Luck runs out for Weaver, Angels in Boston
The Angels' Jered Weaver lived a charmed life in cruising to victories in his first six starts this season. But that luck ran out Monday, when the Boston Red Sox beat Weaver, then battered the Angels' bullpen, in a 9-5 win at Fenway Park.
The game turned on two key at-bats in the fifth inning -- and both went against Weaver and the Angels.
The first came with one out and Carl Crawford at second, the recipient of a gift double when left fielder Vernon Wells failed to cut off his opposite-field liner, letting it roll to the wall. Weaver threw a 2-2 pitch to Jason Varitek that looked like a strike but was called a ball by plate umpire Scott Barry.
Weaver immediately lost his cool and his mood didn't improve when he walked Varitek. After an infield out, Dustin Pedoria battled through a 13-pitch at-bat, fouling off seven two-strike pitchers before lining the next delivery up the middle for a two-run single.
Weaver hadn't given up that many runs in an inning, much less on one pitch, in more than two weeks. And his night -- as well as his perfect season -- ended five batters later when he left trailing, 3-2. He gave up six hits and a season-high three earned runs in six innings, his shortest outing of the year.
Boston then pounded relievers Hisanori Takahashi and Francisco Rodriguez for five hits, including Adrian Gonzalez's three-run double and a two-run homer by David Ortiz, in a six-run seventh. That's one more earned run than the Angels' bullpen had given up in its previous eight games combined.
The Angels, whose last four wins have been come-from-behind victories, rallied against Boston starter Clay Buchholz in the third with Maicer Izturis doubling with two out, then scoring on a Bobby Abreu single. Buchholz's wildness -- a season-long problem -- helped the Angels go in front two innings later when the Boston starter loaded the bases on two walks and a single before Abreu grounded into a run-scoring fielder's choice.
But any hopes the Angels would rebound again after Pedroia's go-ahead single were dashed in the seventh when Gonzalez's double off the left-center-field wall scored three runs. Gonzalez scored on Youkilis' double off the Green Monster in left and four pitches later Ortiz made it 9-2 with a drive into the seats atop the left-field wall.
Wells, who came into the game batting .170, brought the Angels a little closer with a two-out, two-run homer in the eighth and Izturis closed out the scoring with a ninth-inning double that drove in Jeff Mathis.
Izturis, Abreu, Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick had two hits each for the Angels, who outhit Boston, 13-11. Youkilis, Ortiz and Crawford had two hits apiece for the Red Sox.
-- Kevin Baxter in Boston
Photo: Angels starter Jered Weaver delivers a pitch during the first inning of the Angels' 9-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Monday. Credit: Charles Krupa / Associated Press