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Riding a seven game winning streak and looking for a sweep of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Red Sox were looking to keep rolling in the potential playoff preview series. However, some pitching woes ended up giving the Halos the go ahead, and a 4-3 win in Fenway.
In the top of the ninth, Angles second baseman Howie Kendrick blooped a single off of Bill Wagner to score what would turn out to be the winning run. That lead-taking run was set up in the seventh by Josh Beckett who, after striking out Chone Figgins with two outs, threw a wild pitch, allowing Figgins to reach safely and saw Kendrick score.
It was Kendrick who got the game started with a solo home run in the third. The Red Sox responded in the fourth with a solo shot of their own from Jacoby Ellsbury and three batters later, with Victor Martinez on, Jason Bay drilled a home run to left, putting the Sox up 3-1.
It was Figgins who then doubled in the fifth to score Jeff Mathis. With the Sox up by one, Beckett struck out Figgins swinging, but Jason Varitek was unable to stop the ball and Kendrick was able to waltz home. In the ninth, Wagner gave up the bloop and the lead. Brian Fuentes, who blew the lead in the previous game, came in a ended it.
Beckett went eight innings, getting tagged for three runs while striking out seven. He was a wild pitch away from probably his 16th win of the season. Angles starter Erv Santana went seven, giving up three runs on four hits and the two homers. Bill Wagner suffered his first loss since coming to Boston.
Boston is still looking up at the Yankees in the standings, currently down by seven in the AL East. They have a six game lead over the Texas Rangers with a magic number of 12.
The Sox now travel to Baltimore for a showdown against the Orioles. Clay Buchholz takes the mound against Jeremy Guthrie in game 1 of the series.
WP: K. Jespen (6-3)
LP: B. Wagner (1-1)
SV: B. Fuentes (42)
Howie Kendrick: The Halos second baseman was the salvation for Anaheim yesterday. On top of the game winning hit, he also scored first with a home run and scored on the Beckett wild pitch to tie the game.
David Ortiz went 0-4 on the night. Without playing in the field, Papi needs to find a way to contribute with his bat come playoff time.
News and Notes:
-Victor Martinez now has a 16 game hitting streak following his single in the fourth
-The loss snaps a seven game win streak and ten game home win streak
-With the win, the Angles take the season series against Boston 5-4 and hopes their success carries over to the playoffs if the teams meet