Boston Red Sox (55-45) at Los Angeles Angels (46-56)
Friday, July 29 - 10:05 PM EST
Angel Stadium of Anaheim, Anaheim, California
Boston right-hander Rick Porcello has the opportunity to move into a tie
for the major-league lead in victories when the Red Sox visit the Los
Angeles Angels on Friday in the second contest of a four-game set.
Porcello has won seven straight decisions and his 13 victories are just
two shy of his career high set in 2014 as a member of the Detroit
Porcello is just one win behind Washington's Stephen Strasburg, Baltimore's Chris Tillman and the Chicago White Sox's Chris Sale in the victory leadership race. He will try to halt a Boston losing streak that reached four games Thursday when first baseman Hanley Ramirez made a bases-loaded throwing error in the bottom of the ninth inning that allowed two runs to score and hand the Angels a 2-1 victory. Los Angeles designated hitter Albert Pujols had two hits in the opener to improve to 7-for-19 over the past four games and his 28 RBIs in July are most in the majors. The Angels have won three of their past four games and are 9-4 since the All-Star break.
TV: 10:05 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), FSN West (Los Angeles)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Red Sox RH Rick Porcello (13-2, 3.57 ERA) vs. Angels RH Tim Lincecum (2-4, 8.70 ERA)
Porcello has won each of his last five starts and six of his past seven in a strong bounce-back campaign from last season's 9-15 mark and 4.92 ERA. He has allowed two or fewer runs in five of his last eight outings and has walked a total of three batters over his past four turns. Porcello has traditionally struggled against the Angels, going 4-6 with a 6.82 ERA in 13 career starts and has had issues retiring Kole Calhoun (5-for-8, two homers).
Lincecum served up three homers and was torched for eight runs in 1 1/3 innings while losing to the Houston Astros in his last turn. The 32-year-old, who is 0-2 with a 10.13 ERA in two career starts versus Boston, is struggling with his velocity as he attempts to regain his once-stellar form. "It's tough, because you have games when you're throwing 84-87 (mph), and you prepared the same way as games when you're throwing 88-91," Lincecum told reporters. "And it's even on pitches where I'm not trying as hard as other pitches, when I throw my hardest and it's coming out like doo-doo."
1. Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts is 18-for-42 with 10 runs scored during a 10-game hitting streak.
2. Los Angeles INF Cliff Pennington (hamstring) is expected to come off the disabled list on Sunday.
3. Boston INF Aaron Hill, who is just 5-for-28 since being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers, is 11-for-22 against Lincecum.
PREDICTION: Red Sox 10, Angels 3