ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mickey Moniak continues to make his case for being an every day outfielder for the Los Angeles Angels.
Moniak had two hits, including a home run in the eighth inning, as the Angels won for the fourth time in five games, beating the Boston Red Sox 2-1 on Monday night.
Moniak, the top pick by Philadelphia in the 2016 draft, was acquired from the Phillies at the trade deadline last year. He is batting .429 (12 for 28) with three home runs and six RBIs since being called up on May 12.
“It’s been special. I’ve always believed that it was in there, but you never know in this game,” Moniak said. “I’m just grateful to have the opportunity to be able to go out here every day, and I’m enjoying it. We’re winning baseball games and no complaints.”
Moniak drove a changeup from Kutter Crawford (1-2) over the wall in right field to lead off the eighth.
A changeup is a pitch that Moniak has had problems with in the past. He had a .229 average against the off-speed pitch from 2020-22, including a high chase rate outside the zone.
This season he is 4 of 10 when facing a changeup and has a better eye at the plate when seeing it, as his chase rate has been cut by over half.
“Where he’s at and the adjustments he has made in his swing, keeping his hands back, he got a good one to hit and he hit it out,” manager Phil Nevin said of Moniak.
Masataka Yoshida had two hits and an RBI for the Red Sox, who have dropped two straight after winning four in a row.
Angels’ right-hander Jaime Barria tossed five shutout innings in his first start in two years.
Chase Silseth (1-1) got the win, striking out two in two scoreless innings.
The Angels opened the scoring in the second. Brandon Drury drew a walk with one out, advanced to third on a base hit by Matt Thaiss and scored on Luis Rengifo’s grounder to short.
Los Angeles had the bases loaded with two outs in the inning, but failed to add any more runs when Mike Trout struck out. Trout and Shohei Ohtani each went 0 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
Boston evened the score at 1-all in the sixth inning after Barria left the game. Connor Wong led off with a double off Aaron Loup and scored when Masataka Yoshida hit a chopper that bounced off the glove of Angels’ first baseman Jared Walsh for a base hit.
Yoshida’s RBI also snapped a 19-inning scoreless streak for the Red Sox.
Barria, who was making his first start Aug. 6, 2021, made his case for staying in the rotation after allowing only two hits and striking out six. The right-hander was primarily a starter for the Angels from 2018-21, before being moved to the bullpen.
“I felt great. The manager gave me the confidence to go out there,” Barria said through an interpreter. “I’ve been attacking the hitters and trusting all my stuff.”
Boston’s Tanner Houck also had a strong outing. The right-hander allowed only one run on three hits and struck out eight in six innings.
“He gave us a chance to win and that’s what we ask for,” manager Alex Cora said. “He did a good job changing speeds and using his slider. Good fastball, too.”
Red Sox: LHP Richard Bleier (left shoulder inflammation) was placed on the 15-day injured list. LHP Brennan Bernardino was called up from Triple-A Worcester. … INF Yu Chang (left hamate fracture) could start his minor-league rehab assignment on Wednesday, according to Cora.
Angels: Nevin said it is doubtful 3B Anthony Rendon (left groin strain) would be ready to come off the IL when he is eligible on Wednesday. Rendon has yet to take part in any on-field activities.
Red Sox: RHP Brayan Bello (3-1, 4.45 ERA) has a 2.59 ERA in his last four starts.
Angels: RHP Griffin Canning (2-2, 6.14 ERA) has dropped his past two starts.
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