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Bullpen meltdown is costly in Angels' 7-5 loss to Red Sox

August 18, 2010 |  7:24 pm

Reliever Kevin Jepsen threw a wild pitch to allow the tying run to score and hit pinch-hitter Daniel Nava with an 0-and-2 fastball and the bases loaded to force in the go-ahead run Wednesday night, as the Boston Red Sox came back for a 7-5 victory over the Angels in Fenway Park.

Nava then made a game-saving play in the top of the eighth, racing in from left field and diving to catch Maicer Izturis' flare off reliever Daniel Bard with two on, to end the inning.

The Red Sox added an insurance run in the eighth when Marco Scutaro doubled and scored on Victor Martinez's single, and closer Jonathan Papelbon struck out the side in the ninth for his 30th save.

The Angels (60-61) remained eight games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West, missing a chance to trim the lead to seven games, and they have now lost all nine games against the Red Sox this season.

Alberto Callaspo's two-out, three-run home run, his first as an Angel, off Red Sox starter and former Angel John Lackey gave the Angels a 5-2 lead in the top of the fifth, but Boston countered in the bottom of the fifth, Adrian Beltre belting a two-run homer off Angels starter Scott Kazmir to pull the Red Sox to within 5-4.

Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez struck out three of four batters during a scoreless sixth, and Jepsen came on in the seventh. But the right-hander got into immediate trouble, giving up an infield single to Martinez and a double off the left-field wall to David Ortiz, putting runners on second and third with no outs.

Jepsen struck out Beltre with a 96-mph fastball but walked Mike Lowell to load the bases. With pinch-hitter J.D. Drew up, Jepsen bounced an 0-1 breaking ball about six feet in front of the plate and to the backstop, allowing Martinez to score for a 5-5 tie.

Drew was walked intentionally to load the bases, and Jepsen jumped ahead of Nava with two strikes. But Jepsen hit Nava with a fastball, and Ortiz trotted home for a 6-5 lead.

It was Jepsen's second Fenway meltdown this season. On May 4, he entered a 1-1 game in the eighth inning and gave up four runs on four hits and three walks in a 5-1 loss.

-- Mike DiGiovanna in Boston