After being held to one run on Monday, the Red Sox were shut out in yet another loss to the Angels on Tuesday night. Boston fell to Los Angeles by a final score of 4-0 at Angel Stadium to extend its losing streak to three and drop to 26-23 on the season.
In similar fashion to Monday’s series-opening defeat, a young right-hander shined on the mound for the Sox. Brayan Bello, making his seventh start of the year, allowed just two earned runs on six hits and zero walks to go along with six strikeouts over a career-high seven innings of work.
Both runs Bello surrendered came by way of the long ball. To lead off the bottom of the first, a red-hot Mickey Moniak crushed a 418-foot solo shot to deep center field to open the scoring for the Angels.
Though Bello gave up two more hits in the inning, he was able to settle down by retiring nine straight batters from the middle of the second through the end of the fourth. Matt Thaiss then led off the bottom half of the fifth with a 409-foot solo homer of his own to double Los Angeles’ lead to 2-0.
Bello once again rebounded by keeping the Angels off the scoreboard over the next two innings. He retired the side in order in the sixth and then stranded Gio Urshela at second base after yielding a two-out double in an otherwise clean bottom of the seventh.
Finishing with 98 pitches (67 strikes), Bello induced 12 swings-and-misses while averaging 96.1 mph with his four-seam fastball. The 24-year-old hurler was ultimately charged with the tough-luck loss, but he did lower his ERA on the season down to 4.08. That includes a 2.57 ERA in five starts since being recalled from Triple-A Worcester on April 28.
In relief of Bello, Joely Rodriguez received the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora in the eighth. The left-hander immediately gave up a leadoff double to the pinch-hitting Taylor Ward and then served up a 393-foot two-run home run to Mike Trout that effectively put this one out of reach.
Heading into the ninth inning trailing by four, the Red Sox had gotten very little from their lineup to that point in the contest. Angels starter Griffin Canning, who came into play Tuesday sporting a 6.14 ERA in six outings, outdueled Bello by putting up zeroes over seven effective frames.
Canning scattered two hits and three walks. He only allowed one runner to advance into scoring position. That happened in the top of the second, when Triston Casas drew a two-out walk and Enmanuel Valdez followed with a single. Reese McGuire then struck out on a foul tip to extinguish the threat.
After veteran lefty Matt Moore replaced Canning in the top of the eighth, the pinch-hitting Rob Refsnyder drew a leadoff walk to bring the tying run to the plate with no outs. Refsnyder essentially switched places with Alex Verdugo, who grounded into a force out, before Masataka Yoshida grounded into an inning-ending, 4-6-3 double play. Jacob Webb then made quick work of Justin Turner, Rafael Devers, and Valdez in the ninth to end it.
Tuesday marks the third shutout loss of the season for the Red Sox and the second in their last three games. They have scored just one run in their last 32 innings dating back to the fourth inning of Saturday’s 4-2 win over the Padres in San Diego.
Next up: Paxton looks to help Sox avoid sweep
The Red Sox will look to avoid a three-game sweep at the hands of the Angels in Wednesday night’s series finale. James Paxton is slated to make his third start of the season for Boston while Los Angeles will counter with fellow southpaw Tyler Anderson.
First pitch from Angel Stadium is scheduled for 9:38 p.m. eastern time on NESN.
(Picture of Brayan Bello: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)