BOSTON — Another series-opening loss and the Boston Red Sox continued their tumble out of the AL’s wild-card chase Tuesday night.
Dropping a series opener for the eighth time in 10 tries, the Red Sox lost their fifth in seven games with a 5-3 setback against the Los Angeles Angels.
“Play better collectively as a group. We’re just not playing together,” right fielder Cody Ross said. “It seems like we get chances, opportunities, have pitchers on the ropes and try to do too much.”
One day after shutting down Carl Crawford for the season with a ligament injury in his left elbow, Manager Bobby Valentine tried a lineup shuffle to spark his fading team, moving Jacoby Ellsbury from the leadoff spot to third.
Ellsbury went 1 for 4 with a single, flying to fairly deep right-center in his final at-bat.
“We had a pretty set thing going through five (in the order). Without Carl we have to make an adjustment,” Valentine said.
Boston also has been without designated hitter David Ortiz, sidelined since July 18 with a strained right Achilles.
“You’re talking about two big pieces on this team,” Ross said. “But at the same time every team has superstars that get hurt throughout the year. We have to pick those guys up and we’re not doing it.”
Mark Trumbo hit his career-high 30th homer, Ervin Santana pitched 6 1/3 solid innings and the Angels, the team directly in front of Boston in the wild-card standings, snapped a four-game losing streak.
Aaron Cook (3-7) of Boston was touched for five runs on 11 hits – nine singles – in five innings and fell to 1-6 in his last eight starts.
“I felt pretty good. I felt like I was making pitches. They just were finding holes with those singles,” he said. “Trumbo just hit a ball about as hard as you can hit one.”
Boston did have one bright spot: three relievers combined for four hitless innings, still not enough to avoid another loss.
Mike Trout had two hits, giving him 139 in the first 100 games of his rookie season, the most since 1964 when Tony Oliva had 144 for Minnesota. But his streak of 30 successful stolen-base attempts ended in the eighth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia threw him out at second base on a pitchout.
Los Angeles’ playoff hopes took a beating when it ended a 10-game homestand by being swept in four games by the Tampa Bay Rays, who lead the wild-card race.
But Santana’s performance was a rare strong outing for the Angels’ starters, who entered the game with a 6.76 ERA in August.
Santana (7-10) allowed two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and two walks, leaving after throwing 100 pitches. He is 3-0 in his last four starts and gave up three runs or fewer for the fourth time in five starts.
Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his 15th save in 16 opportunities.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the third on a single by Albert Pujols that drove in Trout, who had singled and moved to second on Cook’s wild pickoff attempt.
It was Trout’s 97th run, breaking a tie with Joe Jackson of the Cleveland Indians for second-most runs in the first 100 games of a career since 1900. Jackson did it in 1911. Joe DiMaggio’s 100 runs in 1936 are the most.
THE RED SOX placed Crawford on the disabled list with a left elbow injury, and he is scheduled to have elbow-reconstruction surgery Thursday.
In other moves, the Sox activated outfielder Daniel Nava and reliever Vicente Padilla from the disabled list and optioned third baseman Danny Valencia to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Crawford is set for Tommy John surgery on his ulnar collateral ligament.
Nava was hitting .251 with four homers and 27 RBI before going on the disabled list July 29 with a sprained left wrist.
Padilla, 4-1 with a 4.62 ERA, went on the disabled list Aug. 6 with right arm tightness. Valencia went 1 for 8 after being obtained from Minnesota on Aug. 5.
THE RED SOX honored Johnny Pesky by wearing his No. 6 on the back of all their uniforms.
Pesky, who played, managed and served as a broadcaster for the Red Sox in a baseball career that lasted more than 60 years, died Aug. 13 at age 92.
Before the game, managers, coaches and players from both teams lined up along the baselines.
Pesky’s son, David, threw the ceremonial first pitch.