Rick Porcello notched his 14th win of the season Friday night. (Gary A. Vasquez/USA Today Sports)
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Meet your Red Sox ace, Rick Porcello.
While his ERA won’t necessarily dazzle you, and teams will typically manage their fair share of hits against him, Porcello continues to accomplish something better than any other Red Sox starter — he wins.
The trend continued Friday night at Angel Stadium, with Porcello holding Los Angeles to two runs over nine innings. It resulted in the starter’s 14th win of the season — a 6-2 triumph over the Angels — with the Red Sox now improving to 16-5 when the righty takes the mound.
It was Porcello’s first complete game Aug. 20, 2014. He has also now gone at least five innings in each of his last 28 starts dating back to Aug. 26, 2015, a span in which is tied with Texas’ Cole Hamels for most wins (18).
The performance by Porcello was made even more necessary considering the Red Sox were riding their first four-game losing streak of the season. It also helped the Sox creep within 1 1/2 games out of first-place in the American League East after Toronto pushed to within 1/2 game with its win over Baltimore Friday night.
The only trouble Porcello endured came in the second inning, and that was partly a product of a misplayed Daniel Nava line-drive by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. that put runners on second and third. A ground out and single would give the Angels a quick two-run lead.
But with the struggling Tim Lincecum on the mound for the hosts (he of the 8.70 ERA coming into the game), it seemed like just a matter of time before Porcello would get his runs. Sure enough, the Sox scored a pair in the third, took the lead for good on a Mookie Betts’ sacrifice fly in the fourth, and sealed the deal with Bradley’s solo shot in the sixth.
Just for good measure, Xander Bogaerts’ launched his 13th homer of the season over the left field wall in the seventh inning for two more runs.
For a complete box score, click here.
Dustin Pedroia has now reached base in each of his last 32 games, this time getting on via a seventh inning single.
WHAT WENT RIGHT
– Betts made the defensive play of the game, racing back to make a twisting, leaping catch against the right field wall off an Albert Pujols blast. The grab saved a run in what was a two-score game at the time.
WHAT WENT WRONG
– The Red Sox could never really get to Lincecum like they probably should have, with the righty finishing his five innings giving up four runs.