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Red Sox extra bases: Sloppy defense leads to 4-2 loss to Angels

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The Boston Red Sox received strong starting pitching from Brandon Workman, but miscues in the eighth inning led to a 4-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Monday night at Fenway Park. It was the third loss of their 11-game homestand and the third time a key error in one inning contributed to the loss.

The Red Sox fell behind 2-0 before Workman settled down and pitched the first seven innings. It was a strong start for the young pitcher and an encouraging sign that he was able to settle down into the game. He allowed two runs on six hits and despite being tabbed with the loss, Workman said after the game that he felt stronger than he has in prior starts. He attributed his increased strength to some extended rest. He said after the game, “I think it had to have helped. My velocity was better. I had the chance to work on some things mechanically. I felt good tonight, I felt like I got in a nice rhythm early and was able to carry that through.

Workman was able to keep his team in the game and gave his offense a chance to battle back. The first run by the Red Sox came in the fourth inning after the recently recalled Mookie Betts worked a two-out walk. He advanced to third on a single by Christian Vazquez and then driven in by Brock Holt to cut the lead to 2-1. The team wasted more chances to score more runs in the middle innings, including a bases loaded with one out opportunity in the sixth inning that resulted in an inning-ending double play off the bat of Dustin Pedroia.

Those wasted opportunities came back to hurt the Sox. While still down 2-1, reliever Junichi Tazawa entered the game. Tazawa immediately walked the first batter he faced and then gave up a double to Kole Calhoun to put runners at second and third. Tazawa was able to strike out the dangerous Mike Trout and intentionally walked Albert Pujols.

Tazawa then needed a ground ball to get out of the jam. He got that ground ball but failed to field it cleanly. In desperation, Tazawa threw the ball towards home. The errant throw ended up yielding two runs to put the Angels up 4-1. Those two runs ended up being crucial to the Red Sox as the team scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to make the final score 4-2. If not for the error, the Sox would’ve tied the game and would’ve at least extended the game to extra innings.