ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Mookie Betts hit his second leadoff homer in three games, Andrew Benintendi homered and drove in three runs and the Boston Red Sox completed a dominant sweep of the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels with an 8-2 victory Thursday night.
J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers also drove in runs during the seventh consecutive victory by the major league-leading Red Sox, who have won 16 of 17 since losing on opening day.
Eduardo Rodriguez (2-0) pitched six innings of three-hit ball as Boston extended the best start in the 118-year-old franchise’s history.
Boston’s 11 homers off the Angels are the franchise’s most in a three-game series since 1977. The Red Sox pounded out 43 hits and 27 runs in 27 innings at the Big A, continuing their torrid start to manager Alex Cora’s debut season.
Chris Young homered for the Angels, who started the season 13-3 before running into the Boston buzzsaw.
Shohei Ohtani went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts as the Angels’ designated hitter in his first action since taking his first career loss on the mound Tuesday. Although he’s still batting .324, the two-way rookie struggled while moving up to sixth in manager Mike Scioscia’s lineup.
Betts opened the series with a homer off Ohtani on Tuesday night, going on to a three-homer game. He added another homer off Nick Tropeano (1-1) in the series finale, giving him six this season — the same number as Mike Trout.
Zack Cozart had an RBI single for Los Angeles in the second inning, but Boston reclaimed the lead in the fourth with RBI hits by Martinez and Devers.
Young hit his first homer for the Angels in the fifth. The veteran outfielder spent the previous two seasons with the Red Sox.
But Benintendi homered and Devers added an RBI single in the sixth. Benintendi added a two-run single in the ninth.
Tropeano yielded seven hits and five runs in his second start of the season.
Plate umpire Jerry Layne left in the bottom of the first inning after a foul ball from Trout hit him on the right elbow. Layne doubled over in obvious pain while trainers attended to him, and first base umpire Greg Gibson moved behind the plate when the game resumed after a long delay. The 59-year-old Layne, a major league umpire since 1989, had deep bruising in his elbow but no broken bones, according to X-rays.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia will travel to Boston to be with the team next week, but he’s not close to returning from offseason knee surgery.
Red Sox: Drew Pomeranz makes his season debut in the opener of a weekend series at Oakland. The left-hander strained his forearm in his first start of spring training, but has made two rehab starts in the minors to prepare for the beginning of his second full season with Boston.
Angels: Andrew Heaney (0-0, 5.40 ERA) makes his second start of the season when Los Angeles opens a weekend interleague series against San Francisco. The left-hander has never faced the Giants, and he missed the first 14 games of this season with inflammation in his pitching elbow.
More AP baseball: www.apnews.com/MLBbaseball