BOSTON — Two teams extremely happy to see the calendar flip to July get together for three games at Fenway Park beginning Friday.
One of the teams — the host Boston Red Sox — still has a chance to fix things and stay in the pennant race.
The Los Angeles Angels, 8-19 in June, have lost nine of their last 10 and sit in last place in the American League West with a 32-47 record. That sounds, even this early, like a lost season.
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Meanwhile, the Boston Red Sox — 10-16 in June — are still in position to contend and open a nine-game homestand that leads up to the All-Star break.
Both teams have held team meetings in recent days, the Angels after being swept by the Houston Astros for the second straight week and the Red Sox after the Tampa Bay Rays ended an 11-game losing streak with a win over Boston on Monday.
The Red Sox won Tuesday before losing Wednesday to end a 2-4 trip.
“I like this team, I like our guys, I like the way we come in here every day and the effort that we continue to put forth,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after his team was shut out for the third time this season Wednesday. “We've got some adjustments and some work to do in certain areas. But this is a group that doesn't roll over and I'm firmly confident in them.”
The meeting came after Eduardo Rodriguez was shelled in the series opener as second baseman Dustin Pedroia shouting at the pitcher on the mound. Rodriguez was sent to the minor leagues after the game, and the Red Sox still haven't named a Sunday starter against the Angels.
Rick Porcello and the offense stopped the bleeding and ended a three-game losing streak — the Red Sox still haven't lost four in a row this season, but Matt Moore and two relievers stifled the Boston attack and David Price had another disappointing outing Wednesday.
Hanley Ramirez left that game with a right side injury after taking a hard swing but after the game said he'd be fine.
“Just my side got really tight,” Ramirez said. “I talked to John and we're just trying to prevent something big. He told me that, 'We're not going to put your season on the line. Take care of that and be ready to go Friday.'”
The Red Sox, who have already used six different players in left field, hope to get Brock Holt (concussion) back soon.
They won't be getting any sympathy from the Angels, who have already used 43 players this season.
The Angels gave up 37 runs in six losses to the Astros.
“I don't think these guys are taking losing in stride, and that's a positive, but it has to be tempered with filtering out some of the frustration that could easily creep into a clubhouse or a dugout,” manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. “Those guys seem like they're playing free and giving it everything they have, but the results aren't there.”
Boston's Steven Wright, coming off his first poor performance of the season, opens the series against right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who beat the Red Sox while with the Atlanta Braves earlier this season but is only 3-6 overall. He was 1-3 with an 8.59 ERA in five June starts with 17 walks and seven strikeouts.
Wright lasted 4 2/3 innings, yielding seven hits and eight runs (three unearned) in a loss at Texas last time out. He also surrendered only his second June home run in that game.