Webster sharp in 4-2 win over Angels

Webster sharp in 4-2 win over Angels
August 9, 2014, 1:15 am
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- This wasn't a turnaround performance by Allen Webster. It was more like a complete U-turn.    

Six days removed from a start in which it seemed like he was either incapable or unwilling to throw a strike, Webster pitched into the seventh inning and limited the Los Angeles Angels to just four hits, guiding the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory.    

The Sox held on in the ninth when Jackie Bradley Jr. made a spectacular leaping catch to take extra bases away from Howie Kendick. Koji Uehara had to wiggle out of a first-and-third jam before nailing down his 24th save.    

Webster walked two and hit two others, but had far better command than he did last Saturday when he issued six walks in just 2 2/3 innings. The 6 2/3 innings was the longest outing of his brief major league career.    

The Sox provided him with a 3-0 lead in the third on a run-scoring single by Dustin Pedroia and a two-run double into the left fielder corner by Yoenis Cespedes. The double produced the first two RBI for Cespedes since joining the Red Sox six games ago.    

The Angels used a double from Chris Iannetta, an error by Cespedes and a sacrifice fly from Mike Trout to cut into the Red Sox lead with two runs of their own in bottom of the third off Webster.    

But over his next 3 2/3 innings, Webster allowed just two more hits and didn't permit a baserunner to reach scoring position.    

A solo homer by Mike Napoli in the fifth provided some breathing room for the Red Sox, who won for just the fourth time in their last 16 games.    

Tommy Layne got the final out in the seventh, while Junichi Tazawa, making his fifth appearance in the last seven games, pitched a scoreless eighth before Uehara took over.


STAR OF THE GAME: Yoenis Cespedes
Cespedes had failed to knock in a run in his first five games with the Red Sox, but stroked a two-run double in the three-run third inning to spot the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. He also made a fine running catch to snare a line drive from Kole Calhoun in the seventh, which helped cancel out his misplay in the bottom of the third which helped lead to a run for the Angels.

In his longest and best start of his major league career, Webster gave up just four hits in 6 2/3 innings, while showing far better control and composure than his first start.

GOAT OF THE GAME: Josh Hamilton
The Angels' cleanup hitter had four plate appearances and managed to strand baserunners in three of them, while twice making the final out of the inning for the Angels.

TURNING POINT: After the Red Sox scored three runs in the top of the third, Webster walked the leadoff hitter on four pitches, then allowed a run-scoring double, invoking memories of last weekend's disastrous start against the Yankees when he immediately gave back a 3-0 lead. But Webster then retired three of the next four hitters he faced to get out of trouble and limit the damage.

BY THE NUMBERS: The Red Sox remain the only team in the majors to not lose a game in which they lead after eight innings, going 39-0 in such instances.