Angels beat the Red Sox in the stupidest game of 2012

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Craziest? Wildest? No, I’m sticking with stupidest.

The Angels edged the Red Sox 14-13 in 10 innings Thursday. Some highlights:

– Boston blew a six-run lead by giving up eight runs in the top of the third

– The Angels put together said eight-run inning without the benefit of an extra-base hit. They did, however, benefit from two bases-loaded walks by two different pitchers, a Pedro Ciriaco error and a dropped ball on a botched rundown.

– The Red Sox took the lead in the eighth and scored in both the ninth and 10th innings, yet lost the game.

– There were four blown saves, two from the current closers (Alfredo Aceves and Ernesto Frieri) and two from past closers (Andrew Bailey and Jason Isringhausen).

– Both closers came out for another inning after blowing their saves and gave up more runs. Aceves was horrible in allowing three runs in the ninth, yet was allowed to come back out and give up two more runs in the 10th. Frieri allowed a run in the ninth and a run in the 10th. The Red Sox may well have re-tied or won the game against Frieri in the 10th if Mike Trout hadn’t had Jacoby Ellsbury played perfectly on Ellsbury’s shot to the left-center gap.

– Vernon Wells hit a homer in the ninth that probably wasn’t a homer, except the Red Sox didn’t bother arguing it (the ball hit off the red line at the top of the Green Monster and bounced back into the field of play)

The Wells homer-double debacle probably didn’t matter, since the Angels followed his homer with three singles and two more runs anyway. Bobby Valentine deserves a whole lot of blame for being asleep at the wheel, though, not only for not arguing that play but for leaving Aceves in.

Some totals from the game:

Of the 18 starters tonight, seven players had at least three hits, 13 drove in at least one run and 15 scored at least once. Ciriaco had four hits and four runs scored for Boston, while Dustin Pedroia had four hits and five RBI. Trout went 3-for-6 with two RBI and two steals.

15 pitchers were used. Five of the seven Angels hurlers allowed at least a run, while only four of the Red Sox’s eight pitches gave up runs. Of course, the difference there was that Boston’s closer allowed five runs.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.