ANAHEIM - David Ortiz might not be hitting well with the bat for the Boston Red Sox, but a hit of another kind in the eighth inning energized their comeback victory Tuesday.
Ortiz was plunked on the left wrist by a Darren Oliver pitch with the bases loaded, sparking a two-run inning for Boston, which tied things up before a Jason Varitek double in the ninth drove in the winning run as Boston took a 4-3 victory over the Angels in front of 33,411 at Angel Stadium.
Varitek's double to right-centerfield off Scot Shields scored J.D. Drew with one out in the last inning, capping off the comeback. But Ortiz's wrist might have provided the most important hit for the Red Sox (21-12).
Oliver was one of three Angels relievers to come in after Jered Weaver provided another sharp outing, giving up a solo homer to Drew, one walk and four hits while striking out four in seven innings of work. But the eighth, which Jose Arredondo started, saw the resurgent Angels bullpen revert to its struggling April ways.
"Jered pitched great again tonight. We just had a hard time getting those final six outs," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The bullpen had been pitching a lot better lately, so it's a bit of a setback."
After retiring the first batter, Arredondo loaded the bases by giving up consecutive singles to Nick Green and Jacoby Ellsbury and walking Julio Lugo. The walk to Lugo brought in the left-handed Oliver to face the lefty Ortiz.
Oliver got ahead of the count 1-2, but an up-and-in fastball plunked Ortiz. Green scored and Oliver was replaced by Shields.
Shields got both batters than he faced, but Jason Bay's chopping grounder to second brought Ellsbury home to tie the score. Shields (1-3) came back out in the ninth and gave up a single to Drew and the double to Varitek in the ninth before being pulled.
"I thought Scot had good stuff, just like he did on Sunday," Scioscia said. "He hung a breaking ball to Varitek, but besides that I thought he threw pretty well."
The Angels (16-15) had some life in the ninth, as Bobby Abreu walked with two outs and stole second. But Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon struck out Torii Hunter to notch his ninth save.
Abreu was one of 10 Angels left on base Tuesday, as they were unable to take advantage of early wildness by Boston starter Justin Masterson.
Masterson walked three batters and hit another one during the first two innings, allowing the Angels to load the bases each time. They only got one run out of it, a first-inning score by Maicer Izturis, who scored on a Kendry Morales sacrifice fly to deep left. The Angels stranded two runners in the first and left the bases loaded in the second.
"Masterson did a good job of not breaking," Scioscia said. "He bent quite a bit and loaded the bases for us, but we didn't get the hit. We could have broken it open early."
After an incident in the third where Masterson was warned after throwing behind Hunter's back with the second pitch of the inning, Masterson settled down, only walking one other Angels batter in six innings of service.
The Angels scored twice to take the 3-1 lead, getting a run off Masterson in the fourth on Maicer Izturis' sacrifice fly and another off Manny DelCarmen in the seventh on a two-out RBI single by Hunter.