Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Slide Continues

For years it seemed like the Red Sox owned the Angels, whether they called themselves "California," "Anaheim" or that hideous misnomer "Los Angeles of Anaheim." (Fortunately most years the Angels also owned the Yankees.) But this season it looks like the tables have turned. The Angels have already won the season series (and currently lead it 6-1), and won yet again last night, 7-5, at Fenway Park.

Right now, the Angels appear to be the team to beat in the American League (despite what boneheaded Mad Dog Russo said about the Yankees on the radio yesterday). They currently have the best record in baseball. The Red Sox had Daisuke Matsuzaka on the mound last night, and he appeared to be cruising into the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead. I had a sneaky feeling it wouldn't last. And I was right.

A walk to Chone (He Pronounces His Name Shawn, Don't Ask Me Why) Figgins to open the inning started the carnage, and Red Sox killer Casey Kotchman hit a pitch into the bullpen to give LA the lead. Two more batters reached base before Torii Hunter lined a home run into the Monster seats to make it 6-2 to end Dice-K's night. Justin Masterson came in and gave up a suicide squeeze to Jeff Mathis to make it 7-2 and complete the six-run sixth.

The Red Sox chipped away, but let some further scoring chances slip away. Jacoby Ellsbury struck out with the bases full to end the sixth at 7-3, and Manny Ramirez ended another promising seventh, as he hit into a DP with two on. In the ninth he blasted a two-out solo shot into the seats in left off Francisco Rodriguez, but it was too little, too late and the Angels went on to a 7-5 win.

New York and Tampa Bay both lost, so the AL East remains the Rays lead the Sox by one, and NY by three. The Red Sox are still skidding, and are now 4-6 since the break, and have dropped three of the last four at home.

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