ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — When the last out of his first shutout in five years was secured, Michael Wacha pumped his fist and sought out catcher Christian Vázquez for a congratulatory embrace.
Wacha pitched a three-hitter and the streaking Boston Red Sox beat Los Angeles 1-0 on Monday night to hand the Angels their 12th straight defeat.
“Wins like this, yeah, Michael was the star, he was amazing for us,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. “But this was a total team effort. A 1-0 game, nine innings, nowadays you don’t see that. I’m just glad that I’m part of it.”
Vázquez hit an RBI single in the second as the Red Sox won their fifth in a row.
The Angels matched their longest slide in a single season, last done to end the 1988 schedule.
Los Angeles star Mike Trout had a first-inning single off Wacha to end an 0-for-26 drought, the longest hitless run of his career.
Wacha, who hadn’t worked into the eighth inning since 2018, threw 105 pitches for his second career complete game in 190 starts and first since a three-hit shutout for St. Louis at the New York Mets on July 18, 2017.
It was the first complete-game shutout by a Boston pitcher in three years. The veteran right-hander outdueled Noah Syndergaard, who went six strong innings for Los Angeles, and lowered his ERA to 1.99 in his first season with the Red Sox.
“You’ve got to have confidence in this game to get it done,” Wacha said. “I feel like with what my pitches are doing right now, and how it’s playing against certain hitters, I felt like if we can get early outs and get the strikeout whenever we need it, things like this can happen.”
The gem came in Wacha’s fourth start since returning from a stint on the injured list because of soreness in his left side.