BOSTON — Like teammate Alex Meyer Friday night, Angels righty J.C. Ramirez faces the Red Sox for the first time in his career in the second game of the three-game series at Fenway Park Saturday night.
He has to hope his night goes better than Meyer’s — the rookie right-hander was chased after 3 1/3 innings of the Red Sox’s 9-4 win in the opener of the three-game weekend series,
David Price, making just his sixth start of the season, goes for Boston against Ramirez.
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Ramirez, 6-5 with a 4.59 ERA, has struggled in June after finishing May on an up note. He is 1-2 in four June starts, allowing 28 hits and 18 earned runs in 19 innings — and lasted just three-plus innings in his last start, losing to the Kansas City Royals.
Ramirez threw 89 pitches and struck out six in his last start, a game the Angels wound up losing 7-3. He allowed five hits walked four and yielded five runs.
“I want to go six and seven innings,” he said after that outing. “I think it wasn’t a bad start, I just threw a lot of pitches.”
He has never faced the Red Sox.
Price, 2-1 with a 5.14 ERA since coming back from a strained left elbow, has allowed 12 earned runs in 16 innings over his last start. He is 5-5 with a 3.26 ERA in 13 career starts against the Angels and has a streak of eight straight outings of six-plus innings (4-3, 3.29 over that stretch).
He allowed 14 baserunners in five innings at Houston in his last start, but gave up just three runs and got his second win of the season.
“Working on pitching with runners in scoring position, that’s the way it feels every game, every inning,” he said. “That’s not the way to go about it. It feels good for us to win tonight.”
He was thrilled to have escaped his 107-pitch high wire act, saying, “The amount of runners I had in scoring position, or second and third base, there in the first inning, first and third, with one out to be able to get out of that with just one run, whatever other innings — I had with runners in scoring position, two outs or less than two, to be able to limit those innings and not allow that big inning to happen, that was big.”
Cole Calhoun is 4-for-13 (.368) and Cliff Pennington 4-for-8 (.500) against Price, but Alberts Pujols is just 4-for-22 (.182) with two homers and Yunel Escobar 7-for-30 (.233) against the left-hander.
Friday night, Meyer walked the first two batters he faced and wild-pitched the second and third runs of the first inning home — later calling it “unacceptable.”
“He settled in and made some good pitches for the next couple innings until the fourth,” said manager Mike Scioscia. “Just behind to many counts and had trouble putting some guys away. Obviously, we’ll turn the page on this one. It wasn’t a great outing for (us).”
The Red Sox improved to 22-11 at home with Friday night’s win, 10-2 in their last 12 games.