An­gels sur­vive a wild ninth

Re­liever de­ploys his split­ter at right time to res­cue An­gels and log his third ca­reer save.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Pe­dro Moura pe­dro.moura@la­times.com Twit­ter: @pe­dro­moura

After a solid six in­nings by Ramirez, Parker gets the fi­nal strike­out with bases loaded in 6-3 win.

BOS­TON — The bullpen door at Fen­way Park opened and Blake Parker emerged, the bases loaded, his team up three runs and need­ing one last out in the ninth in­ning Satur­day night.

Un­til three months ago, Parker was best known as the all-time saves leader for triple-A Iowa, where he spent parts of nine con­sec­u­tive sea­sons. He just turned 32, and this is the best sea­son of his life.

Newly shaven since he al­lowed his first home run of the sea­son in his last out­ing, Parker first fired a fast­ball way out­side. He in­haled, ex­haled, and fired an­other at the out­side edge. Strike. He re­peated his ac­tions for strike two. He knew then to throw the split­ter, his calling card, the dart­ing pitch that op­po­nents have missed half the time they’ve tried to hit it this year.

The first one was too low. The se­cond, at the bot­tom of the zone, worked as de­signed. Pinch-hit­ter Chris Young struck out swing­ing, and the An­gels se­cured a dra­matic 6-3 vic­tory over the Bos­ton Red Sox.

“That’s what, I think, re­liev­ers live for,” Parker said after record­ing his first save this sea­son and third of his ca­reer. “That mo­ment.”

The An­gels (39-39) pro­duced runs steadily Satur­day, keep­ing score­board work­ers in­side the Green Mon­ster busy, start­ing right away in the first in­ning. Kole Cal­houn and Al­bert Pu­jols sin­gled to left. After An­drel­ton Simmons struck out, Martin Mal­don­ado sin­gled to cen­ter to score Cal­houn.

In the fourth, Danny Espinosa reached first base on an er­ror, stole se­cond base after es­cap­ing a pick­off at­tempt, and scored on Eric Young Jr.’s dou­ble down the right-field line. In the sixth, Simmons dou­bled, took third on a Mal­don­ado ground out and scored on Luis Val­buena’s sac­ri­fice fly.

The An­gels added two more runs in the sev­enth as Cliff Pen­ning­ton sin­gled and quickly scored when Cameron May­bin dou­bled. May­bin stole third and scored when left-han­der Fer­nando Abad balked. Protest­ing the balk call, Red Sox man­ager John Far­rell be­came en­raged and earned an ejec­tion.

Two in­nings later, the An­gels added a sixth, seem­ingly su­per­flu­ous run, on Young’s walk and stolen base and Cal­houn’s RBI sin­gle.

An­gels starter JC Ramirez, reel­ing from three rough starts in June, gave up four early hard hits, in­clud­ing a Mitch More­land home run to be­gin the se­cond in­ning. An­drew Ben­in­tendi shot a sin­gle to right and moved up to se­cond when Cal­houn could not field it cleanly.

After a strike­out and a hit bat­ter, Ramirez re­fo­cused on pound­ing the bot­tom of the zone, and be­gan to in­duce re­peated grounders.

“What was re­ally im­pres­sive with JC tonight was how he gath­ered him­self,” An­gels man­ager Mike Scios­cia said. “He min­i­mized dam­age and got some big outs.”

Ramirez didn’t sur­ren­der an­other ball hit out of the in­field un­til Mookie Betts be­gan the sixth with a dou­ble to left. As the An­gels’ bullpen be­gan to stir, Ramirez re­tired Dustin Pe­droia on a popup and Xan­der Bo­gaerts and More­land on ground outs. At 95 pitches through six in­nings, he was fin­ished, his best start of the month recorded.

“It was good to give me the con­fi­dence back,” Ramirez said. “I thought this month was gonna be rough for me, so this one, es­pe­cially in this park, gives me a lot of con­fi­dence.”

Right-han­ders David Her­nan­dez, Key­nan Mid­dle­ton, Cam Be­drosian and Parker split the last three in­nings.

Only Be­drosian gave up a hit or a walk — two of each, plus a wild pitch, which net­ted Bos­ton two runs and brought Parker into the game.

The An­gels have played 18 con­sec­u­tive games while re­sid­ing within one game of .500. Tues­day will mark their sea­son’s half­way point, and they have yet to spend one day fur­ther than four games from .500.

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