Anderson’s 5 RBIs lead Angels over Red Sox 11-3
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—The Boston Red Sox came out flat in their first game after the All-Star break and Garret Anderson went 4-for-4 and drove in five runs for the Los Angeles Angels in an 11-3 victory Friday night.
“I’ve been seeing the ball pretty good for a while now,” said Anderson, who is hitting .300 lifetime against Boston with 14 homers and 77 RBIs. “It’s time I’m getting some results for it. It was good to throw some runs on the board and apply some pressure to them.”
Manny Ramirez, whose defensive play in left field has always been a cause for concern for the Red Sox, misplayed what appeared to be a bloop RBI single by Maicer Izturis into a triple during a three-run sixth that extended the Angels’ lead to 11-3.
The 12-time All-Star made a futile dive for a ball he had no chance of catching, then stumbled as he went to retrieve it—and ended up rolling over onto the baseball. Ramirez finally relayed it back to the infield a few seconds later and broke into a huge grin that didn’t exactly mirror the pained expression on manager Terry Francona’s face.
“It’s not an error, but I think I made the bloopers for life,” Ramirez said. “I had a bad jump, but I still went for it. I missed the ball and that was it. I felt like I was swimming in a swamp right there.”
The Angels, going for their fourth AL West title in five years, bumped their division lead over Oakland to a season-best seven games with their major league-leading 58th victory. They are 20 games over .500 for the first time this year.
Youkilis and Ramirez homered for the Red Sox, who dropped into second place in the AL East with their eighth loss in 10 road games and Tampa Bay’s 2-1 win over Toronto.
Clay Buchholz (2-5) was charged with eight runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings in his second start since returning from the minors. Four of the runs against the right-hander were unearned, the result of a two-out fielding error by Alex Cora on Torii Hunter’s slow grounder to shortstop in the fifth.
“When Torii’s running, you’ve got to charge the ball,” Cora said. “I got the hop I wanted. On those kind of balls, you have to make sure that when you charge it, the ball is to your left. But it was to my right and I missed it. It changed the whole complexion of the game. They’re a pesky team, and when you open the door for them, they take advantage like they did tonight.”
Buchholz is 0-3 with a 10.00 ERA in his last four starts. He made his big league debut against the Angels last Aug. 17 at Boston and beat Lackey 8-4. Two weeks later, he pitched a no-hitter against Baltimore in his next outing. But in 12 starts with the Red Sox since, he is 3-6 with a 5.28 ERA.
Buchholz threw 37 of his 83 pitches in the first inning while the Angels grabbed a 3-0 lead.
Youkilis, forced out of last Sunday’s game with a bruised left triceps after getting hit by a pitch, pulled a 3-1 delivery into the lower seats in the left field corner to cut the margin to 3-2. The five-year veteran has 16 homers, matching his career-high total from last season in 199 fewer at-bats.
Ramirez, who was aboard on a single when Youkilis homered, tied the score in the fourth when he drove Lackey’s first pitch of the inning to right field for his 19th homer and 509th of his career.
Anderson regained the lead for the Angels in the bottom half with a leadoff home run.
“He’s a veteran guy, and he hits the ball a long way when guys make mistakes,” Buchholz said. “I started him off with two changeups, and in the past, I’ve gotten a lot of offers on that changeup down. But he didn’t offer at it, so I tried to go in with the fastball and I just left it belt-high and it tailed back over the middle of the plate.”
Before the game, Francona skirted around internet reports that Ramirez was fined heavily for shoving team traveling secretary Jack McCormick to the floor in the visitors’ clubhouse June 28 at Houston during an argument over a limited supply of tickets.
“We handled it how we thought was appropriate,” Francona said. “Things that happen, we take very seriously. But for us to react differently because something got in the media, I don’t know that I agree with that. I don’t think that because we don’t say things, we’re spineless. But everybody’s entitled to their opinion.”
RHP Bartolo Colon, who won a Cy Young Award with the Angels in 2005, has been sidelined since June 17 with lower back stiffness. But Francona has no regrets about the Red Sox signing the injury-prone free agent to a contract worth $1.2 million plus performance and roster bonuses after the Angels decided not to re-sign him. “I think we’re real glad we signed him. Finding pitching is not easy,” Francona said. “There have been a few setbacks. But when he’s pitched, he’s pitched very well. He went out there and won his first four games for us. That was big. I mean, if we had gotten him to throw 200 innings, that’s a little different story.”