May 4, 2011: Angels 5, Red Sox 3


May 4, 2011: Angels 5, Red Sox 3

By Sean McAdam

BOSTON -- Bobby Abreu's two-run single to right in the top of the 13th inning gave the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim a 5-3 victory over the Red Sox in one of the longest and strangest games in recent Fenway Park history.

The game took 7 hours and 35 minutes from start to finish to complete, ending at 2:45 a.m. Thursday. It included a rain delay of 2 hours and 35 minutes when play was halted with one out in the fifth inning.

Abreu's game-winner came off Daisuke Matsuzaka, who came into the game in the top of the 13th for his first major-league relief appearance.

It was the Angels' first win over the Sox in seven tries this season and only their second in 17 meetings between the two clubs since the start of the 2010 season.

The Sox appeared to have the game won in the bottom of the 12th when Kevin Youkilis doubled high off the left-field wall. But Marco Scutaro, running from first base, was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay from left fielder Vernon Wells to shortstop Erick Aybar to catcher Jeff Mathis.

Trailing by two in the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox staged an improbable comeback and might have won the game then if not for an overly-aggressive baserunning move by Mike Cameron.

The Sox had Jed Lowrie at second and Cameron atfirst when Jordan Walden threw a wild pitch. As both runners advanced, catcher Hank Conger scrambled and threw the ball to third in an attempt to cut down Lowrie. The errant throw hit third-base umipre John Hirschbeck and rolled toward short, allowing Lowrie to score but Cameron was gunned down trying to advance from second to third.

Carl Crawford followed with a double and, after a strikeout by Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury singled home the tying run.

The Angels had grabbed the first lead of the game in the seventh when Vernon Wells launched a massive shot to left off Dan Wheeler, scoring Howie Kendrick ahead of him.

The Sox, held hitless until Lowrie singled with two out in the seventh, got on the scoreboard in the eighth on a dribbler by Adrian Gonzalez and a throwing error by reliever Fernando Rodney.

Neither starting pitcher -- Josh Beckett for the Sox, Ervin Santana for the Angels -- returned after the long rain delay.

Player of the Game: Bobby Abreu

Since coming over to the American League, Abreu has had a knack of doing damage to the Red Sox, so why should this game be any different?

With the bases loaded in the top of the 13th, Abreu slapped a two-run single to right off Daisuke Matsuzaka, snapping a 3-3 tie and giving the Angels a 5-3 victory.

Honorable Mention: Trevor Bell

Pitching was in short supply for both teams as the night wore on, but Bell gave manager Mike Scioscia four scoreless innings, buying his teammates time to regain the lead they lost in the bottom of the ninth.

Bell wiggled out of a second-and-third jam in the 10th and stranded the potential winning run on second in the bottom of the 12th before getting credit for the win.

The Goat: Diasuke Matsuzaka

Maybe it was unfair to expect much from Matsuzaka, who had never pitched in relief in the big leagues until Wednesday nightThursday morning.

But once in the game, the burden fell on him to keep the Angels from scoring. Instead, he yielded three hits and a walk, resulting in two runs for the Angels.

Turning Point: Youkilis nearly ends it

In the 12th inning with Marco Scutaro at first and one out, Kevin Youkilis banged a double high off The Wall. Scutaro, running all the way, was gunned down at the plate on a perfect relay by the Angels and you were left with the feeling that the Sox' last best chance had come and gone.

By the Numbers: 5

At exactly five hours of actual playing time, the game was the longest at Fenway Park since a 14-inning loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Sept. 10, 2008, a game which took 5 hours and two minutes.

Quote of Note:

"When I showed up today, I didn't think I'd be talking to you guys at 3 a.m.'' -- Terry Francona in his post-game press conference with the media.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win


Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.


Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.


Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

How dominant has Craig Kimbrel been? The numbers are eye popping

Remember that infield hit by Jonathan Villar of the Brewers off Craig Kimbrel on May 11 in Milwaukee?

Don't worry, nobody does. That's the last hit off the Red Sox closer. That's right. One hit this month.

How dominant has Kimbrel been? Going into Saturday, right-handed hitters don't have a hit off him in their past 39 at-bats. Opponents are hitting .083 against him. Move the decimal point and 0.83 happens to be his season ERA, too, to go with 13 saves. 

Here's more via @SoxNotes:

Kimbrel, 28, has been one of baseball's best closers for years with the Atlanta Braves and San Diego Padres. His first year in Boston last season was solid with 31 saves and a 3.40 ERA, but his walks climbed (30 total and 5.1 per 9 innings, the second-highest totals of his career). He also struggled in non-save situations.

There's been no struggling lately. The last run Kimbrel gave up was a home run by Kendrys Morales of the Blue Jays in the ninth inning on April 20 in Toronto that tied the score at 1 in a game won by the Red Sox 4-1 in 10. Kimbrel got the win and his only blown save of the season.

His three-out save Friday night was his first outing without a strikeout since a one-out save April 23. That followed his four-strikeout inning Thursday night.