Dustin Pedroia reacts to Brock Holt throwing out a runner at second base in the Red Sox’ win. (Mark L. Baer/USA Today Sports)
The Red Sox were able to survive both the Angels and the rain Friday night.
Leading 5-0 going into the sixth inning, the Angels scored four runs to make it a one-run game, but the Red Sox were able to hang on for a 5-4 win Friday night at Fenway Park.
The game was delayed 1:35 in the middle of the sixth inning due to a rain storm that passed through dumping quite a bit of water on the field.
Starting with Matt Barnes in the sixth, the Red Sox bullpen tossed four scoreless innings to preserve the one-run lead. Junichi Tazawa needed 31 pitches, but didn’t allow a run in the seventh, Koji Uehara threw a scoreless eighth and Craig Kimbrel sealed the deal in the ninth to earn the save.
It wasn’t an easy ninth inning as the Angels stranded runners at second and third. Mike Trout would have scored from first on a Daniel Nava double with two outs, but it bounced into the stands meaning Trout had to stop at third base.
The Red Sox’ big inning came in the fifth when after leading 2-0, they scored three runs and all the runs came with two outs.
David Ortiz started the scoring with a solo home run to right field to give the Red Sox a 2-0 lead. Jackie Bradley Jr. singled and scored on a Brock Holt double. Then Holt scored on a Christian Vazquez RBI single after Travis Shaw was intentionally walked, which forced Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin from the game.
For Red Sox starter Steven Wright, it was a matter of pitching when it was raining and when it was dry.
After not allowing a run through five innings, the rain came and the knuckleballer allowed the first three batters of the sixth to reach and then allowed a grand slam into the Monster seats off the bat of C.J. Cron ending Wright’s night. It’s become clear Wright struggles when his hands are wet and he cannot grip the baseball.
The knuckleballer finished the game going five-plus innings, allowing four runs on eight hits, while walking three and striking out three. Despite the poor sixth inning, he still was able to pick up his ninth win of the year, but did see his ERA go from 2.18 to 2.42.
The Red Sox scored a first inning run for the first time since June 11, spanning 17 games.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox’ win:
WHAT WENT RIGHT
— Ortiz went 3-for-4 with two singles and a home run. He extended his hit streak at Fenway Park to 18 games, the longest active home hitting streak in baseball. He now has 2,000 hits as a member of the Red Sox and his home run was No. 522 for his career, which passed Frank Thomas, Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for sole possession of 19th all-time.
— Holt made his presence felt in his first game in over a month as he threw Cron out at second base in the fourth inning trying to extend a single into a double. This was in addition to going 2-for-4 with two doubles at the plate. The Red Sox are now 22-9 in games Holt starts in this season.
— Mookie Betts went 3-for-5 with a double. He has now hit safely in his last 22 games against the AL West.
— After Johnny Giavotella tripled with one out in the eighth, the Angels tried to squeeze home the tying run, but Uehara was able to make an outstanding scoop and flip to cut down Giavotella at home.
WHAT WENT WRONG
— Wright pitching in the rain hasn’t worked out this season. He allowed the four runs in the sixth inning and then earlier in the year on May 13 against the Astros, he allowed five runs in 4 1/3 innings, also a game played in the rain.
— Pedroia hit into his league-leading 15th double play in the third inning. He’s two ahead of Albert Pujols.
— The Red Sox weren’t very sound on the bases as they recorded two outs on the bases in the fourth inning. Shaw was picked off second base with no outs and then Betts committed the third out trying to extend a single to a double.