Angels look to slow down Red Sox's offense


The Los Angeles Angels came into the week with the top offense in the majors, but the Boston Red Sox are the ones flexing their muscles heading into Wednesday night's game at Angel Stadium.

The Red Sox hit six home runs, three by Mookie Betts, in their 10-1 win against the Angels in the series opener Tuesday night, chasing starting pitcher Shohei Ohtani before many in the sold-out crowd had reached their seats to watch the Japanese rookie. He lasted two innings and gave up four hits and three runs.

Boston (14-2) added to its best start in franchise history with its 14th win in the past 15 games, became the first team to start 14-2 since the San Francisco Giants in 2003, and ended a seven-game winning streak by the Angels (13-4), who are also off to their best start in club history.

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On Wednesday, the Red Sox will give the ball to right-hander Rick Porcello (3-0, 1.83 ERA), the 2016 AL Cy Young Award winner.

He pitched seven scoreless innings Thursday night against the visiting New York Yankees, and Betts also hit two home runs in the game to lead the Red Sox to a 6-3 win. Porcello did not allow a hit until Aaron Judge led off the seventh with a double, and that came after a 45-minute rain delay.

Porcello is happy to get off to a good start after opening 1-4 last season en route to an 11-17 mark.

"It feels good," Porcello told ESPN after beating the Yankees. "I'm contributing to the team in a positive way. That's the biggest thing. I'm three starts in. ... a lot of baseball to be played, but definitely want to continue to build off this start."

Porcello has struggled in his career against Los Angeles, however.

He is 6-7 in 16 career starts against the Angels with a 5.87 ERA over 92 innings. His career ERA is 4.23.

He is 1-4 at Angel Stadium with a 5.82 ERA. His last start against Los Angeles was at Angel Stadium last year, and he went eight innings, allowing three runs, all on solo homers by Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons and Luis Valbuena, in the 3-2 loss.

Several other Angel hitters have done well against Porcello.

Kole Calhoun is 7-for-19 with two home runs, Ian Kinsler is 9-for-20 and Albert Pujols is 9-for-26 with a home run.

Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs (2-0, 1.69) has made three solid starts to start the season, but manager Mike Scioscia is hoping Skaggs can be more economical with his pitches Wednesday, allowing Scioscia to limit the use of his relievers after they threw seven innings Tuesday night.

Skaggs threw 114 and 103 pitches in his past two starts, but didn't get past the fifth inning in either outing. He has had three extra days of rest because a weather postponement Sunday in Kansas City and an off day Monday.

"I've got to clean it up," Skaggs told reporters after his latest start.

Skaggs will make his second career start against the Red Sox.

He faced them on July 31, 2016, his second game back after recovering from Tommy John surgery, and threw 5 1/3 shutout innings with eight strikeouts, but did not receive the decision in the 5-3 loss at Angel Stadium.

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