ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Not even video replay could rescue the Boston Red Sox in the 19th inning against the Los Angeles Angels.
Brandon Workman, the ninth Red Sox pitcher, threw a full-count pitch to Albert Pujols that was launched to the high wall in right-center field.
The drive hit close to the yellow line at the edge of the seats and was ruled a home run. Red Sox manager John Farrell made a replay challenge, but the call stood, and Boston trudged off the field with a tough 5-4 defeat in the early hours of Sunday morning.
“As hard-fought as we played this game — as did they — sometimes extended games can feel like two losses when you come out on the short end,” Farrell said. “But I couldn’t have been more proud of the way our guys battled through 19 innings.”
Pujols’ 514th home run ended this marathon that started on Saturday night, lasted 6 hours, 31 minutes, and featured 558 pitches. It was the longest game in the majors this season.
The Red Sox had their chances to win, but couldn’t hold one-run leads in the eighth and 14th innings. Clay Buchholz gave up a tying solo homer in the eighth to Mike Trout.
The Angels had run out of relievers, so Matt Shoemaker (10-4) came in and retired all nine batters he faced to get the victory.
Boston’s Dustin Pedroia singled with one out in the 14th against Cory Rasmus, then stole second — and third — on a pitch to David Ortiz while the infield defense was overshifted to the right side.
Pujols, who moved from first base to third before the inning, took the throw from catcher Hank Conger at second base and made a late tag on Pedroia, who alertly hustled to third when Rasmus didn’t cover the vacated bag.
Ortiz followed with a tying sacrifice fly.
“Anytime the opposition is in an overshift, it’s always a possibility of the extra stolen base if they’re covering on the back side,” Farrell said. “It was a great heads-up part on Dustin’s part. Fortunately, we were able to put together a run to go ahead, but we gave it right back the next half-inning.”
The Angels loaded the bases with none out against Junichi Tazawa. Trout drove in the tying run with a fielder’s choice grounder that scored pinch-hitter Chris Iannetta, who opened the inning with a double.
“That tells you something about this ballclub,” Pujols said. “We could have easily just say, ‘Forget it’ after David Ortiz’s sacrifice fly and just come back tomorrow. But Chris came back and hit a huge double, and we ended up tying the game.
“A game like this can hopefully turn things around for us. And if that’s the case, it’s worth it to play 19 innings.”
Buchholz, who gave up seven runs in each of his previous starts and threw a season-high 114 pitches last Sunday against the Yankees, took a 3-2 lead into the eighth. But Trout drove the right-hander’s 115th pitch into the seats in right-center with one out for his 26th home run, and just his second in 17 games.
Five days after beating the Dodgers 5-0 for his first major league shutout, Angels starter Garrett Richards took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Pedroia broke it up with a leadoff single. It was the first of three straight hits, followed by two infield errors that helped Boston pull ahead 3-2.
“We were going up against one of the best starters statistically in the league this year,” Farrell said. “We finally broke through in the seventh, but one guys after another that they brought out of the bullpen did the job.”
Red Sox: Catcher David Ross, who hasn’t played since Aug. 1 because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, appears on course to be activated on Aug. 17 when he is eligible to come off the disabled list.
Angels: reliever Joe Thatcher, who has missed seven games with a sprained left ankle, isn’t expected back from the DL until the Angels host Oakland in a pivotal four-game series from Aug. 28-31.
Red Sox right-hander Rubby De La Rosa (3-4, 3.43 ERA) opposes Angels lefty Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.84 ERA) in the series finale Sunday. Santiago lost both of his starts against Boston last year while pitching for the Chicago White Sox.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press