The Boston Red Sox (51-65) wrap up their series with the Los Angeles Angels (68-48) after splitting the first two games. The Angels outlasted the Red Sox in a 19-inning marathon when Albert Pujols went deep for a walk-off home run. There probably aren't too many Red Sox fans here on the East Coast that stayed up until after 3:30 AM to see how that one ended.
Mike Trout's home run in the 8th inning knotted the score to lead to extra-innings. Boston had a chance to win in the 14th inning when Dustin Pedroia swiped second, then showed some heads up base running by stealing an uncovered third base on the same play. David Ortiz then drove him home on a sac fly to put the Red Sox ahead.
But it wasn't over yet, as Trout again came through in the bottom of the inning. This time he grounded into a fielder's choice that plated the tying run. Despite only a one run lead in extra-innings, Boston kept the infielders back in double-play depth, conceding a run for a chance to turn two and avoid giving up multiple runs. Xander Bogaerts flipped the ball to Pedroia for the out at second, but Pedroia's throw home was a split second late.
Despite a heroic four shutout innings from Heath Hembree in his Red Sox debut, Boston ultimately fell when Brandon Workman came on for the 19th inning and immediately gave up the HR to Pujols. By that point, both teams must have been relieved the game was finally over. Less than 12 hours later, they meet again.
- Rubby De La Rosa (3-4, 3.43 ERA) takes the mound for Boston. The Red Sox really need him to go deep in this game to give their fatigued bullpen a break, but De La Rosa has never gone more than 7 innings in a game before and has a 5.08 ERA on the road this season.
- After last night's marathon game, a couple regulars in the lineup could use a break. David Ortiz will get the afternoon off, with Mike Napoli moving to the DH spot. Kelly Johnson will make his Red Sox debut at 1B. The versatile infielder was acquired from the Yankees for Stephen Drew at the trade deadline. He hit .219 with 6 HR in 77 games in New York.
- After catching all 19 innings last night, Christian Vazquez will get a much needed day off. Dan Butler will make his major league debut behind the dish this afternoon. In 76 games with the Pawtucket Red Sox, Butler hit .227 with 4 HR and 28 RBI. The 27-year old rookie is known for having a strong, accurate arm and threw out 27 percent (13-of-48) of potential base stealers.
- Edwin Escobar has been called up to join the Red Sox bullpen, replacing Heath Hembree, who likely would have been unavailable for a few days after throwing 62 pitches last night. Both players were acquired from the San Francisco Giants in the Jake Peavy trade last month.
- Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.84 ERA) gets the start for Los Angeles. The lefty has bounced back and forth between the rotation and bullpen in his first season with the Angels and has only lasted 7 innings in a game once this season. He's likely to remain in the rotation now that the Angels have announced that Tyler Skaggs will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery.
- It was only two years ago that Josh Hamilton was still an elite player, but since coming to the Angels last year he's been a shell of his former self. He hit .285 with 43 HR and 128 RBI in his last season with the Texas Rangers in 2012, which led to a 5-year, $125 million contract with the Angels. In 218 games with the Angels, Hamilton has provided 2.6 WAR, which is less value than the 3.3 WAR he posted in 2012 alone and a small fraction of the career high 8.4 WAR he had in his 2010 MVP season. This year Hamilton is hitting a modest .266 with 8 HR and 35 RBI through 67 games. He's still worth just over a win more than a replacement level player, but that still means he's getting paid more than three times as much as he's been worth.
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Tags: Baseball, Boston, Boston Red Sox, Dan Butler, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kelly Johnson, Mike Napoli, MLB, Rubby De La Rosa