Napoli supports strong Miley to down Angels
BOSTON -- The Red Sox finished a disjointed homestand in sound fashion, riding a strong performance by Wade Miley and yet another big game by Mike Napoli to a 6-1 victory over the Angels in Sunday afternoon's rubber match of a three-game series.
Miley pitched 4 2/3 no-hit innings until a single by C.J. Cron.
Napoli's two-run blast to center in the bottom of the second snapped a scoreless tie. In the eighth, he clubbed a two-run double off the Green Monster. Xander Bogaerts went 4-for-4 and scored two runs.
"Yeah, it was well executed in every phase," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "We played outstanding infield defense. Wade Miley, in combination with good defense, worked so quick. He was efficient. We executed some of the small things. Nap with a huge homestand and certainly a huge series here. It's good to see him come to life."
Lefty Hector Santiago turned in a quality effort for the Angels, holding the Red Sox to seven hits and three runs while striking out six over 6 2/3 innings.
After losing three of the first four games to start the homestand, the Red Sox won the last two to finish at 3-3. The Angels split their 10-game road trip on the East Coast and finished the first seven weeks 22-22.
"The first game of the series here our bats woke up a little bit, and the last two they quieted down a little bit," Angels center fielder Mike Trout said. "They were swinging it, for sure. Napoli got real hot. Everything he hit was on the screws."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Napoli continues to torment Angels: Napoli's latest moonshot gave him five homers on the homestand, including four in the last three games. Since leaving the Angels, Napoli has 11 doubles, 18 homers and 36 RBIs against his former team. More >
"I think there's always a personal incentive when you go against your original organization, regardless of how things played out over time," Farrell said. "That's pretty common through most players."
Coming up empty: Johnny Giavotella hit a pinch-hit single with one out in the eighth, just his fourth hit in the last 32 at-bats, but Erick Aybar followed with an inning-ending double play to keep the deficit at two. And the Angels' offense plated three runs or fewer for the 24th time in 44 games this season. They entered the series finale ranked 28th in the Majors in OPS, then got their only run on a sixth-inning double by Trout.
"We swung at strikes, did a really good job of swinging at balls over the plate and he was missing barrels," Angels catcher Chris Iannetta said of Miley. "He was effective."
Miley masterful: Miley gave the Red Sox innings and performance for the fifth straight start. As is his trademark, he worked quickly. In his last five starts, Miley has a 2.60 ERA. More >
"Miley today was unbelievable," said Napoli. "His tempo was awesome. It's fun playing defense behind him when he's working real quick and getting outs."
Rough introduction: Cam Bedrosian took a red-eye flight to Boston to take a spot in the Angels' bullpen after Mike Morin (left oblique) was placed on the disabled list, then gave up a two-run double to Napoli in the eighth. With Joe Smith and Huston Street only used when the Angels have a lead, Vinnie Pestano pitching earlier and Fernando Salas throwing 1 1/3 innings on Saturday night, Bedrosian was seemingly the only right-hander available to manager Mike Scioscia. More >
"We're short on innings, too," Scioscia said. "We had to give him the ball and hopefully give him a chance to get his feet on the ground and get a good inning. His stuff looked good, but he couldn't command it enough to be effective."
"What do you think, we're playing Nintendo here and we're going to score 13 runs every night?" -- Albert Pujols, when asked about the momentum from Friday's 12-run output not carrying over into the next two games.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The 124 pitches Santiago threw on Sunday were a career high and the second most in the Majors this season. Santiago wasn't allowed to throw more than 98 pitches in any of his final 10 starts last year. His ERA is 2.47, and he already has six quality starts. Last year, he had only five.
The Red Sox scored 14 runs in the last two games after scoring 16 in the previous seven.
Angels outfielder Collin Cowgill, who had just gotten over some lower-back issues that had troubled him the last couple of days, felt pain in his right hand during batting practice on Sunday morning and had to be scratched from the lineup. Cowgill felt pain in his top hand after a few swings, but X-rays were negative. There's no timetable for his return.
Red Sox third baseman Brock Holt left the game in the eighth inning with left forearm soreness, but he did not suffer a significant injury.
"The Fluoroscan was negative," said Farrell. "It hit him in a spot on the forearm where it irritated a nerve. It jarred the nerve. He was starting to lose a little feeling in the hands so we got him off his feet then."
Cron went to first on what he thought was a hit-by-pitch with two outs in the fifth, but umpires ultimately declared it a foul ball, then went to replay and ruled that the call on the field stands. Cron went back to the batter's box, then promptly broke up Miley's no-hitter with a single to left field. It was just Cron's fifth hit this month.
Angels: Jered Weaver takes the ball against the Padres when the Angels return to Southern California to begin a 10-game homestand at 6:05 p.m. PT on Memorial Day. Weaver started the year 0-4 with a 6.29 ERA in his first six starts, but he has allowed just four runs on 13 hits and four walks in 23 1/3 innings in his last three outings.
Red Sox: The Red Sox open a seven-game road trip with a Memorial Day matinee at 2:10 p.m. ET against the Twins. Right-hander Joe Kelly (1-3, 5.13 ERA) draws the start.
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