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Middlebrooks gets only hit for Red Sox in 2-0 loss to Angels

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BOSTON - Leaving runners on base wasn't as much of a problem as getting them there for the Boston Red Sox as their losing skid hit five in a 2-0 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Rookie Will Shoemaker took a no hitter deep into the seventh inning Thursday and the Angels held on to complete the four-game sweep with a shutout.

The only hit Shoemaker (12-4) allowed was a double to Will Middlebrooks with two outs in the seventh. It was the only hit for the Red Sox, who had only three runners reach base.

"We couldn't get anything going against him. He's been very consistent for them," Boston manager John Farrell said.

Shoemaker struck out nine and held the Red Sox to one hit over 7 2-3 innings before a two-out walk to Mookie Betts in the eighth ended his night. It was the only walk of the night for Shoemaker.

Jason Grilli pitched the ninth for his 12th save of the season and first with the Angels since coming to Los Angeles in a deal with Pittsburgh on June 27.

The Angels have won four straight and eight of nine, taking a two-game lead over the A's into this weekend's series at Oakland.

The Red Sox fell to a season-low 15 games under .500 at 56-71.

Josh Hamilton hit an RBI double in the first and Kole Calhoun hit a sacrifice fly in the seventh for Los Angeles' only other run. It was all the offence the Angels needed as Shoemaker danced with a no-hit bid into the seventh inning. Will Middlebrooks broke it up on a two-out double to left in the seventh for Boston, which lost its fifth straight.

Boston entered the game in a slump of 2-for-39 with runners in scoring position.

Rubby De La Rosa (4-5) pitched 6 2-3 innings, allowing two runs eight hits and getting himself out of a couple of jams as he tied his career high with eight strikeouts. Boston was able to cut off potential rallies for the Angels in the first and seventh, holding them to run in each and staying within reach throughout Shoemaker's no-hit bid.

"I thought he settled in. I thought he was really strong early on," Farrell said. "He settled in and was very good. I thought he pitched well enough to win on most nights tonight."

NO PAPI

Despite the close score, Boston gave DH David 9 the night off. He had gone 4-for-4 on Wednesday and hit his 30th homer of the season. Even when Boston got runners on in the seventh and eighth and Ortiz could have tied it on one swing, he remained in the dugout.

"This was a day that we were looking to stay away from him completely," Farrell said.

CAUGHT AGAIN:

Boston rookie catcher Christian Vazquez picked off Howie Kendrick at first base in the third, then threw out Mike Trout as he attempted to steal second in the ninth. Vazquez has thrown out 7 of 16 runners attempting to steal on him.

TRAINING ROOM

Angels: The Angels will be without starter Garrett Richards, who is out for the season with a tear in his left patellar tendon, an injury that occurred Wednesday while covering first on a potential double play. The Angels said Richards will have surgery on Friday. Los Angeles selected the contract of left-hander Wade LeBlanc, from Triple-A Salt Lake and placed Richards on the 60-day DL to make room on the 40-man roster.

Red Sox: LF Yoenis Cespedes left the game after three innings for an undisclosed personal reason, the Red Sox said. Manager John Farrell said after the game that it was a family emergency, but could not elaborate. Boston activated Allen Craig (sprained left foot) from the 15-day disabled list and started him at 1B Thursday night.

UP NEXT

Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.46 ERA) gets the start in the AL West showdown as the Angels open a weekend series at second-place Oakland.

Red Sox: RHP Joe Kelly (0-1, 5.2 9) tries again in his second start at Fenway Park as a member of the Red Sox when they open a weekend series against Seattle. Kelly was tagged for seven run on seven hits in four innings Sunday in a loss to the Houston Astros.

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