The Red Sox saw their seven-game winning streak come to an end on Thursday night following a 5-2 loss at the hands of the Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
Boston was unable to complete the four-game sweep of Los Angeles, who put an end to a historic 14-game losing streak with its first win since May 24.
Nick Pivetta and two-way star Shohei Ohtani opposed one another on the mound and traded zeroes through the first four innings of Thursday’s contest.
In the top of the fifth, Franchy Cordero drew a leadoff walk and came into score from third on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Bobby Dalbec. In the bottom half, Ohtani took things into his own hands by crushing a 394-foot two-run home run that came on a 1-1, 92 mph heater from Pivetta at the top of the zone.
Pivetta continued on, but ran into some trouble in the sixth when he issued back-to-back walks to lead off the inning. That prompted Red Sox manager Alex Cora to go to his bullpen and pull the right-hander in favor of Hirokazu Sawamura.
Sawamura, in turn, recorded the first two outs of the sixth before serving up a back-breaking, three-run homer to Andrew Velazquez that gave the Angels a commanding 5-1 lead.
Pivetta was charged with four of those five runs. In addition to four earned runs, the 29-year-old gave up six hits and two walks over five-plus innings. He also plunked one batter while striking out a season-high of 11. 67 of the 97 pitches he threw went for strikes.
Ohtani, on the other hand, wound up yielding just one earned run over seven strong innings. The 27-year-old phenom finishes the regular season having allowed just one run in 14 innings of work against the Red Sox.
Once Ohtani came out, the Sox responded when Christian Arroyo led off the eighth inning with a line-drive single off Angels reliever Ryan Tepera. Arroyo proceeded to steal second base and scored from there on a 104.5 mph RBI single from Alex Verdugo.
That made it a 5-2 game, which would go on to be Thursday’s final score after Austin Davis and Hansel Robles each tossed a scoreless frame of relief for Boston and Halos closer Raisel Iglesias retired the side in order in the ninth. The Red Sox as a team went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and left a total of six runners on base.
With the loss, Boston falls to 30-28 on the season and 6-1 on the west coast road trip that concludes this weekend.
Next up: On to Seattle
The Red Sox will now travel north for a three-game series against the Mariners in Seattle. Veteran lefty Rich Hill will get the start for Boston on Friday night while fellow southpaw Marco Gonzalez will do the same for Seattle.
First pitch from T-Mobile Park is scheduled for 10:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Shohei Ohtani: John Cordes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)