The Boston Red Sox have won five straight as they get ready to face a pitcher working on two days' rest.
Jerome Williams failed to get through two innings three days ago and will be back on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night at home.Boston (54-34) opened a 10-game trip with a 6-2 victory Friday. David Ortiz had a pinch-hit two-run homer after Shane Victorino scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning on a dropped fly ball by right fielder Josh Hamilton."In the dugout there's a lot of positive energy," manager John Farrell said. "Somewhere we'll find a way to put something together. It seems like every night there's someone different."The Red Sox have to like their chances in the middle game of this series against Williams (5-4, 3.89 ERA), who gave up a season-high seven runs over 1 2/3 innings of a 12-2 loss to St. Louis on Wednesday.With starters Tommy Hanson and Jason Vargas on the disabled list, manager Mike Scioscia opted to bring Williams back after that 55-pitch effort."I wasn't a pitcher, but I would think you're chomping at the bit to get out there and get another shot at it after you've struggled," Scioscia told the Angels' official website.Williams' lone outing on two days' rest came April 19, 2005, when he allowed four runs over four innings for San Francisco in a 5-2 loss at San Diego. That came after a 23-pitch relief appearance and not a start.The right-hander said he threw 200-pitch bullpen sessions when he pitched in Taiwan."I'm just going to go out there and throw," Williams said. "That's my job. I did it numerous times in Taiwan, independent ball. Whatever they need me to do to help, I'll do it."Williams has posted an 8.31 ERA against the Red Sox in three career appearances, giving up three runs over three innings of a 7-2 loss in relief June 8. His lone start against them came in 2004.Ortiz figures to be back in the lineup, and he's 3 for 5 with two homers off of Williams. Former Angels slugger Mike Napoli is 6 for 14 with two homers against him.Hamilton is hitting .382 during a 10-game streak for Los Angeles (41-45), which has dropped two of three following a seven-game win streak.Star center fielder Mike Trout is batting .409 in 10 career games against the Red Sox.Trout is 4 for 10 against Ryan Dempster (5-8, 4.11), who has yielded three or fewer runs in seven straight outings as he prepares for his fifth road start in 18 total.Dempster is 1-2 with a 9.15 ERA in four starts against the Angels after allowing three runs over six innings of a 10-5 victory June 9.Albert Pujols homered off him in that game, and he's 21 for 60 with eight home runs against Dempster -- the most the hurler has allowed to anyone.Pujols, though, is enduring a 12-game homerless drought in which he is 6 for 49.
Mike Trout hit a 443-foot home run off Ryan Dempster in the third inning Saturday, his second longest of the season. Trout is averaging 419.5 feet per home run this season, third longest in MLB (min. 10 HR).