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Another feel-good day for left-hander Tyler Skaggs in his return from elbow ligament replacement surgery rapidly deteriorated into a ninth-inning horror show for closer Huston Street and the Angels on Sunday.One strike away from preserving a three-run lead...

Tyler Skaggs' feel-good start ends in loss as Angels blow three-run lead in ninth

Another feel-good day for left-hander Tyler Skaggs in his return from elbow ligament replacement surgery rapidly deteriorated into a ninth-inning horror show for closer Huston Street and the Angels on Sunday.One strike away from preserving a three-run lead...

Tyler Skaggs' feel-good start ends in loss as Angels blow three-run lead in ninth

Another feel-good day for left-hander Tyler Skaggs in his return from elbow ligament replacement surgery rapidly deteriorated into a ninth-inning horror show for closer Huston Street and the Angels on Sunday.

One strike away from preserving a three-run lead and securing a victory, Street gave up a run-scoring single to Mookie Betts, a three-run home run to Dustin Pedroia and a solo shot to Xander Bogaerts in a five-run outburst that lifted the Boston Red Sox to a 5-3 victory at Angel Stadium.

Street inherited a 3-0 lead and walked Jackie Bradley Jr. to open the ninth. Aaron Hill singled to center, but Street struck out Ryan Hanigan and Brock Holt, and he thought he had Betts struck out with a two-strike slider that was a ball length outside.

Betts then ripped an RBI single to right, and Pedroia, hitless with three strikeouts in his first four at-bats, drove a 1-0 slider over the center-field wall for a three-run homer and a 4-3 lead as the heavily pro-Red-Sox crowd in Anaheim went wild.

One year ago, the tattered collection of players who manned left field for the Angels produced a .592 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, the worst mark in the major leagues that season, and the 10th-worst mark in the last century.

This season, it was often said, could not be any worse. But against...

One year ago, the tattered collection of players who manned left field for the Angels produced a .592 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, the worst mark in the major leagues that season, and the 10th-worst mark in the last century.

This season, it was often said, could not be any worse. But against...

Bogaerts then lined an 0-2 slider over the left-field wall for a 5-3 lead before David Ortiz, in his last at-bat in Angel Stadium, flied out to left to end the inning. Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.

A playoff spot appears well out of reach for the Angels this season, but Skaggs provided another glimmer of hope for 2017 with his second superb start since returning from elbow surgery and a sore shoulder.

Two years to the day since he tore his ulnar collateral ligament on a sultry summer evening in Baltimore’s Camden Yards, Skaggs gave up four hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out eight and walking two.

Mixing a fastball that sat between 92-94 mph with a sharp curve, Skaggs stifled an offense that entered Sunday with a major league-best 569 runs and led baseball in batting average (.288), on-base percentage (.355), slugging (.473) and on-base-plus-slugging (.828). The left-hander threw 97 pitches, 64 for strikes.

Skaggs struck out Pedroia three times, all on curves, two swinging at the bottom of the strike zone in the first and third innings, and once looking at the top of the strike zone in the fifth.

His only real trouble came in the fifth, when Bryce Brentz singled to right with one out and Betts singled to left. Skaggs struck out Pedroia and Bogaerts swinging at a curve to end the inning.

Skaggs, who missed 2015 because of elbow surgery and most of 2016 because of shoulder tendinitis, struck out Ortiz to start the sixth and was pulled in favor of Deolis Guerra.

Skaggs was dominant in his return last Tuesday night in Kansas City, allowing three hits in seven scoreless innings, striking out five and walking one in 13-0 win over the Royals.

The Angels snapped a scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth against Boston knuckleballer Steven Wrighs.

Yunel Escobar, Kole Calhoun and and Mike Trout hit consecutive one-out singles for the first run, Trout’s line drive nicking off the glove of Bogaerts, the leaping shortstop, and into left-center field.

Calhoun took third on the hit and scored on Albert Pujols’ groundout to second, giving Pujols 31 RBIs this month, the fifth time in his career and first time since June 2009 he has driven in 30 or more runs in a calendar month. Andrelton Simmons walked, and Jefry Marte lined a single to center for a 3-0 lead.

The first two innings were filled with frustration for the Angels, who bunched a double, two singles and a walk in the first and somehow failed to score, the bizarre rally marked by two of their players getting tagged out at the plate.

Escobar led off with a double to left, and Calhoun walked. Trout looped a single to left, and the throw home from Bryce Brentz, while several feet up the third-base line, was in time to get Escobar, who tried to sidestep Hanigan, the Boston catcher, instead of sliding into the plate.

The ball squirted out of Hanigan’s glove as he applied the tag, but Escobar was unable to reach the plate with his right toe, his momentum carrying him just beyond the dirt circle around the plate. Wright retrieved the ball and tagged Escobar for the first out.

Pujols blooped a single to right to load the bases. Simmons struck out, the ball nicking off Hanigan’s glove and to the backstop. But Calhoun appeared to get a bad jump from third, and Hanigan’s throw to Wright was in time for the pitcher to tag Calhoun for the third out.

There was more frustration for the Angels in the second, when they failed to score after Marte and Ji-Man Choi opened the inning with singles. Carlos Perez struck out, Johnny Giavotella flied to right, and Escobar struck out looking.

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Twitter: @MikeDiGiovanna

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