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Rallies Cut Short, Red Sox Fall to Angels in Series Opener

Mark Trumbo

The Los Angeles Angels are in a similar place to the Boston Red Sox late into this 2012 season. Both teams are currently not qualified for the postseason, they aren’t receiving the level of consistent starting pitching they’d expect from big names, and both teams have high-priced underperforming big names filling up the roster. Yet the general perception of the Angels is an underperforming team that could still reach the playoffs, and the Red Sox are a team spiraling with little to no hope. There are plenty of reasons for this, but on Monday the Red Sox were the lesser team, falling 5-3 on a night where the late Johnny Pesky was honored.

Aaron Cook took the hill for Boston, hoping his sinker would slow the offense of the Angels, led by rookie and MVP candidate Mike Trout. Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead when Trout scored on an RBI base hit by Albert Pujols, who continues to put together a strong season after initial struggles at the start of the year with his new team.

The Angels tacked on two more runs in the fourth against Cook, and an additional pair in the fifth when Mark Trumbo blasted a two-run home run to left field. With a 5-0 lead, things weren’t looking great as the Sox offense had barely touched starter Ervin Santana to that point.

That changed when Jarrod Saltalamacchia made a motion to end his power slump, blasting a two-run shot that just barely landed into the right field seats. The Sox managed a third run but that was all, as a couple rally attempts were halted by the Angels bullpen.

In the seventh after a run scored on a wild pitch, Dustin Pedroia laced a base hit to keep a two out rally alive. But Jacoby Ellsbury, batting third in Bobby Valentine’s lineup, flew out harmlessly to end the threat. In the eighth the Sox put two runners on before Mike Aviles grounded out to end the inning. The team left eight runners on base, going 0-5 with runners in scoring position.

A loss is a loss but for the now 59-64 Red Sox, every loss is just a bit more painful. Yet there remains hope any given day or night, and tomorrow night the team will hope Clay Buchholz continues to excel as he faces an extremely tough task, going up against Angels ace Jered Weaver.

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