. Drew followed with a 1-0 bomb to right, also his first. Jason Bay might want to watch his backside.
BECKETT STRANDS FIGGINS (4:10, END 1, 0-0)
So about that baseball game: Chone Figgins led off with a 3-2 singe to center, then stole second. He stayed there and Howie Kendrick flied to left, where Bay made a nice catch sliding on his knees. Vladimir Guerrero flied to shallow right to end the inning.
Gary Matthews replaced Hunter in center. Scioscia continues to argue with any umpire he can find.
BENCHES CLEAR (4:0]4, BOT 1, 0-0)
Oh, baby. Torii Hunter has been thrown out after a bench-clearing meeting — not brawl; despite the efforts of a few players, no punches were thrown.
The excitement began when Bobby Abreu called time and backed out of the box. Beckett, already in his windup, fired the ball near Abreu’s head. Abreu barked at Beckett. Beckett barked back. Beckett waved at Abreu as if to say, “bring it.” Beckett walked with a purpose toward home. Kevin Youkilis bolted in front of Beckett. The benches emptied, and then the bullpens did. Justin Speier was extememly hot at a few members of the Red Sox. The players retreated. Someone said something, and the benches emptied again. Hunter started barking at the umpires, and he was ejected. He then tried to get back at the umpire, and he was aggressively held back by teammates. After Mike Scioscia gave crew chief Joe West a piece of his mind, we’ve resumed. Abreu ended up grounding to short, then ran by the mound on his way back to the dugout without incident.
SLOW START (3:47, MID 1, 0-0)
The Sox went 1-2-3 against Dustin Moseley. Ellsbury ripped a line drive right at Juan Rivera in right. Dustin Pedroia bounced one back at Moseley. Ortiz skied one to center, where Torii Hunter caught it.