BOSTON The Red Sox offense came alive Monday night against the Angels, erupting for six runs in the seventh inning a season-high for one inning beating the Angels at Fenway Park, 9-5.
If this game is remembered for anything it will be Dustin Pedroias 13-pitch at-bat in the fifth inning against Jered Weaver. With the Sox trailing, 2-1, two outs and runners on second and third, Pedroia came to the plate. The Sox second baseman entered the at-bat hitting just four for his last 23 overall, and three for 25 in his career against Weaver. He worked Weaver for 13 pitches, including five straight 3-2 pitches. On the 13th pitch, Pedroia lashed a grounder into center field, scoring Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury. Adrian Gonzalez grounded out on the next pitch.
But Weaver (6-1) was done after that. It was his shortest outing of the season, and his first loss. His ERA jumped from 0.99 to 1.39. He went six innings, giving up three runs -- all earned, a season high -- on six hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
Clay Buchholz earned the win, improving his record to 2-3 (4.81). He went 6 23 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits and two walks, with two strikeouts and a wild pitch. It was Buchholzs first quality start of the season.
Both Buchholz and Weaver entered Mondays game each having been scratched from their scheduled Sunday start because of illness. That was about where their fortunes this season diverged. Weaver entered the game the American League leader in wins, with six, ERA (0.99), strikeouts (49), opponents batting average (.163), and complete games (2). He posted quality starts in each of his six previous outings. Buchholz, meanwhile, had just one win to his credit with an ERA of 5.33, and no quality starts in his five previous outings.
But Monday night Buchholz and Weaver were virtually on even ground. Both pitchers threw quality starts. Buchholz went 6 23 innings, giving up two runs on eight hits with two walks, two strikeouts, and a wild pitch. He threw 107 pitches, 66 strikes. He left with the Sox leading by a run.
The Sox offense, which has betrayed them so often this season, finally came around. The had 11 hits in the game, two shy of their season high. The nine runs match a season high. Batting with runners in scoring position has been a mark of futility this season, with the Sox batting just .212. Monday against the Angels they were 5-for-8 in such situations.
After a four-game sweep in Anaheim in April, the Sox are 5-0 against the Angels this season. They have outscored them Angels 29-10.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen