ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Angels’ losing streak reached a franchise-record 14 games Wednesday night when Bobby Dalbec drove in the only run with a double in the sixth inning for the Boston Red Sox in a 1-0 victory.
Nathan Eovaldi (4-2) pitched five innings of six-hit ball with five strikeouts in Boston’s season-high seventh consecutive victory. With their second 1-0 win in three days at the Big A, the Red Sox remained perfect in June and on their 10-game West Coast trip (6-0).
With another lifeless offensive performance and pitching that was just good enough to lose, the Angels dropped to 0-2 under interim manager Phil Nevin, who replaced Joe Maddon on Tuesday. The Halos’ baffling skid is now longer than the previous team record set across the final 12 games of 1988 and the 1989 season opener.
Los Angeles was 24-13 and in first place in the AL West on May 15, but the Angels have gone 3-18 since with a simultaneous collapse of their injury-plagued lineup and their perpetually poor pitching staff.
Matt Strahm got the final two outs for his third save, completing a stellar performance by five pitchers who didn’t walk a batter in Boston’s third shutout victory in five games.
The Halos got seven singles, but were shut out for the third time in six games even after they resorted to desperate measures to end their skid: All nine batters walked up to the plate to songs by Nickelback, the much-maligned Canadian rock band.
The ploy designed to ease their collective tension didn’t work as the Angels again struggled at the plate with a lineup comprised of six backups largely due to injuries. Shohei Ohtani went 1 for 4 with two strikeouts as Los Angeles’ leadoff hitter.
Mike Trout didn’t play after straining his groin Tuesday night, although the Angels aren’t concerned about a long-term absence for their three-time AL MVP, who worked out extensively before the game.
The Halos’ lineup is depleted with the simultaneous absences of Trout, Taylor Ward, Anthony Rendon and David Fletcher due to injuries, while Luis Rengifo went on the paternity list before the game.
Reid Detmers pitched three-hit ball into the fifth inning for the Angels in his second straight start without allowing a run. The rookie exited after Christian Arroyo’s one-out double in the fifth sent Jackie Bradley Jr. to third, but reliever Archie Bradley escaped the jam.
Boston rallied in the sixth when Alex Verdugo drew a two-out walk from Jimmy Herget (1-1) and promptly scored on a double into the right field corner by Dalbec, who also drove in two runs Tuesday night.
Red Sox: Leadoff hitter and center fielder Kiké Hernández went on the 10-day injured list with a right hip flexor strain. … SS Xander Bogaerts started and batted cleanup after after leaving Tuesday’s game late with left shoulder tightness.
Angels: Rendon (right wrist inflammation) has “made some good progress lately,” according to athletic trainer Mike Frostad. Rendon took ground balls and hit in the cage. The $245 million third baseman hasn’t played since May 26. … Ward’s strained hamstring is “healing up pretty nicely for us,” Frostad said. The Angels hope their starting right fielder will play Tuesday against the Dodgers when he’s eligible to come off the injured list.
Ohtani (3-4, 3.99 ERA) makes his 10th mound start of the season in the series finale, facing Boston’s Nick Pivetta (5-4, 3.50). Ohtani threw seven scoreless innings at Fenway Park on May 5, allowing six hits and striking out 11.
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