The Red Sox fell to the Angels 4-2 Monday night thanks to a mess of a defensive play from Junichi Tazawa and a typically inopportune night from the offense.
For once, it was not the Red Sox' starter putting up ugly peripherals on the mound. Fresh off an extended period of rest, Brandon Workman was much sharper against the Angels than he has been in recent starts. While Los Angeles threatened early, hitting the ball hard in the first inning, Workman managed to shake off the rust, escaping the frame with a double play, then striking out two batters in a 1-2-3 second.
C.J. Wilson, on the other hand, was very much playing the role of the typical Red Sox starter these days. Which is to say he was surrounding the zone rather than hitting it. Wilson would walk three of the first six batters he faced, only escaping the second inning when Efren Navarro snagged a hard hit ball from Christian Vazquez at first on the fly.
Still, while Workman very much looked the better pitcher early on, it was the Angels who would get on the board first. A two-out rally in the third inning saw Workman give up a crucial five-pitch walk to Kole Calhoun. Rather than having a scoreless inning, Workman had to face Mike Trout with a man on base. The result was an RBI double for Mike Trout, who was then knocked in himself by Albert Pujols, leaving the Angels ahead 2-0. It was an opportunity Workman didn't need to let Trout have, and it cost him in the end.
The Red Sox wasted another pair of baserunners in the bottom of the third before finally making Wilson pay with a lone run in the bottom of the fourth, with Mookie Betts drawing a two-out walk, then moving to second and scoring on hits from Christian Vazquez and Brock Holt respectively.
Still, even in that inning the Red Sox would strand two baserunners, and it would only get worse, with Dustin Pedroia taking a bases-loaded, one out opportunity and tossing it away with a double play to end the seventh. C.J. Wilson, removed after Betts' one-out single as part of that failed seventh inning rally, had been allowed to escape relatively unscathed after playing with fire all night long.
Even with all their offensive failings, however, the Red Sox were still within a run thanks to Brandon Workman's seven strong innings of work. That would all change in the eighth, however. With an intentional walk of Albert Pujols loading the bases with one out, Junichi Tazawa got what looked like the perfect inning-ending ground ball off the bat of Howie Kendrick. Tazawa could not field the ball properly, however, booting it towards third base, then firing low and wide of home and into the sliding Chris Iannetta to let the Angels plate not one, but two runs, leaving the Red Sox in a 4-1 hole. And while the Red Sox could pick up one run in the ninth, matching the Angels' pre-error figure, they could not pick up a third or fourth, leaving the Angels victorious in the series opener.