ANAHEIM, Calif. — Left-hander Carlos Rodon brushed off the Angels on Tuesday much like he apparently has shrugged off surgery on his pitching shoulder less than a year ago.
Rodon allowed two runs and two hits in 7 2/3 innings, and the Sox held on for a 4-2 victory to take the first two games of the four-game series.
”It was fun, man, it was a fun night,” Rodon said. ”We had a lot of balls hit at our guys and they made some plays for me. It got me into the seventh and eighth [innings] and catcher Omar [Narvaez] and I just grinded through it. We came out with the win, which was great.”
Rodon was in control for most of the game, not allowing a hit until Andrelton Simmons’ two-out single in the sixth. Simmons was thrown out trying to scramble back to first base after his hit.
Angels star Mike Trout struck out twice against Rodon, who fanned four consecutive batters spanning the third and fourth. He finished with eight strikeouts and three walks and left with a 4-0 lead.
“He’s actually been throwing the ball pretty well,” manager Rick Renteria said. ”He looks free and easy. We were talking about it in the bench. He looks like he’s feeling pretty good. He obviously took us deep into the ballgame, taking a no-hitter deep. He did a nice job.”
The Angels didn’t get their second hit until Ian Kinsler doubled against Rodon to lead off the eighth. After Rodon was lifted with two runners on and two outs, Kinsler scored on a double by David Fletcher against reliever Juan Minaya.
Minaya hit Simmons with a pitch on the left hand to load the bases, then walked Trout to cut the Sox’ lead to 4-2. Jeanmar Gomez got out of the jam when he retired Justin Upton on a pop-up. Joakim Soria then pitched the ninth for his 16th save and second in two nights.
After only eight starts, Rodon seems to be getting better and better. He made his 2018 debut June 9 after recovering from arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in September.
His bounce-back season has been strong. Rodon yielded five earned runs in a loss to the Rangers on June 30 but otherwise has been solid. The outing against the Angels was the sixth in which he allowed two earned runs or fewer.
Rodon, the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, has managed to make his first eight starts of 2018 look a lot like his last seven of 2017. He allowed two runs or fewer six times in those starts before his surgery.
The Sox did just enough offensively to win. They put Angels starter Felix Pena in an early hole with a two-run third. Jose Abreu gave the Sox a 1-0 lead with a bases-loaded walk, and Avisail Garcia made it 2-0 on a sacrifice fly.
With Rodon in control, the Sox added what proved to be some necessary insurance on a home run by Yoan Moncada in the seventh and an RBI single by Nicky Delmonico in the eighth.
Moncada’s homer, his 13th, just cleared the Angels’ new lower wall in right. Delmonico drove in his first run since coming off the disabled list Friday. He had been out since May 19 after suffering a fractured hand when he was hit by a pitch from the Rangers’ Matt Moore.
Delmonico’s RBI chance was created when Matt Davidson hit a two-out double in the eighth. It was only the 12th extra-base hit for Davidson in his last 35 games. He had 11 homers in his first 34 games.
‘‘I have just lost a little timing, got out of rhythm and started to try to do too much,’’ said Davidson, who hit 26 homers in 2017, his first full major-league season. ‘‘That just gets you in a hole you don’t necessarily want to go down. . . . [But] I’m feeling good, and hopefully I will have a good second half.’’