Instead, $154-million first baseman Adrian Gonzalez delivered a tie-breaking, run-scoring single in the 11th inning and known commodities such as the intensity of Dustin Pedroia and the right arm of Josh Beckett again proved themselves as powerful weapons in the visitors' 4-2 victory in Anaheim.
Pedroia sliced a 0-2 pitch to right field off Angels reliever Rich Thompson (0-1) in the 11th that set up Gonzalez's run-scoring single. Pedroia then evaded a rundown tag between third and home and scored on a sacrifice fly.
Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless 11th for the save.
Two-time World Series champion Beckett was en route to a masterpiece when the Angels' cold-hitting cleanup man Torii Hunter emerged from a three-for-38 slump by driving a full-count pitch over the center-field wall in the seventh inning for a homer that left the score 2-2.
Before he walked Bobby Abreu to start the seventh in front of Hunter, Beckett retired 15 of the first 16 Angels he faced, allowing only one hit — an Erick Aybar high-chopping infield single in the sixth that Beckett couldn't pluck from his glove cleanly.
In eight innings of work, Beckett threw 125 pitches, giving up three hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Boston improved to 7-11.
Angels rookie Tyler Chatwood took on the imposing task of matching pitches against Beckett and kept the game a scoreless battle into the sixth.
Chatwood let Red Sox runners reach scoring position in each of the first four frames, but he showcased Boston's season-long weaknesses by forcing cleanup hitter Kevin Youkilis to ground into a double play in the first, then struck out captain Jason Varitek with a man on third in the second.
Youkilis had to leave the game after fouling a ball off his left shin in the first, and his replacement in the lineup, shortstop Marco Scutaro, flied to center in the third to strand a teammate at second base. Then Jacoby Ellsbury flied to left with a runner at second to leave six Red Sox stranded through four innings.
Maicier Izturis became the Angels' first baserunner by drawing a leadoff walk in the fourth after fouling off three full-count pitches by Beckett. Throwing in the mid-90s, Beckett retired the next three Angels.
Cheered by family and friends, Chatwood's grit emerged in the fifth when the Redlands product struck out Gonzalez on three pitches after a one-out single by Pedroia.
Chatwood seemed poised to flash his resilience again in the sixth after surrendering a leadoff walk to David Ortiz and single to Jed Lowrie. Following a sacrifice bunt, Chatwood struck out Varitek for a second time on a check-swing curve.
On the next pitch No. 9 hitter Ellsbury looped a two-run single to right.
Both teams threatened in the eighth, with Angel reliever Fernando Rodney escaping his own bases-loaded jam with a strikeout followed by a Pedroia popup to second.
Aybar tried to stretch a leadoff double into a triple, but a Pedroia relay throw let third baseman Lowrie tag out a diving Aybar on the left arm.