ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Angels continued their freefall against the Boston Red Sox, losing 5-0 Saturday behind struggling starter Daisuke Matsuzaka's eight-inning masterpiece. Since sweeping the Red Sox out of the 2009 playoffs, the Angels have lost 12 of the 13 times they have played Boston.
One-of-a-kind. Somehow, Bobby Abreu was the only Angels hitter who figured out that Matsuzaka has trouble throwing strikes. Abreu walked twice against the Boston right-hander, who needed only 89 pitches to get through his first six innings. Against a patient team, say the New York Yankees, Matsuzaka needs about that many pitches to get through four.
Late action. It was almost as if the Angels slept through the early innings of every game in this series, then snapped awake. They scored all five of their runs in the first two games after the sixth inning, then got a man to second base in the ninth on Saturday -- for only the second time in the game.
Nothing. We've run out of good things to say about the Angels' evening.
No magic. Ervin Santana is not pitching well lately, despite his nine strikeouts Saturday. Santana has given up 19 hits in his last 11 innings and a lot of Boston's outs were loud on Saturday. He was fine when he was facing mediocre lineups, but he has been hit hard by the Texas Rangers and now Boston. How bad was it? Even aging catcher Jason Varitek had a hard-hit double, his second hit in his first 26 at-bats. Santana looked a bit peeved by the end. Two innings after he gave up a two-run home run to Kevin Youkilis, he threw a fastball over his head.
No action. There wasn't much noise when the Angels were at bat Saturday. Again. The Angels managed one hit through seven innings and it was an infield hit -- Alberto Callaspo ricocheted one off Matsuzaka. The Angels are boring their fans mercilessly. They came into the game batting .206 at home and managed to lower it.
The cliff. Angels manager Mike Scioscia shook up a slumping lineup by giving Howie Kendrick and Peter Bourjos days off and moving some pieces around. He said before the game he thought it would be a "good look." Uh, no. The last three hitters in the order went 0-for-10 with six strikeouts.