Coming off a brutal 3-7 road trip and an off day on Monday, the Red Sox opened their first homestand of May with a much-needed win over the Angels at Fenway Park. Boston defeated Los Angeles by a final score of 2-0 on Tuesday to improve to 10-14 on the season.
Michael Wacha, making his fifth start of the year for the Sox, impressed by scattering just three hits and two walks to go along with two strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings of work. The veteran right-hander took a perfect game into the third before issuing a pair of two-out walks to Andrew Velazquez and Taylor Ward. He got out of that jam by fanning the dangerous Mike Trout on six pitches.
In the fourth, a leadoff single off the bat of Shohei Ohtani broke up Wacha’s no-hit bid, but the righty did not falter as he got Anthony Rendon to ground into a 5-4-3 double play and Jared Walsh to pop out to Rafael Devers in foul territory.
Moments after making the inning-ending catch, Devers led off the bottom of the fourth by taking Angels starter Noah Syndergaard 437 feet deep to dead center field for his fourth home run of the season. The solo blast left Devers’ bat at a blistering 110.7 mph and gave the Red Sox their first lead of the night at 1-0.
Xander Bogaerts followed by drawing a seven-pitch walk off Syndergaard, advancing to second base on a J.D. Martinez single, and to third on an Alex Verdugo groundout. He then scored on another groundout from Enrique Hernandez that doubled Boston’s advantage.
Given a two-run lead to work with now, Wacha picked up where he left off by inducing another double play in the fifth and recording the first two outs of the sixth. He gave up a two-out single to Trout, who advanced to second on a Devers throwing error and proved to be the last batter Wacha would face.
Finishing with a final pitch count of 60 (42 strikes), the 30-year-old hurler threw 21 four-seam fastballs, 15 changeups, nine cutters, eight sinkers, and seven curveballs. He also lowered his ERA on the season down to 1.38 while improving to 3-0 on the year.
In relief of Wacha, Jake Diekman got the first call out of the Boston bullpen from manager Alex Cora to face Ohtani, who he got to line out to Verdugo in left to retire the side. The lefty came back out for the seventh and maneuvered his way around a leadoff walk in an otherwise clean frame.
A half-inning later, Story nearly hit his first home run as a member of the Red Sox, but instead settled for a sacrifice fly off Syndergaard that brought in Franchy Cordero to make it a 3-0 game in favor of the Sox.
After Ryan Brasier struck out two of the three batters he faced in a perfect top of the eighth, Martinez mashed his second home run in as many games as he took Halos reliever Elvis Peguro 402 feet over the Green Monster for his third big fly of the season.
Martinez’s 107 mph laser put Boston up 4-0 heading into the ninth. There, Hirokazu Sawamura — with some defensive help from Bogaerts and Bobby Dalbec — slammed the door on Los Angeles to secure the shutout victory.
Next up: Detmers vs. Whitlock
As planned, right-hander Garrett Whitlock will make his third start of the year for the Red Sox as they go for a series win over the Angels on Wednesday night. The Angels will counter with rookie left-hander Reid Detmers.
First pitch from Fenway Park — weather permitting — is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. eastern time on NESN and MLB Network.
(Picture of J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)