Napoli’s HR helps Bosox beat Weaver, Angels 4-2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Center fielder Jackie Bradley had as much to do with saving a victory for the Boston Red Sox on Friday night as closer Koji Uehara did.
Bradley, fighting an 0 for 27 slump, was put in for defense in the eighth inning by manager John Farrell and made two scintillating catches on the dead run to help preserve Allen Webster’s 4-2 win over the Los Angeles Angels.
”He’s such an impact defender. We’ve seen it many times, and he had an impact in this game tonight just with two innings of defense,” Farrell said.
”The one thing that has never been shaken in his time here has been his defense. He’s a confident defender, and he feels like he can roll out of bed and run to a spot where a ball is eventually going to land. Thankfully, he’s got that instinct because it showed up twice here tonight.”
Bradley raced toward short right-center to prevent a leadoff single by Mike Trout leading off the eighth, then sprinted to the alley in right-center and made a leaping grab of Howie Kendrick’s extra-base bid leading off the ninth.
”It all happened so fast. I was just hoping the wall didn’t stop me before I was able to get to it,” Bradley said. ”On the first play, Trout had two strikes on him – but I’m not playing in with that guy. I saw it right off the bat, so I just put my head down. It was much easier than the one to the wall because I could keep my eyes on it.”
Mike Napoli homered against former batterymate Jered Weaver and Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run double for the Red Sox.
Webster (2-1) allowed two runs and four hits over 6 2-3 innings in his third start since getting recalled from Triple-A on July 26, when Jake Peavy was traded to San Francisco. The right-hander struck out three, walked two and hit two batters.
Uehara got three outs during a shaky ninth to get his 24th save.
Weaver (12-7) lost for the first time since June 16, allowing four runs and seven hits through six innings after going 5-0 in his previous nine starts. The Angels’ fourth straight loss matched their longest skid of the season and dropped them four games behind AL West-leading Oakland, following the Athletics’ 6-5 win over Minnesota.
”Obviously, it could have gone a little better,” Weaver said. ”I really wanted to come in and throw a good game and it wasn’t really the case. I was kind of battling the whole night. I couldn’t make pitches. That’s all there is to it.”
Last Saturday at Fenway Park against the Yankees, Webster was staked to a 3-0 lead in the second inning before walking his first three batters in the third and giving up four runs en route to a 6-4 loss.
”It was an encouraging outing for him,” Farrell said. ”He was much more under control tonight and showed the ability to make adjustments more readily than the last time out. There’s no denying his potential. We see it every time we put the ball in his hand.”
But Napoli, who caught Weaver during their first five seasons in the big leagues, helped make sure there wouldn’t be a repeat of that scenario for Webster when he hit his 14th homer to left-center with two out in the fifth. It was his third against Weaver.
Red Sox: Outfielder Allen Craig, who has played only one game since he was acquired from St. Louis on July 31, got a second opinion on his sprained left foot from Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, North Carolina. There were no new findings.
Angels: Reliever Mike Morin, who hasn’t pitched since July 31 because of a laceration on his left foot, has been doing some long toss and will continue to through the weekend before he gets back on a mound early next week.
Red Sox: Right-hander Clay Buchholz (5-7, 6.20 ERA) has never had a season with 30 or more starts – despite the fact that all but two of his 141 big league appearances have come as a starter. This is the fifth straight season he has spent time on the DL.
Angels: Right-hander Garrett Richards (12-4, 2.58 ERA) is coming off his first big league shutout, a five-hitter at Dodger Stadium in which he threw a career-high 122 pitches.