The Los Angeles Angels closed out a 5-3 victory over the Boston Red Sox early Thursday morning, getting a two-run single from Bobby Abreu in the 13th inning of a game that took more than 71/2 hours to complete.
Article continues below ...
The Angels and Red Sox waited out a rain delay of 2 hours, 35 minutes in the fifth inning and finally finished at 2:45 a.m. on the East Coast after exactly five hours of playing time.
"It was a game where there could have been some letdown," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "but the guys hung in there and came out in the end."
Boston nearly won it in the 12th against Trevor Bell (1-0), but Marco Scutaro was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Kevin Youkilis’ double high off the wall in left.
"I thought that was the ball game," Bell said. "I started to walk off the field."
Youkilis advanced on Darnell McDonald’s infield single, but Jed Lowrie grounded out.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-3), Boston’s eighth pitcher, entered in the 13th for his first career relief appearance and surrendered a leadoff single to Howie Kendrick. Vernon Wells flied out and Jeff Mathis popped up, but Peter Bourjos singled and Erick Aybar walked to load the bases.
"It took a lot of guts on his part," reliever Daniel Bard, who pitched the 11th and 12th, said of Matsuzaka. "He took one for the team."
Abreu then lined his single to right-center field.
The game had been interrupted by a steady rain after Josh Beckett struck out Kendrick leading off the fifth, and Beckett didn’t return after the delay.
Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana was dominant for four innings, striking out seven and issuing one walk. Rich Thompson replaced him when the game resumed and pitched 1 2-3 hitless innings before Scott Downs retired the last batter in the sixth. Downs also got the first out in the seventh before Lowrie got Boston’s first hit on a clean single to right.
The difficulty of rescheduling the game – the series finale is Thursday afternoon and the teams had no common off day – led to the unusually long rain delay.
In the bottom of the seventh, a cleanup crew was at work in the mostly empty bleachers. And by the end, only a few thousand spectators remained.
Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI single in the eighth and Boston added two more in the ninth to tie it at 3.
Wells, batting .176 mostly from the fifth spot in the lineup, hit seventh for the first time in his career and connected for a two-run drive in the seventh inning. Wells’ third homer of the season scored Kendrick, who reached on a leadoff double.
Aybar added a sacrifice fly in the ninth, but Boston rallied in the bottom half.
Lowrie led off with a walk and took second on Mike Cameron’s single. Jordan Walden’s wild pitch sent Lowrie to third and when catcher Hank Conger threw wildly to try to get him, Lowrie scored. But the ball bounced and stayed in the infield when it hit third-base umpire John Hirschbeck, allowing Aybar to field it and throw Cameron out at third.
Carl Crawford then doubled, and, after Jason Varitek struck out, Jacoby Ellsbury lined a full-count pitch to right field for the tying single.
Notes: Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia went 0 for 6 with four strikeouts. … Before the game, Scioscia said, "We’re still trying to get different dimensions of our lineup. We’re still waiting for Vernon to get going." … Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 12 games and Gonzalez stretched his to 11. … Boston DH David Ortiz fouled a ball off his right foot in the second but stayed in the game and struck out.