Mike Trout had a pair of hits, scoring one run and driving in another, to lead the Angels past the Red Sox. (Getty Images)

Closing Time: Red Sox offense comes up empty in loss to Angels

August 18, 2014 - 6:35 pm
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The Red Sox skipped starter Brandon Workman's turn in the rotation last Wednesday in hopes that he would be rested, stronger and ready to snap his five-start losing streak.

The right-hander did his part Monday night,allowing just two runs on six hits over seven innings. It was the Sox' offense that missed out on their opportunities in a 4-2 loss to the Angels, spoiling an effective outing from Workman.

The Red Sox had little trouble getting on base, but were seemingly incapable of pushing those runners across. The Sox had base runners in all but one inning and got six into scoring position, but scored just twice and stranded 12.

The Red Sox spoiled multiple opportunities to jump on Angels starter C.J. Wilson, who allowed just one run and took the win despite giving up five hits and walking five on 115 pitches over 5 1/3 innings.

The loss drops the Red Sox to 56-68 for the season.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

-- The Red Sox failed on multiple opportunities to push runs across early in the game. They left six runners on base through the first four innings and only pushed one run across. The Sox had two on and no outs in the bottom of the second after Mike Napoli and Will Middlebrooks both walked to lead off the inning, but the bottom third of the order failed to bring home a run.

The Red Sox had another opportunity in the third after Dustin Pedroia hit a one-out single and David Ortiz followed with a walk. But they came up empty after Yoenis Cespedes flew out to right and Napoli grounded out to end the threat.

Their biggest missed opportunity came in the sixth when Pedroia grounded into a 6-4-3 double play with the bases loaded and one out.

-- The Red Sox haven't had as much trouble getting on base this season as they have driving runners in. Cespedes was supposed to help address that flaw as a dynamic middle-of-the-order presence. He wasn't that Monday night, however. Cespedes went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, came up empty twice with runners in scoring position and on a third occasion managed only an RBI groundout. He flew out with two on and one out in the third, then struck out after Ortiz's leadoff double in the fifth before he grounded into a 5-4 fielder's choice with runners on the corners in the ninth, when he represented the tying run.

Cespedes' efforts Monday seemed to be an anomaly. The slugger has already had a knack for coming up with big hits after driving a pair of go-ahead home runs during the Sox' latest road trip. However, his efforts Monday were notable given the way in which the Red Sox lost, as well as his recent slump. Cespedes is 3-for-23 with five strikeouts in the last five games, all of which have come against AL West opponents he should be familiar with coming from Oakland.

-- Junichi Tazawa put himself in a tough spot in the top of the eighth inning by allowing the first two runners to reach base. He issued a leadoff walk to No. 9 hitter Chris Iannetta, then gave up a double to center to Kole Calhoun to put two in scoring position. Tazawa struck out Mike Trout then intentionally walked Albert Pujols to load the bases with one out.

The plan seemingly worked for Tazawa and the Red Sox as Howie Kendrick ground back to the mound, but the pitcher couldn't come up with the ball, then misfired on the throw home to allow Iannetta and Calhoun to score. Tazawa picked up two errors as well as a pair of unearned runs on the play.

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

-- Monday's start was an encouraging one for Workman given his recent funk entering Monday. The 25-year-old was 0-6 with a .635 ERA since June 27 in his previous five appearances, but seemed much more comfortable and in control on Monday. He struck out five, walked two and threw 59 of his 89 pitches for strikes.

Workman's only trouble came in the third inning. He gave up an RBI double to Trout to score Calhoun, who drew a leadoff walk. Pujols followed with an RBI single to score Trout.

-- Christian Vazquez contributed both offensively and behind the plate Monday night. Vazquez went 2-for-4 for the game with a pair of singles after going 3-for-9 with a walk in his three games against Houston over the weekend. The rookie threw out two Angels stealing in the game, gunning down Erick Aybar at second in the fourth inning and David Freese in the seventh. Vazquez has thrown out six batters in 15 stolen base attempts against him this season.

-- Brock Holt extended his hitting streak to 12 games with an RBI single in the fourth to score Mookie Betts. Holt went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a walk and drove in the only Sox run of the game. He's hitting .302 during the streak.

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