In a big game of interest for the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox [61-47] played the L.A. Angels [66-40] at Fenway Park tonight.
It was a good pitching match-up, Joe Saunders [13-5] of the Angels vs. Josh Beckett [9-7], the Red Sox starter.
Josh Beckett coasted along in the first three innings of this game, giving up only one hit, to Garrett Anderson, in the second inning. But, Beckett ran into trouble in the top of the 4th, as the Angels scored three runs to take the early lead in this very important contest.
Maicer Izturis led off the 4th inning with a double. Beckett then struck-out Mark Teixeira, who was playing his first game for the Angels, to record the first out of the inning.
The next batter, Vladmir Guerrero, hit a RBI single, scoring Izturis for the first Angels run. Tori Hunter followed with a double, setting up a second and third situation, with Garret Anderson up. Anderson then hit a two-RBI single, plating both, Guerrero and Hunter. Beckett retired the next two batters without any further damage, as the game moved into the bottom of the 4th, with the Angels leading, 3-0.
In the 4th, Ortiz and Lowell singled for the Sox, but Saunders got out of the jam by getting J.D. Drew to hit into a force play, for the second out of the innng, and Jed Lowrie on a fly-out to left, for the final out, that stranded two runners.
The Angels tried to put together another rally in the top of the 5th, by getting two runners on base, singles by Figgins and Izturis, with one out. But, Beckett struck-out, Teixeira, for out number two, and ended the inning when Guerrero hit into a force play.
Boston got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 5th, when Jason Varitek led off the inning with a walk, and scored on a two-run homer by Coco Crisp, cutting the Angels lead to, 3-2.
Josh Beckett was hit hard again in the top of the 6th, when after a lead off walk to Tori Hunter, Garret Anderson hit a two-run homer, around the foul pole, into the short rightfield porch [his third and fourth RBI’s of the game], upping the Angels lead to, 5-2.
The Angels were not finished yet, as they scored three more runs in the inning, on a combination four hits, and three Red Sox errors.
Howie Kendrick singled, advanced to second on a ground out, moved to third on a bad pick-off attempt by Beckett, that went into centerfield, and scored on a double by Jeff Mathis, for run number six.
Figgins then singled, stole second, went to third on a bad throw that went into center, and scored the 7th Angels’ run on a sac fly to left, by Izturis, which was also the second out of the inning.
Josh Beckett’s night was finished, as he went 5 2/3 innings, and gave up 8 runs, [6 earned] on 11 hits, one walk, and 8 strkeouts. Manny Delcarmen came in from the bullpen to replace, Beckett.
Mark Teixeira was up next, and reached on an error by first baseman, Kevin Youkilis. Tex scored the 5th run of the inning, on a bloop hit in centerfield, that fell in between three Boston fielders, Crisp, Pedroia, and Lowrie. Hunter made the final out of the inning, with the Angels leading, 8-2.
Joe Saunders continued to pitch a good game, as he set the Sox down in order in the 6th and 7th innings, and was replaced by Justin Speier in the 8th.
The Angels tacked on an insurance run in the top of the 9th on a line drive homerun into the seats on top of the Green Monster in left, by Tori Hunter, making the score, 9-2. Garret Anderson followed the homer with a double, his fourth hit of the game, but the scoring was finished for the night.
Darren Oliver pitched the 9th inning for the Angels, and gave up a couple of hits before closing out the 9-2 victory, when Dustin Pedroia hit into a game-ending, 6-4-3, double play.
The Angels pounded out 16 hits in this game, and the Red Sox committed four errors, as the Angels swept this three-game series against Boston.
Joe Saunders [14-5] was the winning pitcher for the Angels; and, Josh Beckett [9-8] was the loser.
The Yankees won a big game this afternoon, 13-3, against the Baltimore Orioles; and, get ready to play a huge four-game series against the L.A. Angels, starting tomorrow at Yankee Stadium. It should be a great series, and could be a preview of the 2008 American League Championship Series.