Masataka Yoshida Hits Two RBI Singles, Red Sox Clean Up Defense in 7-2 Win over Angels

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Boston Red Sox’s Masataka Yoshida runs on his ground out in front of Los Angeles Angels’ Logan O’Hoppe during the seventh inning of a baseball game, Saturday, April 13, 2024, in Boston.

BOSTON (AP) — Triston Casas hit a long two-run homer in a four-run first inning and the Boston Red Sox cleaned up their season-long defensive problems in a 7-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday for their first home victory of the season.

Masataka Yoshida added two RBI singles for the Red Sox. They opened 0-4 at home while committing eight errors that led to nine unearned runs. For the season, they made 14 accounting for 15 unearned.

But on Saturday, they were clean in the field, including a nice play up-the-middle by shortstop David Hamilton that led to a force out. The game ended with a nifty 6-4-3 double play.

Taylor Ward hit a two-run homer — the 8,999th in club history — for the Angels, who beat Boston 7-0 in the series opener Friday. Slugger Mike Trout went 0 for 4 with a strikeout.

Wearing their City Connect uniforms that pay tribute to the Boston Marathon’s finish-line colors with bright yellow jerseys and powder blue hats for the second straight game, the Red Sox broke ahead with the four-run first against Griffin Canning (0-2).

Yoshida had an RBI single before Casas belted a drive estimated at 429 feet over the Angels’ bullpen, making it 3-0. When he got into the dugout after trotting around the bases, someone draped a B.A.A. 5K medal around his neck. Red Sox manager Alex Cora ran the race in the morning.

Cora said afterward that it was his medal.

“That caught me by surprise, actually. I didn’t know we had that,” Casas said. “I don’t know how long that’s going to stick. I don’t know if that’s just a marathon thing for two days or if we’re going to keep riding it out. I’ll try to at least put it on (Sunday).”

Casas felt its one of the deeper balls he’s hit.

“That was a big swing for us,” Cora said.

AP Photo/Michael Dwyer
Boston Red Sox’s Triston Casas, right, celebrates after his two-run home run that also drove in Masataka Yoshida, left, during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, April 13, 2024, in Boston.

Ceddanne Rafael’s run-scoring single made it 4-0 before they added two more runs in the second.

Greg Weissert (1-1) worked two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts for the victory.

Boston improved to 28-8 wearing the yellow and blue.

Looking to play better defense, the Red Sox took infield before batting practice about three hours prior to the game’s start.

Canning was tagged for seven runs — six earned — in four innings.

“When you put balls over the plate, they don’t miss them,” Angels manager Ron Washington said. “Especially the one that Casas hit. Before you know, we were down 4-0.”

Recalled from Triple-A Worcester before the game, Boston starter Cooper Criswell gave up two runs in four innings.

“We played good defense behind him and he gave us enough,” Cora said.