Morales' HR lifts Angels to sweep of Red Sox
BOSTON (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels' wild comeback win over the Boston Red Sox could provide the boost they need to close the gap in the AL wild-card race.
Kendrys Morales led off the Angels' two-run 10th inning with a solo homer, and Los Angeles completed a three-game sweep by outlasting the Red Sox 14-13 on Thursday night.
Los Angeles overcame deficits of 6-0, 9-8 and 11-9 and ended the night 2 1-2 games behind the second-wild card spot in the AL.
"This team still has some fight in it," outfielder Vernon Wells said. "We know we have a unique opportunity to do something special and, hopefully, we can continue to take advantage of it."
Wells hit a solo homer to cut Boston's lead to 11-10 in the eighth and then doubled in the run that proved to be the difference after Morales' 16th homer of the season snapped a 12-12 tie.
But Wells admitted that his high shot that appeared to bounce off the top of the left field wall shouldn't have been a homer.
"I saw the way it bounced off so I assumed it was a home run," he said, "but once I got in (the clubhouse) they told me otherwise, but we'll take it. It was a great game to be a part of. We've come out on the wrong end of a lot of those games in the last couple of weeks."
Boston manager Bobby Valentine appeared surprised when told at his postgame news conference that the home run call was wrong.
"I didn't know that," he said, then sighed and lowered his head.
Why didn't he ask the umpires to review the call?
"None of the outfielders told me any different," he said.
The Red Sox wasted a 6-0 lead, then rallied from deficits of 8-7 in the sixth and 12-11 in the ninth. But closer Alfredo Aceves struggled after Boston was one out away from victory in the ninth. Aceves (2-8) gave up five runs and six hits in one inning, and the Red Sox lost for the 11th time in 15 games.
Ernesto Frieri (2-0) got the win after giving up a tying solo homer in the ninth to Cody Ross, his 19th of the season, and an RBI single in the 10th to Dustin Pedroia, who drove in five runs.
Frieri was charged with a blown save, but secured the win when he struck out Adrian Gonzalez to end the 4-hour, 34-minute game.
"Wild game," Pedroia said. "We need to try and find a way to win these. You felt like whoever was hitting last was going to win. We are playing hard, but we need to find a way to be one run better."
With the score tied at 12, Morales jumped on an 0-1 pitch from Aceves for his 16th homer -- just over the low right field fence. Erick Aybar followed with a single, knocking out Aceves. Wells hit an RBI double off Craig Breslow for the final run.
The Angels swept the Red Sox after being swept at home in four games by Tampa Bay before coming to Boston.
The Red Sox took an 11-9 lead in the eighth on RBI singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia, but the Angels rallied in the ninth and regained the lead with Wells' eighth homer and two-out, run-scoring singles by Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo.
Angels starter C.J. Wilson, 0-5 in his last 11 starts, struggled again.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first on a double by Pedroia and an RBI single by Gonzalez. They made it 6-0 in the second on run-scoring singles by Scott Podsednik and Ellsbury, and Pedroia's 11th homer, a three-run shot.
But Franklin Morales couldn't hold the lead, giving up six of the Angels' eight third-inning runs. Los Angeles had six hits, three walks and an error in the inning. Chris Iannetta and Hunter had two hits each, and every member of the Angels lineup except Trumbo got on base.
Two runs scored on bases-loaded walks to Kendrys Morales and Wells. Seven consecutive batters reached base after two were out.
"We get down early (by) six runs and guys came in and said, `let's just start chipping away.'" Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I guess we didn't really chip away. We put up an eight spot to get back into it.
"We definitely feel good about the ability of our offense to come back even though there were some rough spots on the pitching side."
Wilson retired eight straight batters before Pedroia reached on an error by third baseman Alberto Callaspo in the fifth and scored on a single by Ross.
Boston went ahead 9-8 with two runs in the sixth on Mike Aviles' 12th homer and consecutive doubles by Pedro Ciriaco and Ellsbury. But Los Angeles tied it in the seventh on Trout's RBI single.
Notes: The last Angels pitcher to go 11 starts without a win was Jim Abbott, whose streak reached 13 games from May 7 to Aug, 10, 1996. ... Angels first baseman Albert Pujols missed the game with tightness in his right calf. ... Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. He is expected to be sidelined six to nine months. ... Jon Lester (7-10) pitches for the Red Sox on Friday against Bruce Chen (9-10) in the opener of a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals. ... The Angels return home for a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers with Zack Greinke (1-2) going for Los Angeles against Rick Porcello (9-8).