By Pete Zarustica
Back in their glory days of about a decade ago, the Los Angeles (or California or Anaheim) Angels delighted the fans at the Big A with stirring rallies, often accompanied by the urging of a monkey.
The Angels got a dose of their former medicine Sunday when they blew a 3-0 when the Boston Red Sox tagged the Halo bullpen for five runs en route to a 5-3 win over the home team.
Scoring three times in the bottom of the fifth, the Angels jumped out to a lead. Mike Trout singled home one run and then Albert Pujols plated another with a ground out. Jefry Marte singled in the third run.
Tyler Skaggs gave the Angels a great start, working 5.1 innings and yielding just four hits. He struck out eight batters and walked but two. Two relievers slapped the Bosox down until the top of the ninth.
That’s when things went south. Huston Street (now 2-3), who started the season as the team’s reliable closer, got lit up for four hits – two of them home runs – and five runs in two-thirds of an inning. The key blows were the two-out round-trippers blasted by Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogearts. Street’s ERA has now ballooned up to 6.45, not a good mark for your once-top late inning ace.
Despite the unhappy ending, the team has reason to feel good about Skaggs’ performance, capping a comeback from a 2014 elbow injury. “It’s two years to the day,” Skaggs said. “I’ve come a long way in those two years. I’m bigger, stronger, throwing harder. Maybe it’s a blessing in disguise.”
The Angels outhit the Sox 11-9, led by Yunel Escobar’s three hits, pushing his average up to .322, seventh-best in the American League. Trout and Marty each had a pair.
The win allowed the Red Sox to split the four-series. The Angels’ record went to 47-58, but remained tied for fourth in the American League West as the Oakland A’s lost 8-0 to the Cleveland Indians. The Halos will get a chance to pull away from the Athletics as they start a series on Tuesday hosting that Northern California team.