BOSTON -- The Angels took a walk on the wild side of Red Sox reliever Franklin Morales, using four free passes -- two with the bases loaded -- to break open a close game Saturday with four seventh-inning runs en route to a 9-5 victory in the first game of a split doubleheader at Fenway Park.
Mike Trout had three hits and scored twice, and Mark Trumbo and Erick Aybar drove in two runs apiece, as the Angels, who had lost five of their last six games, improved to 9-0 against the Red Sox since the start of the 2012 season.
Before the current streak, the Angels were 2-17 in their previous 19 games against the Red Sox. The Angels have also won six in a row at Fenway, their longest-ever streak in the 101-year-old park.
The Red Sox made things interesting in the ninth inning, scoring three runs off Garrett Richards on Mike Carp’s RBI single and Stephen Drew’s two-run double to trim a seven-run deficit to 9-5. But Ernesto Frieri, with two on, struck out Jacoby Ellsbury with a 94-mph fastball to close out the win and record his 14th save.
Clinging to a 3-2 lead, the Angels caught a huge break in the bottom of the sixth inning. With two on, one out and reliever Michael Kohn on the mound, Dustin Pedroia hit a bullet to shortstop. Aybar fielded the ball on one hop and flipped to second base to start an inning-ending double play.
Trout then started the seventh-inning rally off Morales with a one-out double high off the Green Monster in left-center field. After Josh Hamilton flied out, Boston Manager John Farrell ordered an intentional walk of Albert Pujols but left Morales, a left-hander, in to face Trumbo, an odd move considering the cleanup batter has been far more productive this season than Pujols.
With first baseman Mike Napoli far off the bag, Trumbo smacked an RBI double down the right-field line for a 4-2 lead. Morales walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases, as well as Alberto Callaspo and Chris Iannetta on four pitches to force in two runs for a 6-2 Angels lead. Aybar’s RBI infield single made it 7-2.
The Angels added two insurance runs in the ninth on -- what else? -- a bases-loaded walk, this one by Trout off Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller, and an error. It marked the fourth time in franchise history the Angels have scored three runs on bases-loaded walks.
The Angels bullpen held on to preserve the win for Tommy Hanson, who labored through five innings in which he gave up two runs and seven hits, struck out four, walked four and threw 114 pitches.
For as much trouble as Hanson (3-2) got himself into, he did a remarkable job of minimizing damage. The right-hander escaped a second-and-third, one-out jam in the first by striking out cleanup batter David Ortiz with a slow curve and getting Napoli to ground to third.
Hanson escaped a first-and-third, two-out jam in the second by getting Ellsbury to ground to second and a two-on, no-outs jam in the third by striking out Ortiz and Napoli with slow curves and getting Jarrod Saltalamacchia to pop to third.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the second when Kendrick singled, took second on Callaspo’s groundout and scored on Aybar’s two-out single to left.
They stretched the lead to 3-0 with some good situational hitting in the third, an inning Trout opened with a double off the Green Monster in left. Hamilton walked, and a double steal put runners on second and third.
Trout scored on Pujols’ sacrifice fly to deep center, which also advanced Hamilton to third, and Hamilton scored on Trumbo’s groundout.
Boston cut it to 3-2 in the fourth when Carp hit a leadoff homer to right, Ellsbury walked with two out, stole second and scored on Daniel Nava’s RBI single to right.
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