Closing Time: Allen Webster figures things out, helps lead Red Sox past Angels

Rob Bradford
August 08, 2014 - 9:18 pm

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- This was the Allen Webster the Red Sox have been waiting for. After a painful outing against the Yankees -- in which the righty lasted just 2 2/3 innings while throwing 71 pitches -- Webster came back against the Angels and threw a gem. The rookie starter limited the Angels to just two runs on four hits over 6 2/3 innings for the pitcher's longest (and most effective) outing of his young career. The end result was Webster's performance was a 4-2 victory for the Red Sox over the Angels, who have now lost four straight. In 10 previous major league starts, the righty had totaled an 8.22 ERA. The only bump the road for Webster -- who threw 84 pitches (53 strikes) -- came in the third inning, giving up a pair of runs to cut the Sox' lead to a run. After that, however, he had few anxious moments. "I just started going after batters," Webster said. "After every single pitch, I told myself to just trust my stuff and let it work. Let my defense work behind me." Webster did leave with David Freese at first base and the potential tying run at the plate in the person of Kole Calhoun. But lefty reliever Tommy Layne came on to induce a line-drive to left, which Yoenis Cespedes made a nice running grab on to end the threat. Other than Webster's showing, perhaps the most notable instance for the Red Sox came in the ninth when Jackie Bradley made one of the season's best catches on a Howie Kendrick blast to center field. On the dead run, Bradley leaped in the air, snagged the liner and then crashed into the center field wall, holding on to the inning's first out. "One thing has never been shaken in his time here is his defense," said Farrell of Bradley, who was inserted as a defensive replacement in the eighth. "He'€™s a timely defender and you feel like he can roll out of bed and run to a spot where a ball is going to land. Thankfully he has that instinct. He showed it twice tonight." "It all happened so fast," Bradley said. "I was just hoping the wall didn't stop me before I could get to it." Your browser does not support iframes. Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox' 51st win of the season: WHAT WENT RIGHT - The Red Sox managed to jump on Angels' starter Jered Weaver in the third inning, scoring three runs. The game's first score came when Dustin Pedroia (2 hits) plated Christian Vazquez with a line-drive single to left field. Two batters later, Cespedes knocked in both Pedroia and Brock Holt with a double to lefty. - Mike Napoli increased the visitors' lead to a pair of runs with a high fly ball to left in the fifth inning, just clearing the wall. The first baseman came into the game hitting .296 with an .868 OPS over the last month. - The Sox were able to halt Weaver's winning ways, with the Angels starter having won his last five decisions. This time he was bounced from the game after throwing 108 pitches over six innings. - Filling in as a defensive substitution in the eighth inning, Jackie Bradley made a smooth running catch in center to keep Mike Trout off the bases to lead off the frame. Trout did have a third-inning sacrifice fly, but never managed to reach base. - Cespedes claimed another hit, allowing the outfielder to hit safely in five of his six games as a Red Sox. - Holt, who came into the game having gone 2-for-13 on the road trip, knocked out a pair of hits. It raised his average back up to .300. WHAT WENT WRONG - Xander Bogaerts, David Ortiz and Daniel Nava were the only Red Sox starters to go without a hit.