Tanner Houck, Red Sox eye more success vs. Angels

Field Level Media

April 12, 2024 at 6:53 am.

The Red Sox will look to get the best of the Los Angeles Angels for a second consecutive weekend when the teams change home sites to begin another three-game series on Friday night in Boston.

The memory of Boston’s series win in Anaheim last weekend was quickly erased when the Red Sox were swept in three games by the visiting Orioles this week. Baltimore used a six-run 10th inning to roll to a 9-4 decision on Thursday.

“I liked how we fought. We were there until the end,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “It was a tough series, but we’ve got to turn the page.”

Jarren Duran’s second double of the game got Boston a run back in the bottom of the 10th, but it was not nearly enough.

After another strong starting pitching outing from Garrett Whitlock, who tossed five innings of one-run ball, the Red Sox squandered an eighth-inning lead.

Boston right-hander Tanner Houck (2-0, 0.00 ERA) looks to continue an outstanding start to his fourth full season when he starts on Friday. He become the first pitcher in team history to throw six scoreless innings and strike out least six in each of his first two outings of a season.

Houck has 17 strikeouts and two walks through 12 innings. An extended pitch repertoire has helped him pitch deeper in games and lead his team to two wins in the early going.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster, especially with all the pitches,” Houck said. “Like I’ve talked about, the slider feels a lot better this year, splitter feels a lot better and then obviously adding the … cutter and then obviously always throwing the sinker. Feels good to start out this way.”

The 27-year-old fanned seven Angels and allowed just four hits across the first six frames of Boston’s 12-2 win on Sunday, extending his scoreless-innings streak to 18 dating back to last season.

The Angels’ only win last weekend came with Reid Detmers (2-0, 1.64 ERA) on the mound. The left-hander fanned 12 Red Sox over six innings of three-hit, one-run ball in Los Angeles’ 2-1 victory on Saturday.

“The first two starts have been pretty good, but (you’ve) just got to keep it going and keep your confidence high,” Detmers said. “Obviously there’s gonna be ups and downs, but I came into this year just telling myself, ‘There’s always the next one.'”

Detmers, who has struck out 19 over his first 11 innings this season, is 1-1 with a 2.53 ERA in four career starts against Boston.

Houck is 2-1 with a 4.43 ERA in five career outings (three starts) against the Angels.

Following Boston’s visit last week, the Angels dropped two of three to the visiting Tampa Bay Rays, including a 4-2 loss in the series finale on Wednesday.

Friday marks the start of a 10-game road trip for Los Angeles.

Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon will look to continue his bounce-back from an 0-for-21 start. He hit safely in all three games against Boston last weekend before going 3-for-5 with three runs on Monday in a 7-1 win over Tampa Bay, his best effort of the season.

“Rendon is a hands hitter,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “A hands hitter has to be able to stay behind the ball, and if you notice earlier he was behind the ball but late. Now, the more at-bats you get and more comfortable that he’d become with his hands, then you start getting them out there.”

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