BOSTON -- Since joining the American League in 1961, the Angels had never been swept in a season series by the Red Sox. That streak came to an end Thursday night after the Red Sox rallied for a 4-2 win at Fenway Park, completing the six-game 2018 sweep.
Andrelton Simmons homered off left-hander Christopher Johnson to put the Angels on the board in the fourth, but the Red Sox tied it on Rafael Devers' solo shot in the fifth before scoring the go-ahead run in the sixth when Jose Alvarez issued a bases-loaded walk to Brock Holt. Jackie Bradley Jr. added a pair of insurance runs with a two-run homer off Noe Ramirez in the seventh.
The Angels were thoroughly outclassed by the Red Sox, who outscored them by a 49-12 margin this season. With the loss, the Angels dropped to .500 (41-41) for the first time since they were 1-1 on March 30. After losing 13 of their last 17 games, the Angels have sunk to fourth place in the AL West, a season-high 13 1/2 games behind the first-place Astros and 10 games behind the Mariners for the second Wild Card spot.
"We're not in a good spot right now, but it's not always smooth sailing," Ian Kinsler said. "I think that's what makes a baseball season so interesting. You've got to learn how to deal with adversity. Right now, we're going through one of those stages. There's another game tomorrow, and everything can change in a day."
Rookie Jaime Barria was charged with two runs on four hits over 5 1/3 innings, though he received little help from his offense, which mustered only six hits against five Red Sox pitchers. The 21-year-old right-hander was the only Angels starter to pitch past the fourth inning at Fenway Park this year.
"I'm always here to compete," Barria said in Spanish. "I knew it was a tough lineup, but I talked to my mom and I told her that I was facing a tough team, and she just told me to keep doing what I've been doing, have faith and attack the way I always do."
Facing one of the AL's top offenses, Barria opened with four scoreless innings before yielding a leadoff home run to Devers in the fifth that tied the game, 1-1. Barria returned to the mound for the sixth with his pitch count at 91 and retired Andrew Benintendi on a groundout, then walked J.D. Martinez, prompting manager Mike Scioscia to bring in Alvarez to face the left-handed-hitting Mitch Moreland.
After Moreland doubled to put runners on second and third with one out, the Angels intentionally walked Xander Bogaerts to load the bases for Holt, another lefty bat. The move backfired, as Alvarez walked Holt to force in a run and give the Red Sox a 2-1 lead. Alvarez escaped further damage by inducing a 1-2-3 inning-ending double play from Devers.
"Jose is definitely a strike-thrower," Scioscia said. "He got behind in the count and missed with the last one [to Holt]."
Ramirez replaced Alvarez in the seventh, but he gave up a leadoff single to Christian Vazquez, followed by a two-run homer to Bradley that made it 4-1.
The Angels had a rally going in the eighth, but it was thwarted by a pair of nice defensive plays from Boston's outfield. Michael Trout led off the inning with a walk and, after moving to third on Justin Upton's single, scored on Jose Pujols' RBI single to bring the Angels within two.
Simmons then lined a shot to right field, but Mookie Betts came running in to make the catch and record the first out of the inning. David Fletcher followed by driving a first-pitch fastball from Joe Kelly deep to left field, but Benintendi made a leaping catch in front of the Green Monster to rob him of extra bases. Luis Valbuena subsequently flied out to end the inning, leaving a pair of runners stranded.
Kole Calhoun drew a one-out walk off Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel to bring the tying run to the plate in the ninth, but Kimbrel rebounded by striking out Kinsler and Trout swinging to end the game.
"We just have to turn the page," Trout said. "We ran into a hot team. We're banged up, but we can't make excuses. We have to try to go out, try to win a series and try to win a game tomorrow."
Trout has gone 13 consecutive games without an extra-base hit, the longest drought of his career. He has started nine of those games at designated hitter because of a sprained right index finger, though he said he doesn't feel the malady has affected his hitting. Trout is hoping to return to center field for Friday's opener in Baltimore.
HE SAID IT
"We will get through this, for sure. We're going to get better and play better baseball. We really believe that." -- Scioscia, on the Angels' outlook despite having a six-game losing streak
The Angels head to Baltimore to open a three-game series against the Orioles on Friday at 4:05 p.m. PT at Camden Yards. Right-hander Felix Pena (0-0, 5.40 ERA) will oppose righty David Hess (2-4, 5.44 ERA) in the series opener. A converted reliever, Pena is set to make his third start for the Angels and his first against Baltimore. The Angels swept the Orioles in their three-game series at Angel Stadium in May.