Angels fall short in 5-4 loss to Red Sox

BOSTON (AP) — The struggling Los Angeles Angels just can’t catch any breaks.

Trailing by a run in the top of the ninth with a runner on first, the Angels got a clutch hit from Daniel Nava down the right-field line. Mike Trout was easily going to score the tying run, but the ball took the most unfortunate of bounces, over the wall and out of play — forcing Trout to stop at third.

The Angels challenged, saying a fan interfered while the ball was still in play, but after a brief video review the call on the field stood. Trout remained at third and the Boston Red Sox held on for a 5-4 win Friday night.

“I don’t know what they’re looking at in New York, but that ball is absolutely in the field of play when that fan touches it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “Absolutely. It’s a joke.”

The Angels battled back from a 5-0 deficit and had a pair of great chances to tie it following a rain delay of 1 hour, 35 minutes.

Los Angeles was still frustrated about the ninth after looking at video in the clubhouse.

“On the replays we all looked at, it looked like it was still in play,” Trout said. “It’s a tough one.”

C.J. Cron hit a grand slam for the Angels, who lost their fourth straight and 10th in 11.

David Ortiz hit his 2,000th career hit with Boston on a solo homer in the fifth. It was his 522nd career home run, moving into sole possession of 19th place on baseball’s all-time list and breaking a tie he held with a trio of Hall of Famers including Red Sox great Ted Williams.

Mookie Betts and Ortiz had three hits apiece for Boston.

Craig Kimbrel finished up for his 17th save. Knuckleballer Steven Wright (9-5) got the win despite struggling with his control when the rain got heavy in the sixth.

Jhoulys Chacin (2-5) allowed five runs on 12 hits in just 4 2/3 innings.

The Angels had the potential tying run on third in the eighth when Johnny Giavotella tripled to left-center with one out. The Angels tried getting him home with a safety squeeze that reliever Koji Uehara foiled with a great defensive play. Uehara scooped up Carlos Perez’s bunt and flipped the ball with his glove to Christian Vazquez in time to tag Giavotella at the plate.

Ortiz hadn’t homered since tying Williams, Willie McCovey and Frank Thomas on June 17 against Seattle. Ortiz broke the tie with a line drive to right to put Boston up 3-0 in the fifth.

Jackie Bradley Jr. followed with a single and scored on a double by Holt, who scored on a single by Vazquez to put Boston up 5-0.

The rain started after Ortiz’s homer and was falling steadily by the top of the sixth, when Wright’s shutout bid unraveled quickly. The knuckleballer struggled in the weather and the Angels loaded the bases with nobody out for Cron, who drove a 3-2 pitch over the Green Monster.

That was all for Wright, who allowed four runs on eight hits, walked three and struck out three.

GS FOR C.J.

Cron drove a 3-2 pitch from Wright out to left for his seventh home run of the season. It was also the first career grand slam for the young first baseman, who took a big chunk out of the 5-0 lead Boston had built.

“Just looking for a pitch in the zone and I think I got it,” Cron said. “It’s cool. Any first in this league is awesome.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (torn ulnar collateral ligament) underwent Tommy John surgery in Los Angeles, likely sidelining him until the 2018 season.

Red Sox: Holt was activated and start in left field, his first game since going on the concussion DL as of May 19. Holt had one of the defensive plays of the night in the fourth when he threw out Cron at second as he tried to stretch a line drive into a double.

UP NEXT

Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (4-4, 5.27) returns after getting tagged for six runs on seven hits and walks in a no-decision Sunday against Oakland.

Red Sox: RHP Clay Buchholz (3-8, 5.90) is 0-2 in his return to the rotation after spending a few weeks in the bullpen.

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