Rick Porcello allowed three runs over five innings in taking the loss Saturday night. (Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Closing Time: Red Sox' bats go silent for second straight game in another loss to Angels

Rob Bradford
July 18, 2015 - 7:45 pm

ANAHEIM -- It would seem that the Red Sox needed to shake things up a bit heading into their game with the Angels Saturday night. They had entered the All-Star break with demoralizing loss to the Yankees, and exited the hiatus Friday night the victims of a Mike Trout walk-off homer. Perhaps the weather would offer a sign that things might be a bit different. Prior to the game, the rarest of sights could be seen -- the Angel Stadium tarp on the field. It was an image former Angel Mike Napoli had witnessed just one other time, with Red Sox manager John Farrell, who also played here, never remembering such an occasion. And while the game did start on time, even whispers that this might be the first rainout at the park since 1995 offered some intrigue. But then, unfortunately for the Red Sox, things reverted back to normal. The Sox were shutout for a second straight game, dropping a 3-0 decision to the Angels thanks to the standout pitching performance of Garrett Richards. The Los Angeles starter held the Sox to just two hits, both coming from Pablo Sandoval. Richards finished with a complete game shutout, It marked the seventh time the Red Sox were shutout this season. While the Red Sox were coming up empty against Richards, the Angels -- and Kole Calhoun in particular -- weren't having such difficulties against Sox starter Rick Porcello. While the Angels' initial run came via Porcello's eighth wild-pitch of the season, allowing the hosts to score without notching a hit, there was nothing subtle about LA's next two runs. Those were plated thanks to a pair of solo homers from Calhoun, in the third and fifth innings, respectively. Calhoun, who came into the game 3-for-6 against Porcello, reached base in all four of his plate appearances. "It was just falling behind in the count," said Porcello of the two Calhoun home runs. "Obviously with the guys coming up behind him I dont want to walk him. Was hoping to execute some sinkers down and away, get a rollover into the shift and he put a good swing on both pitches." One positive for the Red Sox was the relief work turned in by Justin Masterson, with the righty giving up just one hit over his three innings, striking out four. "Tonight was very encouraging for him," Farrell said of Masterson. "Better stuff, more consistent late action to his two-pitch mix. He's thrown twice out of the bullpen now, and tonight was better stuff all the way around. More velocity, more late action." The Red Sox remain 7 1/2 games in back of the first-place Yankees, who lost to Seattle earlier in the day. "We just had a tough three games, that'€™s all it is," Porcello said. "We can turn it around tomorrow and go on a 10-game run. You never know you just have to keep playing." "We've been having those times where it doesn't matter what you do, it doesn't work out," said Red Sox DH David Ortiz. "We finished the first half good, and hopefully we can blame things to the four days off. We'll see how it goes but hitting is something it's a continuation of what you do the day before, you know what I'm saying? That's only way you can stay consistent. Seems like four days off pretty much affected pretty much everyone around here so hopefully tomorrow we bounce back and have a better game."