Boston at Anaheim

Scoreboard
Boston (21-13)220000000450
L.A. Angels (17-15) «00511100x8140

Palmer pitches complete game, Angels rally past Red Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It took Matt Palmer 30 years to get his first major league victory, and now he has four in a span of 21 days -- including a complete game against the Boston Red Sox.

The Los Angeles Angels' right-hander overcame a shaky start, pitching a five-hitter and retiring the last 19 batters in an 8-4 victory on Wednesday night.

"It's amazing. The story writes itself. But I don't have a chance to pinch myself," Palmer said. "I don't have a chance to sit here and relax. I've got to pitch hard every game. If I don't, then I'm out. That's just the way it is. So I'll keep going hard as long as I can and try to impress and try to keep my team where they need to be."

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After spending 38 pitches in the first two innings, Palmer (4-0) threw only 71 during the final seven. The complete game was the Angels' third in their past six contests.

"I've got to commend him. He's a journeyman who's been around the minor leagues for seven or eight years, and right now he's fulfilling his dream and pitching his butt off," teammate Torii Hunter said.

"From center field, I could see everything -- and I was impressed. He had the cutter working inside, backdoor-ing guys, and had them off-balance. He was changing speeds, hard-in with the sinker, and the curve ball was breaking so much it looked like it rolled off a table. And they couldn't handle it."

Palmer, struck out eight and walked two. He made his first three big league starts last season with San Francisco and was 0-2.

"We got some runs early and then he settled down," said Jason Bay, who had two hits including a two-run homer in the first inning. "He was getting us to swing at his pitch early in the count. He did a good job of using all his pitches and didn't really expose one pitch in one spot. It was kind of a textbook case of a pitcher using everything he's got, hitting his spots and getting early contact."

Mike Napoli hit a go-ahead three-run homer and Hunter also went deep against knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, who is 0-6 with a 9.30 ERA in his past six road starts against the two-time defending AL West champions.

Wakefield (4-2) was staked to a 4-0 lead through the first two innings. But that disappeared in the third as the Angels rallied with five runs against the right-hander, who retired only six of his first 15 batters.

"The offense scored four runs early and gave me a comfortable lead, and I couldn't hold it," Wakefield said. "I just tried to grind it out and it didn't work. I pride myself on giving the club innings, and I wasn't able to do that tonight. Physically, I felt fine. I left the bullpen feeling great, but I just couldn't convert it into the game."

The first five Angels reached base safely in the third, as Hunter and Kendry Morales hit back-to-back RBI singles. Napoli followed with a drive to center field on an 0-1 pitch, putting the Halos ahead to stay.

Hunter made it 6-4 in the fourth, sending a 1-0 delivery just inside the left-field pole for his ninth home run of the season and fourth of his career against Wakefield. The 17-year veteran had allowed only one home run in 51 innings during his previous eight starts, after giving up three in the first two innings of a 10-3 loss at Tampa Bay on Sept. 17.

Reggie Willits gave the Angels a 7-4 lead in the fifth with a two-out single that chased Wakefield, who was charged with seven runs and 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings in his shortest outing this season. Last year, he failed to complete three innings in three of his final six starts, including a 13-4 loss to the Rays in Game 4 of the AL Championship Series.

David Ortiz was 1-for-4, and has gone 137 at-bats since his last home run on Sept. 22 against at Fenway Park. He is eight at-bats away from equaling his longest dry spell at any point of a season during his big league career, which included parts of six seasons with Minnesota.

Notes

  • Angels RHP Ervin Santana, sidelined since opening day because of a sprained elbow, will make his season debut in a matinee Thursday against Brad Penny.
  • Angels RHP John Lackey will make his season debut on Saturday, a year and two days after making his first start of 2008. Lackey, who had never been on the disabled list in his first six big league campaigns, sat out the first 41 games last season with a strained triceps and has been sidelined this season because of a forearm strain.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Matt Palmer, a 30-year-old rookie, has won all four of his starts this season.  (US Presswire)
Matt Palmer, a 30-year-old rookie, has won all four of his starts this season. (US Presswire)

Players of the Game
Anaheim

T. Hunter
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Boston

J. Bay
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF4011010 .295
Julio Lugo, SS4000012 .270
David Ortiz, DH4110000 .220
Jason Bay, LF4122020 .319
Mike Lowell, 3B4000011 .301
J.D. Drew, RF3000010 .245
Jeff Bailey, 1B2100100 .175
George Kottaras, C2100110 .143
Nick Green, 2B3011010 .293
Totals3045428  
Batting
2B - Nick Green (8, Palmer)
HR - Jason Bay (10, Palmer)
RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (11), Jason Bay 2 (37), Nick Green (13)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Bay 2 (10)
CS - Jacoby Ellsbury (4, 2nd base by Palmer/Napoli)
Team LOB - 1
Boston Red Sox
Tim Wakefield (L,4-2) 4.21177322 4.03
Hunter Jones 0.1111100 8.00
Daniel Bard 2100110 0.00
Takashi Saito 1100000 4.15
HBP - Kendrick (by Tim Wakefield)
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Wakefield 91-56, Hunter Jones 10-4, Daniel Bard 38-25, Takashi Saito 15-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Wakefield 2-10, Daniel Bard 3-2
Batters Faced - Tim Wakefield 29, Hunter Jones 3, Daniel Bard 8, Takashi Saito 4
Los Angeles Angels
Chone Figgins, 3B4010105 .246
Reggie Willits, RF5121003 .333
Bobby Abreu, DH3110202 .302
Torii Hunter, CF4322103 .308
Kendry Morales, 1B5131010 .287
Mike Napoli, C5123012 .318
Juan Rivera, LF4011002 .271
Howie Kendrick, 2B3110102 .243
Erick Aybar, SS4010014 .306
Totals37814853  
Batting
2B - Kendry Morales (10, Jones)
HR - Torii Hunter (9, Wakefield), Mike Napoli (6, Wakefield)
SF - Juan Rivera (1)
RBI - Reggie Willits (1), Torii Hunter 2 (24), Kendry Morales (20), Mike Napoli 3 (17), Juan Rivera (9)
2-OUT RBI - Reggie Willits (1)
SB - Chone Figgins (13, 2nd base off Bard/Kottaras), Reggie Willits (1, 2nd base off Wakefield/Kottaras)
Team LOB - 12
Fielding
DP - Morales-Aybar-Palmer
Los Angeles Angels
Matt Palmer (W,4-0) 9544281 3.38
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Palmer 109-73
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Palmer 8-9
Batters Faced - Matt Palmer 32
Game Information
Attendance - 35666
Game Time - 2:26
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Brian Runge, First Base - Bill Miller, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Jim Joyce