Reports of trade talks focusing on a disgruntled Ramirez didn’t make the night any better for Boston.
“The Red Sox don’t deserve a player like me,” he said Wednesday in an interview with ESPNdeportes.com. “During my years here I’ve seen how they have mistreated other great players when they didn’t want them to try to turn the fans against them.”
Still, Boston players weren’t convinced Ramirez would be dealt before Thursday’s 4 p.m. EDT non-waiver trade deadline. The slugger is in the final guaranteed year of his $160 million, eight-year contract with the Red Sox.
“I think around here there’s a lot more smoke than fire. If something happens, it happens,” Boston’s Mike Lowell said.
Thursday’s day off comes at a good time for Boston, which was swept by Los Angeles in a three-game series for the second time in two weeks. The Red Sox committed four errors and showed little spark during their fifth loss in six games.
One slugger who did get traded recently, first baseman Mark Teixeira, went 0-for-4 in his debut with Los Angeles after being obtained from Atlanta on Tuesday.
“There’s so much we’re trying to get him acclimated with,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I didn’t see any jitters at all. He’s going to be fine.”
While the Angels improved to 67-40 with their 12th win in 14 games, the second-place Red Sox dropped three games behind Tampa Bay in the AL East. The New York Yankees trail the Rays by four.
The Angels finished 8-1 against Boston this season, winning the final eight meetings. They were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, and Boston went on to win the World Series both times.
“They cracked the door open a little bit for us tonight defensively and we took advantage of it,” Scioscia said. “That’s a tough club over there and we might not have caught them at their best right now.”
Boston’s recent woes began with two losses in three home games against the Yankees last weekend. The Red Sox dropped the opener to the Angels 7-5 before going hitless for 8 1-3 innings against John Lackey on Tuesday night. Dustin Pedroia singled and Kevin Youkilis homered, but Lackey completed the 6-2 win.
Then came Wednesday’s loss in which usually reliable Josh Beckett gave up seven earned runs, the most since he allowed eight in his last game of 2006. The Red Sox matched a season high with four errors—three in a five-run sixth when the Angels took an 8-2 lead.
Torii Hunter’s 17th homer made it 9-2 in the ninth.
“Everything’s just working out,” Hunter said. “When all cylinders click this team can be pretty special and right now you see what’s going on.”
Saunders (14-5) allowed two runs and five hits in six innings. Both runs scored on Coco Crisp’s two-run homer in the fifth that cut the lead to 3-2.
Anderson hit his 11th homer, his second in two days, and has 22 RBIs in his last 22 games. He hit .188 in June but is batting .423 in his last seven games.
“I know I can still hit so I wasn’t panicking about what I was doing earlier in the year,” he said. “I knew I had six months to play so I just figured I had that time left to get it right.”
The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the fourth against Beckett (9-8).
“They’re a good team,” Beckett said. “We’re a better team than we played. I’m a better pitcher than I pitched.”
In the sixth, the Red Sox fell apart in the field.
Hunter walked and Anderson homered to make it 5-2. Howie Kendrick singled, went to second on a groundout and third on Beckett’s wild pickoff throw for an error.
Jeff Mathis singled in Kendrick and moved to third on Chone Figgins’ single. Figgins stole second and Mathis scored when catcher Jason Varitek’s throw went into center field for another error. A sacrifice fly by Izturis made it 8-2.
Teixeira reached on an error by Youkilis at first base, and Guerrero doubled on a ball that dropped between three fielders in shallow center field. Neither runner scored, however.
“That was a difficult (loss) all the way around,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “There wasn’t a whole lot of pleasure watching that game.”
Hunter extended his hitting streak to 12 games. … Crisp’s homer was his sixth of the season but first of the year at Fenway Park and first since June 17. He was 3-for-36 before hitting the ball into the Green Monster seats in left field. … Beckett has lost three straight decisions for the first time in three years with Boston and the second time in his career.