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Triston Casas hits 2-run homer, Red Sox clean up defense in 7-2 win over Angels

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.

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.

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

TRAINER’S ROOM

Red Sox: Third baseman Rafael Devers was out of the lineup for the third straight game and fifth this season with a sore left shoulder. “I’ll give him today, probably (Sunday),” Cora said. “I’m shooting for Monday, he’s shooting for (Sunday). We’ll have a debate about that. I just want to make sure he’s OK. He’s too important for us.” … Placed utility player Romy Gonzalez on the 10-day injured list because of a sprained left wrist. … Enmanuel Valdez came out after injuring his left thumb when Los AngelesMiguel Sanó fell on him making a tag at the end of a pickoff play near second base.

UP NEXT

The teams close the three-game series Sunday. Tyler Anderson (2-0, 0.00 ERA) goes for the Angels against Red Sox righty Brayan Bello (1-1, 4.11). Anderson has pitched seven innings in each of his first two starts.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

Ken Powtak, The Associated Press