ANAHEIM, Calif. — It has been a season of unexpected and exciting victories for the Red Sox. But they took a stunning loss in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The Los Angeles Angels scored four runs in the ninth inning to tie the game then came away with a 9-7 victory in the 11th when Josh Hamilton hit a two-run walkoff home run.
“Tough ballgame to lose,” manager John Farrell said.
It was the first time this season the Red Sox lost a game they led by four runs. Their five-game win streak was snapped.
Craig Breslow (2-2) allowed a one-out single by Brad Hawpe before Hamilton drove a slider out to center for his 12th home run.
Dane De La Rosa (4-1) pitched a perfect inning for the win. The last eight Red Sox went in order. The game lasted 4 hours, 22 minutes.
The Red Sox also suffered what looked to be a significant injury. Lefthanded reliever Andrew Miller left the game in the seventh inning after injuring his left foot while going to back up home plate.
Miller winced and grabbed his foot as he fell to the grass. He could not put any weight on his foot and had to be helped off the field and into the clubhouse.
Miller was getting X-rays at a local hospital when the game ended. Farrell said the injury was to the top of Miller’s left foot and was not a ruptured Achilles’ tendon.
The 28-year-old lefthander is having the best season of his career, posting a 2.64 earned run average over 37 appearances.
Miller has struck out 48 over 30⅔ innings and allowed 25 hits. He has been one of the team’s most effective setup men. His loss would leave Breslow as the only healthy lefthanded reliever on the roster.
Shane Victorino also left the game with a tight left hamstring.
The Red Sox took a 7-3 lead into the ninth inning and turned to rookie Alex Wilson for what looked to be mop-up duty. But the Angels scored four runs, all coming with two outs.
With two outs and a runner on first, Wilson allowed a single by J.B. Shuck then hit Mike Trout with a pitch. Farrell called in closer Koji Uehara for the fifth time in the last seven days.
He got two strikes on Albert Pujols before giving up a two-run single to center field.
Hamilton followed with an RBI single to right field, cutting the lead to 7-6.
When Howie Kendrick grounded to third base, the game should have been over. But Brandon Snyder, playing his seventh game for the Red Sox, threw the ball over Dustin Pedroia’s head at second base and the game was tied.
Snyder intended to underhand the ball to Pedroia before looking up and seeing Hamilton getting close to the base.
“I kind rushed and never got a grip,” Snyder said. “One of those plays, I can promise you there’s not a worse feeling obviously.”
Said Farrell: “He had a choice there, continuing and completing the play to first base. Elected to go to second base. Hs footwork didn’t quite get underneath him.”
Uehara struck out Mark Trumbo swinging to end the inning. But it was his third blown save.
“Koji has no room to maneuver,” Farrell said. “He was painted into a corner.”
The Sox had 12 hits off six Angels pitchers. Daniel Nava was 4 for 6 with two doubles, one RBI, and two runs. Jarrod Saltalamacchia was 2 for 4 with two doubles, two walks, and two RBIs.
Ryan Dempster went 6⅓ innings, leaving with a lead the bullpen could not hold. He allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
The righthander has a 3.33 earned run average in his last eight starts. He has gone at least six innings in seven of those starts.
The depleted Angels started righthander Jerome Williams on two days of rest. He faced the Cardinals on Wednesday and didn’t get through the second inning, giving up seven runs on four hits and four walks.
The Red Sox didn’t hit him quite that hard. But Williams was pulled before he could get an out in the fourth inning. He allowed five runs on seven hits.
Jacoby Ellsbury started the game by extending his hit streak to 16 games with a single to center. David Ortiz then singled with two outs.
With Mike Napoli at the plate, Ellsbury stole third and scored when the throw from catcher Chris Iannetta went into left field.
Nava singled to start the second inning and went to third when Saltalamacchia doubled to right field.
Brock Holt, in his first at-bat for the Red Sox after being called up earlier in the day from Triple A Pawtucket, drove the ball down the line in left for a sacrifice fly.
The first five Red Sox reached base in the fourth inning and three of them scored.
Napoli walked and went to third on a double by Nava when Shuck was slow to retrieve what should have been a single to left field.
Saltalamacchia’s double to left field scored two runs. Holt followed with a ground ball to first base. Pujols, usually sound defensively, skipped a throw to third base and Saltalamacchia was safe.
Jose Iglesias followed with an RBI single.
The lead grew to 6-2 in the sixth inning when Victorino tripled to right field and scored on a single by Pedroia.
Dempster had a rocky first three innings before settling in.
Up 2-0, he allowed two runs in the second innings. Kendrick started the inning with his second home run in as many nights, a line shot to center. With one out, Erick Aybar hit a slow grounder to the right side.
Dempster tried to flip the ball to first base and it flew over the head of Napoli. Aybar ended up on second base and scored on a single by Iannetta.
Trout gave the Angels a 3-2 lead in the third inning with a mammoth home run to left field that cleared both bullpens and landed halfway up the bleachers.
Dempster shut out the Angels from there. He walked Iannetta to start the seventh inning before getting an out and leaving the game. Trouble followed from there.
“It’s hard to get 27 outs sometimes,” Pedroia said. “We’ll be fine. We haven’t had too many of these games but we’ll show up tomorrow ready to play.”Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.