Betts' home run in 15th gives Red Sox 7-6 win over Angels
Betts went deep with two out in the 15th inning as the Red Sox outlasted the Los Angeles Angels 7-6 Friday night.
The 5-hour, 23-minute game at Angels Stadium didn't go as long as last October's 18-inning marathon in Los Angeles, which was the longest game in World Series history. The Dodgers won that one 3-2, but this win could be just as important.
With losses by Cleveland and Oakland, the Red Sox are 5½ games out of the second AL wild-card spot. The Red Sox have won six of seven on their road trip.
"It's going to be hard to pull this off, but we have to get locked in. We have to keep going," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
Betts drove a cutter from Trevor Cahill (3-9) over the wall in left for his second home run of the game and 23rd of the season. It is the 15th multi-homer game of his career and second this season.
"It's a long game, every win is important though and we had to pull ourselves together," Betts said. "I was just trying to put a good swing on a pitch. Fortunately it went over. I just did whatever I could."
Andrew Cashner (11-7) pitched four scoreless innings for the win. The Red Sox traded for the right-hander on July 13 figuring he was going to be a part of the rotation. Since moving to the bullpen on Aug. 13, he's allowed only one run in 10 innings and six appearances.
"It's a tough lineup. I just try to stay on the edges and out of the middle," Cashner said. "I was just trying to stay locked in."
Betts — who had three hits — lined José Suarez's fastball over the wall in left on the fifth pitch of the game for his second leadoff homer this season and 18th of his career. It is also the third time in Betts' last four games at Angels Stadium that he has led off by putting a ball into the seats.
J.D. Martinez also went deep for Boston, which has homered in 19 straight games. That is tied with the 1996 squad for the second-longest streak in team history. The team record is 22 in 2016. Boston has 14 HRs and has won five of six on its road trip.
Brian Goodwin homered twice and Albert Pujols had four hits for the Angels, who have dropped eight of their last 10. It is the first time Pujols has had a four-hit game since 2017 and the seventh since joining the Angels in 2012.
The Angels' extra-inning loss came hours after a Texas medical examiner said in a report that pitcher Tyler Skaggs died of an accidental overdose from a toxic mix of the powerful painkillers fentanyl and oxycodone along with alcohol on July 1. The 27-year-old Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room in the Dallas area.
"It's tough. Trying to process it yourself, understand and move forward and create a new normal," Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney said. "It's never normal. It's never going to be the same. It keeps getting brought up."
Los Angeles trailed 4-0 after 2½ innings before rallying and tying it in the ninth.
Goodwin had solo shots in the third and seventh inning for the Angels. It is the second multi-homer game of his career.
Los Angeles had the bases loaded in the fifth, eighth and ninth innings, but was 1 for 5. Pujols supplied the lone hit with a two-run single to center with two outs in the fifth to bring the Angels within 4-3.
The Angels were 3 for 12 with runners in scoring position and left 16 runners on base.
"Anytime you lose in extra innings after tying is deflating," Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. "We left a lot of guys on base. We need to get hits and get them across the plate somehow."
The Angels trailed 6-4 in the ninth before rallying to tie. Goodwin and Mike Trout walked to lead off the inning. Shohei Ohtani's grounder led to Trout being forced out at second. Pujols tied it with a two-run single to right off Brandon Workman. Goodwin would have easily scored but Ohtain was able to come home when J.D. Martinez slipped and committed an error in right.
Los Angeles had a chance to walk it off with the bases loaded and two outs, but Matt Thaiss grounded out to second to force extra innings.
Martinez extended Boston's lead to 4-0 in the third with a two-run shot to left for his team-leading 33rd of the season. The right fielder also had an RBI double in the sixth inning, which was Boston's last until the 14th.
Nathan Eovaldi had his most effective outing since coming off the injured list. The right-hander, making his seventh start of the season, struck out eight in four innings and allowed one run on three hits.
Suarez went five innings, marking the fifth time in 13 starts the right-hander has gone at least five. He surrendered four runs on four hits in five innings.
Four Angels relievers retired 20 straight Red Sox batters before Brock Holt was walked to lead off the 13th. It was the first baserunner allowed by Los Angeles since the sixth, when Marco Hernandez was hit by a pitch.
Boston had runners on first and second with one out in the 14th, but Jackie Bradley Jr. was picked off second by Trevor Cahill with what would have been the go-ahead run. Andrew Benintendi's two-out single to right put runners at the corners but Christian Vazquez grounded out to short to end the frame.
Red Sox: Cora said that David Price (left wrist) will not be on a pitch limit when he returns from the injured list and starts on Sunday. The left-hander has been on the IL since Aug. 5 and missed at least four starts.
Red Sox: Cora has not named a starter for Saturday.
Angels: LHP Dillon Peters (3-2, 4.50 ERA) surrendered three runs in six innings in a 3-0 loss at Boston on Aug. 8.