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|After slugging their way to wins in the first five games against the Los Angels Angels Yanni Gourde Jersey , the Boston Red Sox needed some strong defense to complete the season sweep.
Jackie Bradley Jr. made a leaping catch at the wall in center to keep the Angels from scoring in the first inning and broke open the game with a two-run homer in the seventh as the Red Sox beat the Angels 4-2 on Thursday night.
”It feels good when you get the results,” Bradley said. ”Both were very pivotal for the game.”
Bradley’s shot to right was the 20th homer the Red Sox hit in six games against Los Angeles, sweeping the season series against the Angels for the first time since they joined the American League as an expansion club in 1961.
Boston outscored Los Angeles 49-12 while taking all six games, which according to the Red Sox is the first six-game season sweep in club history.
The Red Sox have won four straight and six of seven as they head to New York to open three-game series between the rivals on Friday night with first place in the AL East on the line.
Hector Velazquez (6-0) pitched two scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit and striking out three. Craig Kimbrel earned his 24th save with a scoreless ninth inning.
With scheduled starter Steven Wright on the DL, the Red Sox had to shuffle their rotation. Manager Alex Cora said he was pleased to get four innings out of starter Brian Johnson and two more from Velazquez, setting up the bullpen to finish off the Angels.
”We got to where we wanted to get,” Cora said. ”B.J. (Johnson) was outstanding using his fastball, mixing up his breaking ball – very pleased with the way we got six innings out of those guys.”
The Angels have lost six straight, although they were in contention in the last two games at Fenway Park.
”There’s no doubt we hit the ball harder than looking at six hits,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”We probably squared up five other balls that they made nice plays on. That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
Andrelton Simmons hit a solo homer and Albert Pujols had an RBI single for the Angels, who had a potential rally going in the eighth with runners on first and second with one out but were robbed of another hit when Andrew Benintendi made a leaping catch at the wall that rivaled what Bradley did in the first.
”That was amazing,” Bradley said. ”We were able to make some big plays for our pitchers and get the win.”
Los Angeles was up 1-0 until Devers led off the fifth with his 13th homer, to center off of Jaime Barria (5-4).
Barria was pulled after giving up a one-out walk to J.D. Martinez with one out in the sixth and the score still tied 1-1. Jose Alvarez gave up a double to Mitch Moreland, with Martinez moving to third. Xander Bogaerts was then walked intentionally to load the bases, and Brock Holt drew a walk to drive in Martinez for Boston’s first lead. Alvarez then got Devers to ground into a double play to end the inning.
Barria was charged with two runs on four hits and two walks, striking out two over 5 1/3 innings.
”Jaime was good. He had to work hard to get to that point of the game,” Scioscia said. ”There was one fastball he just left down the heart of the plate and it was down to Devers and he hit it out to center. But I thought he gave us a chance to win, there’s no doubt about that.”
Bradley’s homer, his sixth, in the seventh off of Noe Ramirez pushed Boston’s lead to 4-1.
The Red Sox were busy packing their bags in the locker room after the game and were headed to New York, where the three-game series was scheduled to open Friday. The Red Sox (55-27) hold a slight lead on the Yankees (52-26) Auston Matthews Jersey , who were off Thursday.
While the series is big, Bradley said the division title is not on the line – yet.
”I think if you win, that takes care of everything. You don’t have to think about anything else,” Bradley said. ”You get that done, I don’t think you’ve got to worry about any other teams.”
Angels: Placed rookie reliever Jake Jewell on the DL with a broken right leg that could cause him to miss the rest of the season. He’s scheduled to have surgery Friday. Jewell was carted off the field at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. … The Angels recalled RHP Eduardo Paredes from Triple-A Salt Lake and added RHP Taylor Cole to the major league roster.
Angels: RHP Felix Pena (0-0, 5.40 ERA) gets his third start of the season and first on the road when the Angels open up a weekend series in Baltimore on Friday.
Red Sox: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (9-2, 3.86) was on a six-start winning streak before taking the loss Saturday against Seattle. Rodriguez is scheduled to go up against Yankees LHP C.C. Sabathia (4-3, 3.1 in the series opener Friday night.
Joe Musgrove had quite the homecoming at Petco Park.
Pitching in front of at least 75 friends and family members, the right-hander tossed seven shutout innings against his hometown team and Jody Mercer homered to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 6-3 victory over the sloppy San Diego Padres on Friday night.
Musgrove (3-3), a 2011 graduate of Grossmont High in suburban El Cajon, was facing the Padres for the first time in his three-year big league career. He allowed seven singles while striking out five and walking two.
He had plenty of support as he got into and out of trouble in the seventh. The Padres had runners on first and third after hitting consecutive singles to open the inning but Musgrove retired the side, including inducing Manuel Margot to hit into an inning-ending double play.
”It was incredible,” Musgrove said. ”They were the ones who really pushed me through that last inning. I got first and third and no one out and all I could think about was all the people that are here watching me and how I’d love to get out of this and put on a little bit of a show for them. It was really cool. It was special.”
Musgrove did his best to not get distracted.
”Out of the gate when I’m out warming up, there’s people screaming right and left and every time I took a step I’m getting called from different directions,” he said. ”I was trying to block it out for the most part but I was also trying to acknowledge the people who were here. Throwing my bullpen there’s 50 of my friends standing right above the catcher hollering and stuff. I’ve always done well in front of my family and friends and that’s something that takes me to that next level.”
He had dinner at his parents’ house on Thursday night and planned to go out with them after the game, as well as have a local beer that’s named after the late Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn.
”Tonight was really special for me,” he said. ”It’s a night I’ll never forget.”
Musgrove was relieved by Steven Brault, a 2010 Grossmont grad. Brault had a short night, allowing two runs on two hits while getting just one out in the eighth.
”It was cool,” Brault said. ”Felt good coming in, felt confident. Some things didn’t go my way, and that happens. Overall the experience is something that is priceless. Something I never knew I’d actually get to have.”
Brault said it was ”pretty weird” to have two guys from the same high school pitch consecutively against their hometown team.
”If you told us six years ago Connor Brown Jersey , seven years ago, that that would happen, we’d probably both go, `That’s ridiculous,”’ he said. ”Just for it to actually happen, and for us to get a win out of it, and Joe pitched so well tonight, it was just awesome to see. It was cool.”
Felipe Vazquez got the last two outs for his 16th save.
The Pirates won for the third time in nine games and the Padres lost for the 10th time in 12 games.
While Musgrove dominated, the Pirates piled on against rookie lefty Eric Lauer (3-5) and the Padres. The Pirates scored an unearned run in the first inning on two singles and Austin Hedges’ passed ball, and added four runs, including two unearned, in the third. Hedges and shortstop Freddy Galvis each had a throwing error. Gregory Polanco hit a two-run double and was thrown out to end the inning trying to stretch it into a triple. Josh Bell hit an RBI triple and Elias Diaz drove in a run on a fielder’s choice.
Mercer homered to center field leading off the fourth to make it 6-0. It was his fifth.
Lauer allowed six runs, three earned, on nine hits in five innings, struck out three and walked none.
Padres manager Andy Green was ejected before the top of the fourth inning by plate umpire Angel Hernandez. Green apparently was unhappy about a balk call against Lauer while trying to pick off Polanco in the second. The Pirates did not score that inning.
”We felt very strongly that it wasn’t,” Green said. ”That was not the story of the baseball game by any stretch. I don’t think we were very clean early in the game. We did what we’ve done very recently which is show a lot of fight late. It was just a little too late.”
Pirates: Placed RHP Chad Kuhl on the 10-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.
Padres: Green said OF Franchy Cordero is leaning toward having surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.
Pirates: RHP Trevor Williams (6-5, 4.03), a 2010 graduate of San Diego’s Rancho Bernardo High, is scheduled to start the middle game of the series. He’s made one career start against the Padres, giving up four runs in six innings and getting a no-decision in an 8-5 Pirates loss at Pittsburgh on May 20.
Padres: LHP Joey Lucchesi (3-3, 3.57) is scheduled to make his third start since returning from a DL stint that lasted just more than a month.
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