ANAHEIM -- Two shaky innings seemed to portend the beginning of a rough night for Angels right-hander JC Ramirez. He struggled to contain the Red Sox's powerful lineup early on and found himself in a 3-0 hole by the end of the second inning.But Ramirez survived early trouble and settled
ANAHEIM -- Two shaky innings seemed to portend the beginning of a rough night for Angels right-hander JC Ramirez. He struggled to contain the Red Sox's powerful lineup early on and found himself in a 3-0 hole by the end of the second inning.
But Ramirez survived early trouble and settled in retire 12 straight batters, giving the Angels the chance to rally for a 7-3 comeback win over the Red Sox on Saturday night at Angel Stadium. Ramirez earned his ninth win of the season after yielding three runs (one earned) on five hits over six innings.
"He settled down after the first inning and kept them quiet, gave the offense a chance to work," shortstop Andrelton Simmons said. "We put some hits together and scored some runs, and kept them at bay."
In the first, Ramirez gave up back-to-back walks to Andrew Benintendi and Dustin Pedroia, followed by an RBI single to Hanley Ramirez. An error compounded Ramirez's issues in the following inning, as he was unable to catch a throw at first base from Simmons that would have completed a double play and recorded the second out of the inning. Ramirez coaxed a groundout from the next batter, but Mookie Betts then delivered an RBI double to push the Red Sox's lead to 2-0. Benintendi brought home another run with a single to left field.
"I was kind of wild in the first inning," Ramirez said. "I couldn't get the ball down. When you're not getting ahead in the count, it's kind of hard with big league hitters. They take advantage of that."
Not long after that, though, Ramirez found his groove, keeping the Red Sox scoreless through the next four innings. He didn't allow another hit until Xander Bogaerts doubled with two outs in the sixth.
"Once I got my fastball down, it was a whole different game," Ramirez said.
The Red Sox mounted one last threat against Ramirez in the final inning of his outing, as Mitch Moreland followed Bogaert's double with a walk, putting a pair of runners on for Christian Vazquez. Vazquez then lined an 0-2 fastball into the right-center field gap, but Michael Trout made a nice running grab to end the inning.
"I was getting tired that inning," Ramirez said. "It was huge."
Ramirez, a converted reliever, has pitched 115 innings in his first season as a Major League starter, which far exceeds his previous career high of 78 2/3 innings in 2016. Still, Ramirez said he thought his body was capable of handling the increased workload.
"My body has been feeling great," Ramirez said. "Now my body is used to this routine. I've been working hard every day [with] my lifting, my running, so I just feel strong. I don't feel weak or nothing."
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.