ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Hanley Ramirez fielded the grounder to first and saw Mike Trout steamrolling toward home. Ramirez rushed his throw just enough to send it sailing — and to hand a victory to the Los Angeles Angels.
Ramirez’s throwing error to the plate on Daniel Nava’s bases-loaded grounder allowed two runs to score, and the Angels walked off with a stunning 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Thursday night.
The Angels rallied in the ninth against Boston closer Brad Ziegler (2-5), loading the bases with one out on singles by Trout, Albert Pujols and Andrelton Simmons.
Pinch-hitter Nava then poked a potential game-ending grounder to first, but Ramirez’s throw went flying past catcher Sandy Leon to the backstop, allowing Trout and pinch-runner Ji-Man Choi to end Boston’s season-high fourth straight loss.
“We just gave ourselves a chance at the end of the game,” Trout said. “(Nava) put the ball in play, and he made the defense make a play.”
Or not, in the case of Ramirez, who grimly accepted responsibility.
“That can’t happen,” Ramirez said. “I know better, and I know when I’ve got Trout on third and a ground ball, but still I’ve got to make that one. I kind of threw it and started running before I threw it.”
Ramirez’s years of defensive misadventures are the stuff of nightmares for fans of the nearby Dodgers and the Red Sox.
“That’s a routine play that Hanley has made many times over,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t execute defensively tonight as a club. … Knowing the speed of Trout, he burned his throw at first base, and that was that.”
Ramirez’s woes were set up by another shaky ninth from Ziegler, who lost for the second straight day and blew his third save of the season. The closer gave up a ninth-inning homer by Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera on Wednesday.
“It didn’t work out, but there’s a lot of other things you can point to that went wrong,” Ziegler said.
Ziegler and Ramirez wasted eight innings of seven-hit ball from David Price. The $217 million left-hander outdueled Jered Weaver, who pitched six-hit ball into the sixth inning, but was resigned to another hard-luck loss.
“I kept battling against a guy that was doing his thing,” Weaver said. “He made some good pitches, but the boys never stopped. They kept grinding, and we were able to pull it out there in the ninth. It was awesome.”
David Ortiz reached base three times as the Red Sox opened an 11-game West Coast road trip with another heartbreaker for their sixth loss in seven games.
Cam Bedrosian (2-0) pitched the ninth for Los Angeles.
Boston scored in the third when Leon singled, scampered to third on Brock Holt’s single and came home on Mookie Betts’ fly to left.
THE DAVID IS RIGHT
Price has been inconsistent over the past six weeks, mixing a handful of strong starts with rocky outings. He followed up eight shutout innings against Tampa Bay before the All-Star break by allowing 22 hits in 11 1/3 innings over his past two starts.
He was back in form against the struggling Angels, limiting them to seven singles and one walk while striking out six. With the tying run on first in the eighth, Price struck out Kole Calhoun with a 94-mph fastball on his 109th and final pitch.
The Angels paid an entertaining tribute to the retiring Ortiz before the game. A few Los Angeles players and coaches wore sunglasses, gold chains and backward caps while presenting Ortiz with a painting of himself. Ortiz and Pujols shared a long hug and then stood together in center field for the national anthem.
Red Sox: Ortiz will get a rest day this weekend against one of the Angels’ two left-handed starters, Hector Santiago and Tyler Skaggs.
Angels: Manager Mike Scioscia believes infielder Cliff Pennington will be ready to come off the disabled list Sunday as scheduled. He has played only three games since May 12 while struggling with a hamstring injury.
Red Sox: Rick Porcello (13-2, 3.57 ERA) is in outstanding form with five consecutive winning starts as he tries to become the fourth 14-game winner in the majors.
Angels: Tim Lincecum (2-4, 8.70 ERA) is still struggling mightily in his comeback season. He gave up eight runs and seven hits while getting just four outs against Houston last weekend.
(Copyright (c) 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)