Monday, May 2, 2011
Red Sox 9, Angels 5: Three Up, Three Down
By Mark Saxon
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox slowed down the Jered Weaver express, wearing him out in a long fifth inning en route to a 9-5 victory at Fenway Park Monday night. It was their 14th win in their last 15 games against the Angels and Weaver's first loss of 2011.
Weaver (6-1) would have been the first pitcher in the modern era to go 7-0 on or before May 2.
Early Weaver. After giving up a run in the first inning, Weaver hit a roll evocative of his entire first month. He retired eight straight batters at one point and 11 of 12 between the first and fifth innings. But he seemed to come slightly unhinged after the umpire ruled a 2-and-2 pitch to Jason Varitek was low. He threw 38 pitches in the fifth and gave up the tying and go-ahead runs on Dustin Pedroia's single that capped a 13-pitch at-bat.
New lineup. Mike Scioscia has tried 21 different lineups in 29 games. He might have found a top of the order worth sticking with for a while. Maicer Izturis, Bobby Abreu and Howie Kendrick combined for seven of the Angels' 12 hits, two runs scored and three RBIs.
Cleaning up. One key Angels hitter seems to have emerged from his slump. Torii Hunter has six hits in 14 at-bats on this trip. He did, however, hit into his major league-leading 11th double play and got thrown out at third on Vernon Wells' one-hop grounder to Adrian Gonzalez.
A lefty. Hisanori Takahashi toured the Green Monster before Monday's game, his first trip to Fenway. He might not like it as much after Monday's seventh inning. Takahashi gave up hits to two of the three men he faced, including Varitek, whose bat moves at a glacial pace these days.
A righty. The Angels bullpen, even the middle of it, had been pitching brilliantly, but -- as many things do when the Angels travel to Boston -- that came undone. Francisco Rodriguez walked the first batter he faced and the next three hit rockets to the deepest recesses of the park. Adrian Gonzalez and Kevin Youkilis mashed doubles off the wall and David Ortiz hit a towering drive over it.
Concentration. Peter Bourjos seems to make brilliant plays more easily than routine ones. He dropped Jed Lowrie's pop-up in the seventh inning, his third defensive flub in the last 10 days. Bourjos also struck out twice more and leads the Angels in that category.