The Red Sox have been on a roll since May 18 going 16-5 through a 21-game stretch, but Boston ran into Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night, who were determined not to lose a 15th straight game.
Boston’s West Coast road trip was treating them well in the month of June, and the Red Sox held a 11-3 record since May 10, per Red Sox media relation’s Kyle Montemagno. The road trip is trending as Boston’s best since 2000. The Red Sox are currently 6-1 on their West Coast road trip with three games left in Seattle.
Their last west road trip was in 2019 where they went 3-8, and it was only in 2010 that they came out of a western trek longer than eight games with a record over .500 (6-4).
Red Sox starting pitchers Michael Wacha, Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta were on a roll through Boston’s win streak. The trio hadn’t allowed an earned run in their last 33 2/3 innings pitched combined, and in their last 7 starts, they were 6-1 with an 0.57 ERA.
However, Ohtani put the Angels on his back putting on a stellar performance on the mound and in the batter’s box. The superstar struck out six batters through seven innings, and Ohtani put the Angels on top in the bottom of the fifth inning with a two-run home run.
The win breaks the Angels’ 14-game losing streak and gave Los Angeles their first win since May 24.
Here are more notes from Thursday’s Red Sox-Angels
— Pivetta recorded 11 strikeouts through five innings in his Thursday outing. The right-hander was riding a five-game win streak heading into Angel Stadium and looked to be on form when he escaped a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the second inning.
However, Pivetta gave up the two-run homer from Ohtani, and after two walks, Pivetta was taken out. Reliever Hirokazu Sawamura gave up a three-run home run to Andrew Velasquez — causing Pivetta to be on the receiving end of four earned runs on the night.
“Nick was good, 11 strikeouts,” Cora said. “Taking a page out of the NBA Finals looking at the stat line. With the two walks, it seems like he ran out of gas there. Three-two count, he walks, and he walks the next guy. We almost pulled it out, just a fastball down the middle to Velasquez. He hit it out of the ballpark. That’s the beauty of this game. He goes 1-for-4, and the only ball he hit was a homer. He’s missed a lot today, but he got a pitch he can handle — hit a ballpark.”
“I wasn’t focused on that at all,” Pivetta told reporters regarding his 11 strikeouts, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I was focused on competing and trying to put us in the best spot to win, and I wasn’t able to do that tonight.”
— Franchy Cordero is 3-of-32 on the trip and his OPS has dropped from .825 to .685. However, the right fielder has shown growth in his game with a fifth-inning walk that led to him scoring the first run of the game.
— J.D. Martinez and Alex Verdugo hit two of the Red Sox’s doubles Thursday night to extend Boston’s league-leading doubles to 145, which is 30 more than the Atlanta Braves, who are second place in the stat.
— Verdugo and Bobby Dalbec each recorded an RBI extending Boston’s RBI total to 266 — good for first in the American League and two more than New York Yankees.
— The Red Sox will travel to Seattle to take on the Mariners to start a three-game series on Friday at T-Mobile Park. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. ET, and full coverage of the game will be on NESN, including an hour of pregame coverage starting at 9 p.m.