BOSTON – The Boston Red Sox kept fighting back. The result, though, was no different than so many games in their disappointing season.
The Red Sox overcame deficits of 8-6 and 12-11 but were beaten by the Los Angeles Angels 14-13 on Thursday night for their 11th loss in 15 games.
"It was a wild game," Dustin Pedroia, who drove in five runs, said after the Angels completed a three-game sweep. "You felt like whoever was hitting last was going to win. We are playing hard but we need to find a way to be one run better."
Boston (59-66) dropped seven games under .500 for the second time this season as closer Alfredo Aceves had his second worst outing of the year. He was one out away from finishing off a victory but ended up allowing five runs and six hits in one-plus inning.
"The problem is my location," he said. "It's not the reason we lost the game, though. There were like 25 runs scored. It's not like I pitched one pitch and that is why we lost the game."
The Angels had taken a 12-11 lead by scoring three runs off Aceves in the ninth. Cody Ross homered to tie it in the bottom of the inning, and Boston manager Bobby Valentine stuck with the righty Aceves (2-8) when lefty Kendrys Morales led off the 10th. The decision backfired when Morales homered into the right-field seats.
"I did the same thing (Angels manager Mike) Scioscia did," Valentine said. "(Aceves) is the closer and gave up the lead. It was obviously the wrong decision."
Angels closer Ernesto Frieri (2-0) blew a save when he allowed Ross' homer and then gave up a run in the 10th on Pedroia's RBI single before completing the victory.
Los Angeles overcame deficits of 6-0, 9-8 and 11-9 and ended the night 2 1-2 games behind the second-wild card spot in the AL.
"This team still has some fight in it," Angels outfielder Vernon Wells said. "We know we have a unique opportunity to do something special and, hopefully, we can continue to take advantage of it."
Wells hit a solo homer to cut Boston's lead to 11-10 in the ninth and then doubled in the run in the 10th that proved to be the difference after Morales' 16th homer of the season snapped a 12-12 tie.
But Wells admitted that his high shot that appeared to bounce off the top of the left field wall shouldn't have been a homer.
"I saw the way it bounced off, so I assumed it was a home run," he said, "but once I got in (the clubhouse) they told me otherwise, but we'll take it."
Valentine appeared surprised when told at his postgame news conference that the home run call was wrong.
"I didn't know that," he said, then sighed and lowered his head.
Why didn't he ask the umpires to review the call?
"None of the outfielders told me any different," he said.
Frieri was charged with a blown save but secured the win when he struck out Adrian Gonzalez to end the 4-hour, 34-minute game.
With the score tied at 12, Morales jumped on an 0-1 pitch from Aceves. Erick Aybar followed with a single, knocking out Aceves, and Wells hit an RBI double off Craig Breslow for the final run.
The Red Sox took an 11-9 lead in the eighth on RBI singles by Jacoby Ellsbury and Pedroia, but the Angels rallied in the ninth and regained the lead on Wells' homer and two-out, run-scoring singles by Torii Hunter and Mark Trumbo.
Angels starter C.J. Wilson, 0-5 in his last 11 starts, struggled again.
The Red Sox took a 1-0 lead in the first on a double by Pedroia and an RBI single by Gonzalez. They made it 6-0 in the second on run-scoring singles by Scott Podsednik and Ellsbury, and Pedroia's 11th homer, a three-run shot.
But Franklin Morales couldn't hold the lead, giving up six of the Angels' eight third-inning runs. Los Angeles had six hits, three walks and an error in the inning. Chris Iannetta and Hunter had two hits each, and every member of the Angels lineup except Trumbo got on base.
"We get down early (by) six runs and guys came in and said, 'let's just start chipping away,'" Scioscia said. "I guess we didn't really chip away. We put up an eight spot to get back into it."
Wilson retired eight straight batters before Pedroia reached on an error by third baseman Alberto Callaspo in the fifth and scored on a single by Ross.
Boston went ahead 9-8 with two runs in the sixth on Mike Aviles' 12th homer and consecutive doubles by Pedro Ciriaco and Ellsbury. But Los Angeles tied it in the seventh on Trout's RBI single.
Notes: The last Angels pitcher to go 11 starts without a win was Jim Abbott, whose streak reached 13 games from May 7 to Aug, 10, 1996. ... Angels first baseman Albert Pujols missed the game with tightness in his right calf. ... Red Sox left fielder Carl Crawford underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow. He is expected to be sidelined six to nine months. ... Jon Lester (7-10) pitches for the Red Sox on Friday against Bruce Chen (9-10) in the opener of a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals. ... The Angels return home for a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers with Zack Greinke (1-2) going for Los Angeles against Rick Porcello (9-8).