Friday, December 13, 2013
The Associated Press
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Zack Greinke yielded five hits over seven strong innings, Albert Pujols hit an early two-run double and the Los Angeles Angels swept their season series with Boston for the first time with a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night.
Mark Trumbo and pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo drove in runs in the third inning for the Angels, who stayed in the AL wild-card hunt by winning all six meetings with Boston over the past 10 days.
Los Angeles has won seven of nine overall, keeping pace with Baltimore and Oakland in the five-team wild-card race.
James Loney went 3 for 4 with a homer and Jon Lester threw eight innings of nine-hit ball for the Red Sox, who have lost eight of 11.
Boston had never been swept in a season series of at least six games by any opponent in franchise history.
Mike Trout tied the franchise rookie record by scoring his 103rd run for Los Angeles, which has won eight straight over Boston dating to last season, one victory shy of the Angels' club record against the Red Sox.
Greinke (3-2) was unintimidating but effective in his seventh appearance for the Angels, striking out five and limiting Boston to two runs during his third victory in four starts. The right-hander might have found his groove in Orange County after a slow start following his arrival from Milwaukee, yielding three runs in 14 2-3 innings over his last two starts.
Kevin Jepsen escaped a jam of his own making in the eighth inning, and Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 18 chances.
Lester (8-11) yielded eight hits and gave a lift to Boston's worn-out bullpen by pitching the entire game, but fell behind 5-1 in the fourth inning. The left-hander's first three-game winning streak of the season ended.
After Trout led off the game with a four-pitch walk, Torii Hunter singled. Pujols drove them both home with a sharp double down the left-field line, giving the three-time NL MVP 90 RBIs in 124 games during his first season with Los Angeles.
Greinke then issued back-to-back four-pitch walks to load the bases in the second inning, but Boston managed only one run on Mike Aviles' sacrifice fly.
Los Angeles scored twice on four straight singles against Lester in the third inning, capped by Callaspo's run-scoring hit.
Callaspo replaced second baseman Howie Kendrick, who left with a sore right knee. The Angels didn't immediately announce when Kendrick had been hurt, but the former All-Star flied out to center in the first inning, which meant his 15-game hitting streak ended.
Loney sneaked his first homer for the Red Sox just over the short fence in the right-field corner in the sixth inning. The former Dodgers first baseman has a hit in each of his first five games with Boston.
NOTES: Trout scored 103 runs in 108 games to tie the Angels rookie record set in 1987 by Devon White, who needed 159 games to reach the same number. ... Greinke allowed a homer in his sixth consecutive start, matching the longest such streak of his career in 2005. ... After one home series, the Angels are back on the road for another week starting Friday in Seattle, where Dan Haren faces Kevin Millwood. ... Boston's nine-game West Coast road swing continues in Oakland on Friday night.