After Boston traded away four-fifths of its Opening Day rotation in July, Clay Buchholz became the most senior pitcher on the staff and was expected to lead the rotation.
Buchholz didn't set a good example Sunday night, though, giving up two three-run leads while allowing eight hits and seven runs in five disastrous innings to continue his mysteriously inconsistent 2014 campaign.
"Pretty frustrating," said Buchholz, who has a 6.20 ERA. "I don't know. I don't know how to explain it. Definitely frustrating."
Buchholz struggled with control, racking up five walks and 118 pitches across the five-inning outing. That's an ongoing issue, as the right-hander has issued 13 walks while giving up 22 earned runs in 22 innings across four starts since hurling a three-hit shutout on July 13 against Houston.
"I didn't have feel for much of anything," said Buchholz. "Second start in a row where walks killed me."
Buchholz will try to rebound against the suddenly cold Angels, who have lost four in a row for the first time since May 30 to June 3 and are 10-11 since the All-Star break.
The Halos still lead the Majors with a 36-20 record since June 6, though, and have Garrett Richards coming off perhaps the best performance of his career.
Richards twirled his first shutout on Monday against the Dodgers, limiting the Angels' SoCal rivals to five hits and two walks while striking out nine. The 26-year-old also threw a career-high 122 pitches and entered the ninth with 109 pitches, but was grateful that Angels manager Mike Scioscia gave him the opportunity to finish the gem himself.
"It felt good," Richards said of being given a chance to finish the game. "That's faith in me, and that's important to me. My teammates and my coaches have faith in me. That's big."
Red Sox: No new findings regarding Craig's foot
Allen Craig visited Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C., for a second opinion on his left foot sprain earlier this week, and will join the Red Sox in California this weekend after no unexpected damage was discovered.
Since placing Craig on the 15-day disabled list Saturday, the Red Sox have taken a conservative approach. That's because it's the same foot he injured late last year, forcing him to miss most of the playoffs.
"He hit the bag the other day, which obviously caused the irritation," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Upon his return, we will take every step to ramp up his baseball activities and get him back on the field as soon as possible."
Craig is also expected to go to Cincinnati when the team plays the Reds next week. As he continues to improve with each passing day, Farrell is optimistic about his prognosis.
"We just want to get him back on the field and playing," Farrell said. "Then we'll see if we have any residual effects."
Angels: Offense continues to scuffle
After losing 4-2 to Boston in Friday's series opener, the Angels have scored just four runs in their past 33 innings.
Manager Mike Scioscia said before Friday's game that he isn't worried, attributing the struggles to the "cyclical" part of baseball.
The Halos still rank second in the Majors with 545 runs scored. They might just be facing better competition -- in 21 games since the All-Star break, the Angels have faced five former Cy Young Award winners and just two starters with a 2014 record under .500.
As a result, the Halos' once-powerful offense has averaged just 3.19 (67 runs in 21 games) runs per game since the break.
• Boston is one of two AL teams (excluding the Angels) Richards has not started against. He has an 8.44 ERA in four relief appearances against the Red Sox.
• The Red Sox are the only team in the Majors this season to not to lose a game after entering the ninth inning with the lead, going 38-0 in those situations.