Red Sox 8, Angels 0
BOSTON (AP)—Curt Schilling is willing to mix in more pitches these days if it means he’s able to throw fewer pitches overall.
Relying less on his fastball and more on changing speeds and location, the Red Sox right-hander cruised through eight shutout innings on Saturday and led Boston to an 8-0 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.
“There are counts and situations where I used to be a four-seam fastball guy, and maybe that’s not the best pitch anymore,” Schilling (2-1) said after extending his shutout streak to 14 consecutive innings. “That’s where the changeup, the curve ball and the slider come in.”
Angels centerfielder Gary Matthews Jr. flubbed a line drive in the third to allow a pair of unearned runs that gave Boston a 2-0 lead. David Ortiz added a three-run homer to back Schilling, who allowed four hits while striking out four and walking one to pick up his second consecutive win.
Schilling gave up five runs in four innings on opening day and a first-inning homer in his next start, but has not allowed a run since then to drop his ERA from 11.25 to 2.84.
“Curt did what he does: Changes speeds and throws strikes against us,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Curt knows how to pitch with a lead, and he did a good job.”
Schilling, who threw 103 pitches, did not allow a baserunner to reach third base. He got a standing ovation as he tipped his cap to the crowd after getting Orlando Cabrera on a popup to right to end the eighth inning and finish off his longest outing since June 13.
Brendan Donnelly pitched the ninth.
“I absolutely thought I was going to finish that game right up through the (28-pitch) seventh inning,” Schilling said. “Going back out for the ninth would have been me trying to get a shutout as opposed to me trying to make 33 or 34 starts and be as healthy as I can for every one.”
Ortiz hit his third homer of the year and drove in four runs, lining a shot to straightaway center off Greg Jones in the eighth to make it 8-0. Eric Hinske reached base four times and scored two runs to help the Red Sox win for the fourth time in five games.
Hector Carrasco (0-1) allowed three runs—one earned—and two hits with six walks in 3 1-3 innings; he struck out four. Cabrera and Howie Kendrick each had two hits for the Angels, who have lost five out of six games since opening the season 5-1 to match the best start in club history.
Carrasco needed 45 pitches to make it through two innings without allowing a run. In the third he gave up a leadoff triple to Hinske, got Ortiz and Manny Ramirez out before walking J.D. Drew intentionally and then Mike Lowell unintentionally.
With the bases loaded, Jason Varitek hit a sinking liner to center field that went off the heel of Matthews’ glove for an error, allowing two runs to score.
“It was just one of those balls that gets hit pretty hard,” Matthews said. “It was knuckling a little. You feel bad because you cost your pitcher a couple of runs.”
Drew was held hitless in three at-bats, ending his hitting streak at nine games. Wily Mo Pena pinch hit for him in the eighth. … 1B Kevin Youkilis was given a scheduled day off. He showed no problems after being hit by a pitch on Friday night. Pena is the only Red Sox position player who hasn’t started a game. … OF Coco Crisp, Ortiz and 3B coach DeMarlo Hale will wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on Sunday. … Los Angeles SS Orlando Cabrera, who was hit by a pitch on his left elbow, was in the lineup after testing out OK before the game. He had a single and a double. … INF Chone Figgins, who had a splint removed from his right hand earlier in the week, swung on both sides before the game and felt good. He will throw on Monday. … To celebrate the 10th birthday for Red Sox mascot Wally, the Green Monster, Bernie Brewer, Billy the Marlin and Friar Tuck from the Padres were at the game, as well as mascots from the Boston Bruins and Celtics.