Rapid Reaction: Angels 2, Red Sox 0

August, 21, 2014
8/21/14
10:26
PM PT

BOSTON -- So, is it piling on when the bearded stars at Fenway Park are playing for the other side?

Angels rookie pitcher Matt Shoemaker, the man with the shoe-black whiskers forming a hedgerow where his chin used to be, held the Red Sox hitless for 6 2/3 innings Thursday night before Will Middlebrooks stroked a double to left. That was Boston's only hit in a 2-0 loss to the Angels before a crowd of 36,160 in Fenway Park.

Shoemaker was pitching against a Red Sox lineup missing David Ortiz (day off) and Mike Napoli (back spasms) at the start of the game, then saw left fielder Yoenis Cespedes depart after the third inning for what the club termed a "personal matter." The club offered no other information during the game.

Shoemaker was attempting to become the first rookie to throw a no-hitter since Clay Buchholz on Sept. 1, 2007, and the first opposing pitcher to throw a no-hitter in Fenway Park since Jim Bunning on July 20, 1958.

Shoemaker, who played at Eastern Michigan and went undrafted in 2008 in a draft in which 1,504 selections were made, signed a $10,000 deal with the Angels, made his big league debut with a September start in 2013 and unexpectedly has become a dependable member of the Angels' rotation.

He hit Boston's first batter of the game, Brock Holt, with a pitch, then set down 20 straight batters before Middlebrooks, who entered the game after Cespedes' departure, doubled into the left-field corner.

Second one-hitter versus Sox: The Sox also were held to one hit by Marcus Stroman and two relievers on July 24 in Toronto.

Shoemaker, 27, struck out the first two batters of the eighth, Kelly Johnson and Xander Bogaerts, then was lifted for reliever Mike Morin after walking Mookie Betts. Morin struck out Christian Vazquez to end the eighth.

Shoemaker's 12 wins matched Masahiro Tanaka for most in the majors this season, and it was his second win in 12 days against the Sox: He pitched three scoreless innings at the end of the Angels' 5-4, 19-inning win over the Sox in Anaheim on Aug. 9.

Southbound train: The Sox have now lost five in a row after being swept by the Angels, their first four-game sweep since Tampa Bay took four in a row April 16-19, 2010. The only other time the Angels swept the Sox four straight came 52 years ago, in 1962.

Hometown blues: The Sox are now 29-37 at Fenway Park this season. They are five losses away from having only their third losing record at Fenway Park in 31 years. Only the 2012 team (34-47) and '97 club (39-42) have had a losing record in a full season on Yawkey Way since 1983.

Rubby down: The loss went to Rubby De La Rosa, who gave up a couple of runs on eight hits and three walks in 6 2/3 innings. De La Rosa struck out eight.

Early showers: Angels manager Mike Scioscia and first baseman Albert Pujols were ejected by plate umpire Andy Fletcher for arguing ball-strike calls in the sixth inning.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Howie Kendrick
BA HR RBI R
.293 7 75 85
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Trout 36
RBIM. Trout 111
RM. Trout 115
OPSM. Trout .939
WJ. Weaver 18
ERAG. Richards 2.61
SOJ. Weaver 169