Four homers helped the Red Sox to a 10-5 win over the Los Angeles Angels Sunday afternoon, securing their third straight series victory to start a difficult June.
The beginning of the game felt a bit like the daytime loss in Saturday's day - night doubleheader. While Ryan Dempster pitched fairly well to start the first inning, a high, outside fastball to Albert Pujols found its way into the pen, turning what could have been a 1-2-3 frame into a 30-pitch slog which left the Angels on top 1-0. When Joe Blanton followed up by starting his inning with a pair of well-hit line drive outs, it had the feeling of one of those days.
Really, the first thing that changed was Ryan Dempster's pitching. And not for the better. While Pujols had taken him deep, it was one of those Pujols oddities--a decent pitch muscled out by one of the game's strongest hitters, struggles notwithstanding. In the third, however, Dempster would be left dodging bullets, with Stephen Drew making a terrific play on a sharp ground ball from Howie Kendrick to get Dempster out of a bases loaded situation. Already with three bases given away--two on balls, one by hitting Pujols--it was definitely touch-and-go for Boston's starter.
The Sox, however, managed to give him a cushion to work with in the bottom of the inning. A single from Jose Iglesias and stolen base from Jacoby Ellsbury, who replaced him on base after a fielder's choice, set up Daniel Nava for an RBI single off Joe Blanton, knotting the game at one a side. Another single from Dustin Pedroia put two on, and then David Ortiz dispensed with all the knickle-and-diming, clobbering a fat middle-in changeup from Joe Blanton into the bullpen for a three-run shot.
The Sox and Angels would trade runs in the fourth, with Alberto Callaspo getting to Dempster for a solo shot and Jacoby Ellsbury tripling home Mike Carp after the latter had gone first-to-third on a wild pitch. Mark Trumbo brought the Angels back within two on a fifth-inning single, but that was as close as they'd get. The Sox started the bottom fo the sixth with back-to-back homers to dead center field by Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Mike Carp, and Salty unloaded a second one in the seventh to the same spot, this time for three runs.
The only real danger the Sox faced from there came in the eighth, when Koji Uehara made an uncharacteristically wild appearance, hitting the first batter of his career and walking two more before giving up a two-run single to J.B. Shuck. When Andrew Miller allowed a hit to Mike Trout, it actually seemed like the Red Sox might have a game on their hands again. But a baserunning gaffe left J.B. Shuck stranded between second and third, bailing Boston out, and leaving just Andrew Bailey and a routine ninth inning between them and the series win.