Red Sox-Angels Live: Missed Opportunities Doom Boston In 4-2 Loss

brandon workmanFinal, Angels 4-2: The Angels’ two runs in the eighth inning ended up being huge.

The Red Sox made some noise in the bottom of the ninth before Kevin Jepsen closed out an Angels victory. Boston pushed across its second run but fell short in its quest for a comeback.

Mike Trout and Albert Pujols put the Angels on top 2-0 in the third inning. Trout drilled an RBI double off the wall. Pujols added an RBI single that kicked off the wall in foul territory along the third base line and jetted out toward left field.

The Red Sox plated a run in the fourth inning when Brock Holt dropped an RBI single into left field. Boston squandered too many opportunities, though, and the Angels’ two-run eighth inning — aided by a pair of errors by reliever Junichi Tazawa — stood as the difference.

Holt, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz each collected two hits. The Red Sox actually outhit the Angles 9-7, but Boston left 12 men on base and finished 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position.

Mid 9th, Angels 4-1: Edward Mujica tossed a 1-2-3 ninth inning.

Mujica retired John McDonald, Efren Navarro and Chris Iannetta in order. The Red Sox’s offense now needs to go to work.

McDonald was absolutely robbed by Will Middlebrooks in the ninth inning. Middlebrooks took one step before laying out to make a great diving catch over near the third base line.

Middlebrooks’ play was somewhat ironic, too. He worked with McDonald, who played for the Red Sox down the stretch in 2013, over the offseason.

Kevin Jepsen will pitch the bottom of the ninth, as Angels closer Huston Street has pitched three straight days. Jepsen is scheduled to face Brock Holt, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.

End 8th, Angels 4-1: Jason Grilli, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates, took care of business in the eighth inning.

Xander Bogaerts and Mookie Betts both put the ball on the ground. Second baseman Howie Kendrick was up to the challenge.

Christian Vazquez popped out to end the inning.

Mid 8th, Angels 4-1: The wheels came off for Junichi Tazawa in the eighth inning.

Chris Iannetta led off with a walk. Kole Calhoun, who has become a thorn in Boston’s side, doubled off the base of the center field wall.

Jackie Bradley Jr. might not have caught Calhoun’s drive to center field. He likely would have played the carom more effectively, though. Calhoun easily cruised into second base while Iannetta stopped at third.

Tazawa intentionally walked Albert Pujols after Mike Trout struck out swinging. That loaded the bases with one out.

Howie Kendrick hit a comebacker that Tazawa couldn’t corral. Taz chased it down and fired home, but his throw was awful. It struck Iannetta as he slid into home and ricocheted toward the backstop. Two runs scored on the play. Tazawa was charged with two errors — one on the play and one on the throw.

The Angels nearly added another run when Erick Aybar grounded to first base. Mike Napoli tossed home to nab Pujols. Pujols initially was called safe, however, until the Red Sox successfully challenged the play.

Tazawa also uncorked a wild pitch in the eighth inning before striking out Collin Cowgill to avoid any additional damage.

End 7th, Angels 2-1: The Red Sox have outhit the Angels 7-6 yet still trail on the scoreboard.

David Ortiz reached to begin the seventh inning. He ripped a ground ball to the right side that kicked away from Efren Navarro as the first baseman ranged to his right. Second baseman Howie Kendrick tracked it down in the hopes of still throwing out Ortiz, but his toss sailed wide.

Fernando Salas took matters into his own hands at that point. He struck out the side to preserve Los Angeles’ one-run lead.

Yoenis Cespedes, Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks all went down by way of the K.

Brandon Workman’s night is over after seven solid innings. He allowed two earned runs on six hits over seven innings. The right-hander struck out five, walked two and threw 89 pitches (59 strikes).

Junichi Tazawa will pitch the eighth inning for Boston.

Mid 7th, Angels 2-1: Brandon Workman has turned in a very encouraging start.

David Freese singled into center field in the seventh inning. It was the only offense the Angels produced as Workman worked another scoreless inning.

Christian Vazquez gunned down another runner in the seventh. Freese took off for second in what appeared to be a failed hit-and-run attempt. Vazquez had no trouble throwing out Freese, as the Red Sox called for a pitchout.

Efren Navarro grounded to short to end the inning.

End 6th, Angels 2-1: Missed opportunities have been the theme of the night for the Red Sox.

The Red Sox left the bases loaded in the sixth inning. The Sox have left 10 men on base and are 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position.

Mookie Betts reached base for the second time. He singled to the left side on a ball that deflected off shortstop Erick Aybar’s glove.

The Angels turned to their bullpen, calling upon Mike Morin to replace starter C.J. Wilson. He quickly stumbled into more trouble.

Christian Vazquez singled and Brock Holt walked to pack the bags for Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia grounded into a 6-4-3, inning-ending double play.

Mid 6th, Angels 2-1: This start certainly represents an improvement for Brandon Workman.

Workman has made it through six innings, surrendering just two runs thus far. His pitch count sits at 80, so he likely has another inning coming up.

Workman retired the side in order in the sixth. Albert Pujols, Howie Kendrick and Erick Aybar failed to make any noise.

Pujols and Kendrick both grounded out. Aybar struck out swinging on an 0-2 curveball in the dirt.

End 5th, Angels 2-1: The Red Sox left the potential tying run sitting 90 feet away.

David Ortiz led off with a double into the right field corner. His line drive nearly left the yard, but it banged off the wall and kicked by Kole Calhoun as Ortiz scampered into second base.

Ortiz tagged up and advanced to third base when Mike Napoli flied out to right field for the second out of the inning. He would remain there.

Will Middlebrooks stayed back on a 3-1 changeup and hit it right on the screws. Shortstop Erick Aybar grabbed it on a line while ranging up the middle.

Mid 5th, Angels 2-1: A half inning after C.J. Wilson was haunted by a two-out walk, Brandon Workman avoided a similar fate.

Workman walked Angels leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun with two outs. That set up a showdown with Mike Trout that Workman won.

Workman featured three curveballs en route to striking out Trout on four pitches. The right-hander has four K’s through five innings.

End 4th, Angels 2-1: The Red Sox have cut the deficit in half.

C.J. Wilson made quick work of Will Middlebrooks and Xander Bogaerts in the fourth inning before running into some trouble.

How often do you see a two-out walk prove costly? Hint: It’s a lot. Or so it seems.

Wilson walked Mookie Betts with two down in the fourth. And yes, it came back to haunt Wilson.

Christian Vazquez sent Betts racing from first to third with a single into right field. Brock Holt knocked in Betts with a blooper into left.

Holt’s RBI single extended his hit streak to 12 games. That represents a career-high for Boston’s super utilityman.

Dustin Pedroia ended the inning with a warning track shot to center field that briefly had the crowd buzzing.

Mid 4th, Angels 2-0: Angels manager Mike Scioscia probably wishes he didn’t challenge a play at third base in the second inning.

Scioscia emerged from the Angels’ dugout in the fourth inning after catcher Christian Vazquez threw out Erick Aybar trying to steal second base. The skipper’s argument with second base umpire Mike Winters was short-lived, though, as he soon realized he already used his challenge.

It’s too bad for the Halos, too, as it looked like Aybar beat Vazquez’s throw. Oh well.

End 3rd, Angels 2-0: The Red Sox stranded two runners for the second straight inning.

Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz both reached with one out. Pedroia singled into right field and Ortiz worked his second walk of the game.

Yoenis Cespedes and Mike Napoli couldn’t build on the threat. Cespedes flied out to right field and Napoli grounded down to first base.

Mid 3rd, Angels 2-0: The Angels struck for two runs with two outs in the third inning.

Brandon Workman induced two ground ball outs to begin the frame. It looked like he was on his way to another 1-2-3 inning.

A two-out walk changed the complexion of the inning. Mike Trout — go figure — doubled off the wall in left-center field after Kole Calhoun earned a free pass.

Albert Pujols kept his foot on the gas, hammering a ground ball down the  third base line that kicked off the wall in foul territory and jetted out toward left field. Trout scored from second base.

End 2nd, 0-0: The Angels unsuccessfully challenged a play in the second inning. The Red Sox couldn’t cash in.

C.J. Wilson issued back-to-back walks to Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks to begin the bottom of the second. Napoli tagged up and took third base when Xander Bogaerts flied out to right field, but the Halos didn’t agree with the call.

The Angels contested that Napoli was out at third base. Replays showed the slugger indeed reached his destination safely, though, and the ruling on the field was upheld.

The Red Sox couldn’t capitalize with Napoli 90 feet away. Mookie Betts struck out looking in his first at-bat since being recalled and Christian Vazquez lined out to first base.

First baseman Efren Navarro made a terrific diving play on Vazquez’s sizzler to the right side.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Nice second inning for Brandon Workman.

Workman picked up a pair of strikeouts after an inning-opening lineout off the bat of Erick Aybar.

Workman struck out both Brennan Boesch and David Freese looking. Boesch watched a curveball go by. Freese was frozen by a curveball.

End 1st, 0-0: C.J. Wilson overcame a two-out walk for a scoreless first.

Brock Holt struck out to begin the ballgame. Dustin Pedroia then grounded to second base after being dealt a first-pitch strike.

Wilson walked David Ortiz on six pitches, but the lefty rebounded to retire Yoenis Cespedes on a ground ball to second.

Mid 1st, 0-0: Brandon Workman, who has struggled of late, probably thought, “Here we go again,” after the Angels produced back-to-back singles in the first inning.

Workman rebounded nicely, though.

Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout started the game with a pair of singles. Calhoun yanked one into right field and Trout ripped one into left.

Albert Pujols grounded to short, where Xander Bogaerts began a 6-4-3 double play. Bogaerts opted to underhand flip to Dustin Pedroia despite it being a lengthy toss, but the Red Sox still had plenty of time to turn two.

Howie Kendrick grounded to short to end the inning.

7:12 p.m.: Brandon Workman takes the mound. The Red Sox and Angels are underway at Fenway Park.

6:35 p.m.: The Red Sox made a significant roster change Monday.

Jackie Bradley Jr. was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Mookie Betts was recalled to take Bradley’s spot on the active roster.

Bradley has wowed fans this season with a heavy dose of highlight reel defensive plays, but his offense continues to be a work in progress. Bradley has hit just .216 with a .288 on-base percentage in 112 games this season, and the Sox ultimately decided a change was necessary.

Betts will play primarily center field in his return to Boston. This marks an excellent opportunity for the 21-year-old to prove he’s ready to assume a major league role in 2005, as he has shown flashes at the big league level to this point.

Betts will bat eighth and start in center field Monday. Yoenis Cespedes (left field) and Brock Holt (right field) will comprise the other two thirds of Boston’s outfield against lefty C.J. Wilson.

Monday’s complete lineups are below.

Boston Red Sox (56-67)
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Yoenis Cespedes, LF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Mookie Betts, CF
Christian Vazquez, C

Brandon Workman, RHP (1-6, 4.45 ERA)

Los Angeles Angels (72-50)
Kole Calhoun, RF
Mike Trout, CF
Albert Pujols, DH
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Erick Aybar, SS
Brennan Boesch, LF
David Freese, 3B
Efren Navarro, 1B
Chris Iannetta, C

C.J. Wilson, LHP (9-8, 4.71 ERA)

6:15 p.m. ET: The Boston Red Sox welcome a new visitor to Fenway Park on Monday.

The Red Sox, who split four games with the Houston Astros over the weekend, will spend the next four days hosting the Los Angeles Angels, whom Boston recently took two of three from out in Anaheim.

Brandon Workman will take the ball for Boston in Monday’s series opener. Workman hasn’t started since Aug. 7, as the Red Sox opted to skip his last turn in the rotation because of some fatigue. Workman’s fastball velocity has dipped amid some recent struggles, and Boston thus opted to have Anthony Ranaudo pitch in his place during last week’s series in Cincinnati.

Workman allowed four runs on six hits over 5 1/3 innings in his last start against the St. Louis Cardinals. He has gone 0-5 with a 6.04 ERA over 28 1/3 innings in five starts since June 27. The right-hander has showed plenty of promise in his young career, particularly last October and during the early part of this season, and the Red Sox certainly would like to see him close out 2014 on a high note.

Workman will face C.J. Wilson. Wilson won for the first time in six appearances during his last start. He allowed just two runs while lasting into the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies, but the left-hander posted a 11.03 ERA over his previous six starts before that outing.

Monday’s first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. Tune in on NESN and keep it right here with NESN.com’s live blog.

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