The Los Angeles Angels are struggling at the plate, and even Jered Weaver couldn’t keep them from matching their longest losing streak of the season.
Weaver gave up a home run to former batterymate Mike Napoli, a two-run double by Yoenis Cespedes, and an RBI single by Dustin Pedroia in the Angels’ 4-2 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Friday night.
“Obviously, it could have gone a little better,” said Weaver, who lost for the first time since June 16 after going 5-0 in his previous nine starts “I really wanted to come in and throw a good game, and it wasn’t really the case.
“I was kind of battling the whole night. I couldn’t make pitches. That’s all there is to it.”
Weaver (12-7) allowed four runs and seven hits through six innings. The Angels’ fourth straight loss dropped them four games behind AL West-leading Oakland, following the Athletics’ 6-5 win over Minnesota.
“I think Weave’s stuff looked really strong,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He had good angle, the ball was down in the zone and the velocity was there. He was just a couple of pitches away from a really strong outing. That’s a tough lineup.
“You talk about a lot of the changes that team has made, but they’ve got some guys who can really swing the bat.”
Pedroia opened the scoring in the third with an RBI single, and Cespedes lined a two-out double just inside the left field line for his first two RBIs since being acquired by the Red Sox from Oakland last week.
The Angels got two of the runs back in the bottom half against Allen Webster (2-1). Efren Navarro drew a leadoff walk and came all the way around when Cespedes misplayed Chris Iannetta’s double in the left field corner. Iannetta scored on Mike Trout’s sacrifice fly.
Last Saturday at Fenway Park against the Yankees, Webster was staked to a 3-0 lead in the second inning before walking his first three batters in the third and giving up four runs en route to a 6-4 loss.
But Napoli, who caught Weaver during their first five seasons in the big leagues, helped make sure there wouldn’t be a repeat of that scenario for Webster when he hit his 14th homer to left-center with two out in the fifth. It was his third against Weaver.
Webster allowed two runs and four hits over 6 2-3 innings in his third start since being recalled from Triple-A on July 26, when Jake Peavy was traded to San Francisco. The right-hander struck out three, walked two and hit two batters.
Boston center fielder Jackie Bradley, fighting an 0 for 27 slump, was put in for defense in the eighth by manager John Farrell and made two scintillating catches on the dead run.
Bradley raced toward short right-center to prevent a leadoff single by Trout in the eighth, then sprinted to the alley in right-center and made a leaping grab of Howie Kendrick’s extra-base bid to start the ninth.
Koji Uehara got three outs during a shaky ninth to earn his 24th save, throwing a called third strike past Kole Calhoun with winners at the corners to end it.
Red Sox: Outfielder Allen Craig, who has played only one game since he was acquired from St. Louis on July 31, went to Charlotte, North Carolina, for a second opinion on his sprained left foot. There were no new findings.
Angels: Reliever Mike Morin, who hasn’t pitched since July 31 because of a laceration on his left foot, has been doing some long toss and will continue to through the weekend before he gets back on a mound early next week. Scioscia is confident that he will be ready to come off the DL when he is eligible a week from Saturday at Texas.
Red Sox: Right-hander Clay Buchholz (5-7, 6.20 ERA) has never had a season with 30 or more starts — despite the fact that all but two of his 141 big league appearances have come as a starter. This is the fifth straight season he has spent time on the DL.
Angels: Right-hander Garrett Richards (12-4, 2.58 ERA) is coming off his first big league shutout, a five-hitter at Dodger Stadium in which he threw a career-high 122 pitches.