Porcello stymies Angels as Red Sox end skid

Porcello stymies Angels as Red Sox end skid

ANAHEIM -- In order to halt a season-high four-game losing streak, the Boston Red Sox called on "Mr. Consistency."

Right-hander Rick Porcello delivered, tossing his first complete game as a member of the Red Sox and getting some help on homers from Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. in a 6-2 win over the Angels in the second game of a four-game set on Friday night.

"Rick was outstanding," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He had just very good command the entire night. Stayed ahead in the count. Pitched to all quadrants of the strike zone. He used his four-seamer in to some powerful right-handed hitters in our lineup."

Porcello was dominant after the Angels' two-run second inning, working efficiently to move himself into a tie with White Sox lefty Chris Sale and Orioles righty Chris Tillman for the American League lead with 14 wins. It was Porcello's first complete game since 2014, as he struck out three and walked none on a tidy 107 pitches.

Porcello ties AL leaders with 14th win

Porcello's complete game

The Red Sox were a problem all night for Angels right-hander Tim Lincecum, who had a bout of wildness that could influence his future in the starting rotation. The veteran tied a career high with six walks, but limited the damage and took a 3-2 game into the sixth, when a leadoff homer to Jackie Bradley Jr. ended his night. Lincecum's four earned runs allowed lowered his season ERA from 8.70 to 8.49.

"The first 30 or 40 pitches Tim threw, I think it was pretty obvious that he had a lot of problems with his delivery and his release point," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He couldn't get his fastball into the zone where he wanted to. … All in all, some of the same things plagued him."

The Red Sox entered the game in the lead for the second AL Wild Card spot , and the win moved them within 1 1/2 games of the first-place Orioles in the AL East. The Angels' loss ended their season-high seven-game home winning streak.

"We've shown a lot of resilience," said Farrell. "We've been able to get some quality pitching. Rick has a been a primary reason for that, not going more than three [losses in a row as a team] until last night. He's been our stopper, and he's been very consistent, probably the most dependable guy in our rotation when you go back to the opening series of the season."

Bogaerts' new homer high: Bogaerts' two-run shot to left in the seventh, which Statcast™ projected at 411 feet, was his 13th of the season, setting a new career high with 61 games left in the season. Bogaerts went deep seven times last year after clubbing 12 homers in his rookie season. Interestingly, Bogaerts was more enthused by his RBI double to right-center in the third.

"I'm definitely more pleased with the line drive to right field, I'm going to be honest with you," said Bogaerts. "It was something I probably couldn't have done two weeks ago. I worked a lot in the cage and got it back. Hopefully I can continue to work on it to not lose that feeling."

Bogaerts' two-run home run

Angels strike first: The Angels got to Porcello just once, as back-to-back hits from Albert Pujols and Daniel Nava to lead off the second inning led to a 2-0 lead. Pujols came around to score on Andrelton Simmons' RBI groundout, and Nava tallied two batters later on Carlos Perez's RBI single up the middle.

"We had some opportunities and hit the ball hard for a couple runs early," Scioscia said, "but [Porcello] settled in and we didn't get too many looks at him as the game went on."

Perez's RBI single

Mookie uses hops: With the Red Sox nursing a 4-2 lead in the sixth, the Angels had a runner on first with two outs when Pujols scorched a liner to deep right. Mookie Betts got a nice jump and made a twisting, leaping catch in front of the wall.

"At the time, a big play," said Farrell. "Rick's trying to climb the ladder away. He didn't quite get it to maybe the spot he intended. An 0-2 count, you don't anticipate a ball being driven as it was. But our outfield play tonight was very good. Jackie made a couple nice running catches. Mookie's was big in that moment."

Betts' leaping catch robs Pujols

Un-Freak-like: Lincecum's command was lacking from the start, as he walked the first two batters of the game on eight pitches. The six walks were his most since May 23, 2014. Of his 90 pitches, 47 were balls. He has a 9.56 ERA in five July starts.

"I battled myself just about every inning, trying to find an abbreviated motion to just work with what I've got right now," Lincecum said. "I'm trying to find the extra fifth or sixth gear that I can make 0-2 pitches and have them be quality, but I don't know. I keep battling myself and make it hard to get outs." More >

Lincecum strikes out Ramirez

"It keeps everybody on their toes. Everybody's active and engaged in the game. He's looking to fill up the zone. Pitchers who do that, it makes for quick games." -- Bradley, on Porcello's fast pace

"I just keep battling myself out there. If I start battling the hitters, I'll do a better job." -- Lincecum, on his recent struggles

Since Aug. 26 of last season, Porcello is 18-6 with a 3.37 ERA in 29 starts.

Friday marked just the second time in Lincecum's career that he threw more balls than strikes in an outing.

Red Sox: Drew Pomeranz makes his third start for the Red Sox, and first on the road, in Saturday's 9:05 p.m. ET contest against the Angels. The lefty gave up two runs over six innings in his last start, taking a tough-luck loss. He will seek his first win since joining Boston after the All-Star break in a trade with San Diego.

Angels: Left-hander Hector Santiago is set to make what could be his final start with the Angels on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. PT. Santiago, a candidate to be moved before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, has given up three runs or fewer in five straight starts.

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Fabian Ardaya is a reporter for MLB.com based in Anaheim. He covered the Angels on Friday.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.