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Saturday, May 7, 2011

Angels top Red Sox 5-3 on Abreu's single in 13th

Saturday, May 7, 2011








BOSTON (AP) ? The Boston Red Sox ran out of options and the only choice they had didn't work.



With his bullpen emptied and shortened after Bobby Jenks' arm cramped up earlier in the game, Red Sox manager Terry Francona had to use Daisuke Matsuzaka in an emergency relief appearance — the first of his major-league career.


The Los Angeles Angels took advantage, scoring a pair of runs in the 13th inning on Bobby Abreu's single to send Boston to a 5-3 loss early Thursday morning in a game that took 7 hours to complete.


"I gave him as much a heads up as I could," Francona said. "We had nothing else to do."


Matsuzaka, who was pulled from his previous start last Friday due to tightness in his elbow, was pushed back two days and scheduled to start on Friday. That is, until Boston used all of its six available relievers.


When Daniel Bard came on for the 11th, Matsuzaka trotted out to the bullpen — along with his translator — and started stretching like he was getting ready for a start, even playing long toss in right field while Bard was warming up on the mound.


"It took a lot of guts on his part," Bard said. "He took one for the team."


Matsuzaka (2-3) entered in the 13th and surrendered a leadoff single to Howie Kendrick. Vernon Wells flied out and Jeff Mathis popped up, but Peter Bourjos singled and Erick Aybar walked to load the bases.


Abreu then lined his two-run single to right-center field.


"This entire team's hat goes off to him for taking the ball," catcher Jason Varitek said of Matsuzaka, now in his fifth big-league season. "I just wanted better results."


The Angels and Red Sox waited out a rain delay of 2 hours, 35 minutes in the fifth inning and finally finished at 2:45 a.m. on the East Coast.


Boston nearly won it in the 12th against Trevor Bell (1-0) but Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Kevin Youkilis' double high off the wall in left. Youkilis advanced on Darnell McDonald's infield single, but Jed Lowrie grounded out.


The game had been interrupted by a steady rain after Josh Beckett struck out Kendrick leading off the fifth, and Beckett didn't return after the delay.


Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana was dominant for four innings, striking out seven and issuing one walk. Rich Thompson replaced him when the game resumed and pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings before Scott Downs retired the last batter in the sixth. Downs also got the first out in the seventh before Lowrie got Boston's first hit on a clean single to right.


The difficulty of rescheduling the game — the series finale is Thursday afternoon and the teams had no common off day — led to the unusually long rain delay.


In the bottom of the seventh, a cleanup crew was at work in the mostly empty bleachers. And by the end, only a few thousand spectators remained.


Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI single in the eighth and Boston added two more in the ninth to tie it at 3.


Wells, batting .176 mostly from the fifth spot in the lineup, hit seventh for the first time in his career and connected for a two-run drive in the seventh inning. Wells' third homer of the season scored Kendrick, who reached on a leadoff double.


Aybar added a sacrifice fly in the ninth, but Boston rallied in the bottom half.


Lowrie led off with a walk and took second on Mike Cameron's single. Jordan Walden's wild pitch sent Lowrie to third and when catcher Hank Conger threw wildly to try to get him, Lowrie scored. But the ball bounced and stayed in the infield when it hit third-base umpire John Hirschbeck, allowing Aybar to field it and throw Cameron out at third.


Carl Crawford then doubled, and, after Varitek struck out, Jacoby Ellsbury lined a full-count pitch to right field for the tying single.


NOTES: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 6 with four strikeouts. ... Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Gonzalez stretched his to 11. ... Boston DH David Ortiz fouled a ball off his right foot in the second but stayed in the game and struck out.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.




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