Rick Porcello Shoulders Blame For Red Sox’s Frustrating Loss To Angels

BOSTON — On Friday, it was Rick Porcello’s turn.

Exactly one week after Red Sox manager John Farrell shouldered the blame for a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, Porcello stood in front of reporters in Boston’s clubhouse and took the heat for a 12-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels at Fenway Park.

“I take full responsibility for the loss today,” Porcello said. “That was completely on me. I’ve got to do better.”

Porcello entered the Red Sox’s series opener against the Halos as Boston’s most consistent starter. The Red Sox had won each of his last five starts — the longest streak for a Sox starter this season — and his 2.10 ERA in four starts since May 29 represented the best mark in the American League East in that span. The 26-year-old even outpitched Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in his most recent outing.

It looked early like Porcello would continue his solid run, as he needed just seven pitches to retire the Angels in order in the first inning. He then overcame a double and a hit batter in the second and third innings to keep Los Angeles off the scoreboard.

But Albert Pujols crushed a solo homer to open the fourth inning, and things only snowballed from there, as the Angels tacked on another run in the fourth before opening up the game while chasing Porcello in the fifth.

“He came out throwing the ball as he’s been the last five, six times out. Starting in the fourth inning, he started to mislocate some pitches up in the strike zone and then really it started to accelerate in the fifth inning, starting with the two leadoff walks,” Farrell said. “If you put men on base with base on balls, extra-base hits, it makes for a quick night.”

The Red Sox scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead. They desperately needed a shutdown fifth inning from Porcello, who stumbled through the fourth, but the right-hander responded with a dud. He issued back-to-back walks to Joey Giavotella (the Angels’ No. 9 hitter) and Erick Aybar to begin the fifth, which proved disastrous leading into Mike Trout and the heart of Los Angeles’ order.

“That was the trouble — the two walks,” Porcello said. “I can live with guys swinging the bat and hitting the ball. Giving them free passes, especially the first two hitters, it’s unacceptable.”

Trout hit a ground ball to third base that deflected off Brock Holt’s glove and over toward shortstop, allowing the Angels’ third run to score. Xander Bogaerts fired an errant throw to third that allowed Los Angeles to take a 4-3 lead. It never got easier.

Kole Calhoun singled home a run and David Freese drilled an RBI double, after which Farrell turned to his bullpen. Matt Barnes entered and surrendered two homers in what ended up being a nine-run inning for the Angels.

Porcello was charged with seven earned runs on seven hits and three walks over 4 1/3 innings. It was a particularly frustrating performance because the Red Sox’s offense, which had scored two or fewer runs in seven of Boston’s previous nine games, actually broke through against Angels starter Garrett Richards.

Friday’s loss marked a missed opportunity for the sputtering Red Sox. Porcello realized such and, like his manager did one week prior on the West Coast, pointed the finger directly at himself.

Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images

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