ANAHEIM (AP) — Chris Sale pitched six scoreless innings and the Boston Red Sox rode a five-run first inning to a 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Sale (12-4) allowed four hits and struck out nine to push his major league-leading total to 200. He walked one and lowered his American League-best ERA to 2.48.
He has won 11 of his last 13 decisions.
Sale improved to 6-0 against the Angels with a 1.23 ERA in seven starts (nine games).
Boston jumped on erratic Angels starter Ricky Nolasco (4-11) in the first, with six of its first seven batters collecting a hit. Nolasco went four innings and allowed all six runs on nine hits and a walk.
The Angels avoided a shutout when Martin Maldonado hit a solo home run off reliever Kyle Martin in the seventh. It was his 11th homer of the season.
Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia went hitless in four at-bats to snap his nine-game hitting streak.
The Angels have won only three of their last 12 games to fall 4½ games back of the American League’s second wild card spot.
Red Sox: Right-hander Joe Kelly (strained left hamstring) remained in Boston and threw long-toss. . With Eduardo Rodriguez (partial shoulder dislocation) back, right-hander Doug Fister is moving to the bullpen. In five games (four starts), Fister is 0-4 with a 7.89 ERA.
Angels: Right-hander Matt Shoemaker (forearm strain) threw lightly for the first time in two weeks. “He’s taking baby steps right now,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. “We won’t have a read on him for another seven to 10 days.” . Left-hander Tyler Skaggs (right oblique strain) is scheduled to throw four innings Saturday for Triple-A Salt Lake.
Red Sox: Left-hander David Price (5-2, 3.39 ERA) looks to keep his strong recent stretch going Saturday against the Angels. In his last three starts, he has allowed just two earned runs (20 innings).
Angels: Right-hander JC Ramirez (8-8, 4.54) is scheduled to make his 19th start of the season. In five career games against the Red Sox (one start) he is 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA. He last started a game on June 14.
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