Red Sox continue torrid hitting against Angels and complete three-game sweep
The Angels’ best day at the ballpark this week came when it was so cold that the infield frosted over and the game wasn’t even played.
That was Sunday, back in 18-degree-wind-chilled Kansas City, the last place where this team appeared to feel comfortable, the Angels’ disposition as rosy as their cheeks.
After a postponement, a scheduled off day and two really, really off days, they reached the series finale against Boston on Thursday night hoping to win, of course, but also hoping to avoid more overwhelming deflation.
Didn’t happen, not against baseball’s hottest team. Boston won 8-2 to complete a sweep at Angel Stadium and formally bury a team that was soaring just a few days ago.
In losing these three games, the Angels were outscored 27-3 and trailed for all but two of the 27 innings. Their best position Thursday was a 1-1 tie after the second and third innings.
The Angels finished the series 14 for 95 (.147 average), 13 of those hits being singles. Chris Young’s solo homer in the fifth was their only extra-base hit against a Red Sox team that is now 16-2.
“We just couldn’t get comfortable in the batter’s box,” manager Mike Scioscia said.
Not even the return to the lineup of Shohei Ohtani, the most must-see at-bat in the sport, could spark an offense that has spent the past three days going as flat as home plate.
Batting sixth, his highest position yet in the order, Ohtani saw several off-speed pitches and finished hitless in four at-bats, three of which ended in strikeouts.
During his afternoon session with reporters, Scioscia stressed the importance of his team doing something — anything — early in the game other than falling behind again.
“We need to get off better against these guys,” he said. “We just haven’t established ourselves on the mound the way we need to. We haven’t made the pitches we need to.”
Three hours later, Nick Tropeano’s third pitch of the game rattled into the left-field seats, Mookie Betts’ fourth home run of this series and Boston’s 10th (at that moment) in 19 innings against the Angels this week.
Though Zack Cozart’s two-out RBI single made the score 1-1 an inning later, pulling even was as positive as things would get for the Angels.
Tropeano pitched into the sixth but gave up five runs, too many for the way the Angels have been playing offense.
After opening the season as one of the most productive teams in baseball, the Angels have put together just one rally that has netted more than a single run over the last 37 innings. And that came on one swing, Mike Trout hitting a two-run homer in the fifth on Saturday against the Royals.
Yeah, fortunes have turned pretty dramatically for the Angels, thanks mostly to Boston’s visit. The good news?
San Francisco comes into Angel Stadium starting Friday night with an offense that, comparatively speaking, is missing on all cylinders. The Giants have scored one or zero runs 10 times this season. The Red Sox have done that only once so far.
So things already are looking up for a club that at the moment is drooping pretty badly.
Go beyond the scoreboard
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