BOSTON (AP) — The Red Sox outhit the Los Angeles Angels, just not when it mattered most.
The lack of clutch hitting led to 12 runners left on base, and the Red Sox wasted seven strong innings from Brandon Workman in a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night.
“I thought we had a very good approach offensively – a number of opportunities,” manager John Farrell said. “Still, getting the key base hit was critical tonight.”
Boston finished 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position and left at least one runner on base in every inning but the eighth, which was the only time the Red Sox went down in order. Sloppy defense in the top of the eighth also cost Boston as the Angels expanded their 2-1 lead with a pair of unearned runs.
The Red Sox lost for the fourth time in five games despite a solid night from Workman (1-7).
“With the exception of a two-out walk in the third and a couple of base hits to follow, he more than did his job tonight,” Farrell said.
Workman walked Kole Calhoun with two outs in the third, followed by Mike Trout’s double and an RBI single by Albert Pujols to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
Workman hadn’t started since Aug. 7 and was strong after the extended break. He threw 59 of 89 pitches for strikes, yet ended up losing his sixth straight start.
“My velocity was better,” Workman said. “I had a chance to work on some things mechanically. I felt good tonight. I felt like I got into a nice rhythm early and was able to carry that through.”
Angels starter C.J. Wilson (10-8) labored through 5 1-3 innings, giving up one run and five hits with five walks and five strikeouts.
Kevin Jepsen worked the ninth for his first save since Sept. 16, 2012. He struck out David Ortiz with two on and none out before allowing a run.
A LITTLE HELP
Once again, the Red Sox didn’t give Workman much offensive support. Boston has scored just four runs in his last three starts.
Ortiz reached base four times with a double, a single and two walks. He also struck out in the ninth after Brock Holt and Dustin Pedroia opened the inning with singles.
Rookie catcher Christian Vazquez threw out Erick Aybar in the fourth and David Freeze in the seventh as they tried to steal second base. Vazquez has thrown out six of the 14 runners attempting to steal on him since making his major league debut July 9.
“The catch-and-throw ability clearly is well above average. It’s outstanding,” Farrell said.
HOLT HIT STREAK
Holt extended his hitting streak to 12 games, going 2 for 4 with an RBI single in the fourth to pull Boston to 2-1.
Angels: Manager Mike Scioscia said INF Grant Green, on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back, is “close to playing in games.” He’ll likely need a few rehab starts before returning.
Red Sox: Pedroia was back in the lineup after missing Sunday’s game because he was sick. OF-1B Allen Craig (sprained left foot) started a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. C David Ross (plantar fasciitis) is expected to be activated Tuesday.
RHP Jered Weaver (13-7, 3.66 ERA) goes for the Angels in the second game of the series Tuesday. He took the loss against Boston on Aug. 8, giving up four runs in six innings.
RHP Allen Webster (3-1, 4.79) faces the Angels for the second time in three starts. He earned the win against Weaver recently, holding Los Angeles to two runs in 6 2-3 innings.