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OC Register: Angels beat Red Sox after rain shortens Shohei Ohtani’s start

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BOSTON — The Angels held on for a 5-4 victory over the Boston Red Sox on a day that the weather cost them their best pitcher and their manager chose to rest two of their key hitters.

It was a welcomed bit of good news after the Angels lost three tight games to start this East Coast trip, with physical and mental mistakes throughout.

This time they at least had ace Shohei Ohtani on the mound, but even that didn’t last for long. Ohtani pitched just two innings before an 85-minute rain delay ended his day as a pitcher.

Left-hander Tucker Davidson entered and worked 3-1/3 innings, followed by relievers Aaron Loup, Matt Moore, José Quijada and Carlos Estévez. Estévez gave up a run before notching his second save of the season.

They were able to hold the lead the Angels built in between the rain delays.

There was a 56-minute rain delay before the Patriots’ Day game began, just after noon local time. In part because of the early start, manager Phil Nevin decided this was a good day to give both Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon the day off.

Without those key hitters, the Angels still scored four runs in the first inning, three on Hunter Renfroe’s fourth homer of the season and one on Brandon Drury’s sacrifice fly.

Staked to a lead before his first pitch, Ohtani gave up one run in two innings, even though he didn’t allow a hit. He walked the first batter of the game — as he’s done in all four of his starts — and then threw two wild pitches.

Before Ohtani could take the mound in the bottom of the second, a brief but heavy rain shower pelted the field, requiring about five minutes of field maintenance.

Ohtani then pitched a perfect inning, with two strikeouts, but he didn’t get to go back for the third.

A longer shower hit while the Angels were batting in the top of the third, resulting in another delay. This one was too long for the Angels to risk bringing Ohtani back, so the bullpen was in for a heavy workload.

Fortunately for the Angels, they had a bullpen full of left-handed pitchers to throw at a Red Sox lineup that included six left-handed hitters.

The Red Sox scored twice in the sixth, once on a two-out infield hit, but Moore, Quijada and Estévez held the two-run lead through the final three innings.

More to come on this story.

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