|Boston (8-11) «||0||0||1||2||0||1||0||0||0||4||5||0|
|L.A. Angels (12-8)||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||2||0||3||9||2|
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The way Jon Lester started out, it looked as though he would get deep into the game.
He only lasted six innings because of a high pitch count, and had to sweat it out before Jonathan Papelbon saved another one for him.
Lester scattered four hits without allowing a run, and the Boston Red Sox overcame some shaky relief by Matt Albers and Bobby Jenks to beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-3 on Friday night. The Red Sox improved to 8-5 following a season-opening six-game losing streak, making manager Terry Francona's 52nd birthday a happy one.
"I had good fastball command early, but it got away from me a little bit," said Lester, who struck out his first four batters. "I nit picked a little bit and got into some deep counts, and there were a lot of foul balls. I just didn't get that early contact that I needed. So unfortunately, I wasn't able to go real deep in the game and I just had to grind it out."
Lester (2-1) struck out eight, walked two and departed with a 4-0 lead after throwing 111 pitches. Boston's starters have allowed no more than two earned runs in any of the last seven games, with a 1.19 ERA during that stretch.
|More on Red Sox at Angels|
"I remember back about the middle of that homestand, somebody asked me: 'What's the best way to get it going?"' Francona said. "And I said, 'A time or two through the rotation and have them give us a chance every night.' And that's exactly what's happened."
Dan Haren (4-1) allowed four runs, two earned, in six innings. The right-hander struck out six and walked three en route to his first loss in 13 starts since Aug. 20 at Minnesota.
"I don't want to lose, obviously, but the chances were that I wasn't going to go 34-0. So it was probably going to happen at some point," Haren said. "It was kind of a weird game. A couple of balls found holes, so it's not like it was flying everywhere."
Albers, activated from the 15-day disabled list Thursday after missing 11 games with a strained muscle in his back, made his first appearance since April 5 for the Red Sox and gave up an RBI single to Jeff Mathis in the seventh.
Jenks surrendered an RBI single in the eighth to Bobby Abreu that ended an 0-for-15 drought. Abreu got to second on a wild pitch and came all the way home on a passed ball by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, but Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for his fifth save in as many attempts.
"As far as consistency, I think Mariano Rivera's No. 1 on that list, but Pap has shown over the years that he's going to be every bit as good as him," Angels left fielder Vernon Wells said. "When he comes into the game, you know you've got your work cut out for you."
Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, 3 for 16 lifetime against Haren, got the night after fouling a pitch off his left shin in the first inning of Thursday night's series opener. Francona said Youkilis would be back in the lineup Saturday night to face Ervin Santana.
Saltalamacchia doubled with one out in the third, as nine-time Gold Glove winner Torii Hunter had trouble making the catch against the wall in right-center. Saltalamacchia advanced to third after Hunter caught Marco Scutaro's flyball near the right-field line, and Jacoby Ellsbury drove in the game's first run with a double.
Manager Mike Scioscia went to the mound and got into a very animated conversation with Haren before the three-time All-Star struck out Pedroia to end the inning.
"Mike was a little frustrated, as everyone was," Haren said. "We thought some calls weren't going our way, so we kind of talked it out and he made sure I stayed focused."
The Red Sox capitalized on a tough error charged to center fielder Peter Bourjos to score a pair of unearned runs and increase their lead to 3-0. After a two-out walk to Jed Lowrie and a double by J.D. Drew, slumping Carl Crawford followed with a lazy flyball to short right-center. Bourjos, Hunter and second baseman Howie Kendrick all converged on it, but no one took charge, and Buorjos made a last-second lunge at it before the ball hit off his glove.
Drew delivered Boston's fourth run with an RBI single in the sixth. The Angels have lost 11 of the last 12 meetings since sweeping Boston in the 2009 AL division series.
|Jon Lester pitches six scoreless innings and his bullpen holds up to give him his second win as the Red Sox top the Angels. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Boston Red Sox|
|Jacoby Ellsbury, CF||4||0||1||1||1||2||0||.190|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||4||0||0||0||1||2||3||.314|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||5||0||0||0||0||1||2||.267|
|David Ortiz, DH||4||0||0||0||0||0||3||.254|
|Jed Lowrie, 3B||3||2||1||0||1||1||0||.426|
|J.D. Drew, RF||3||1||2||1||1||1||0||.280|
|Carl Crawford, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||2||.135|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||3||1||1||0||1||0||2||.205|
|Marco Scutaro, SS||3||0||0||0||1||0||4||.182|
|2B - Jacoby Ellsbury (2, Haren), Jed Lowrie (3, Haren), J.D. Drew (2, Haren), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (2, Haren)|
|RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (12), J.D. Drew (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jacoby Ellsbury (3)|
|SB - Carl Crawford (4, 2nd base off Haren/Mathis)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Pedroia-Gonzalez|
|PB - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (3)|
|Boston Red Sox|
|Jon Lester (W,2-1)||6||4||0||0||2||8||0||2.59|
|Bobby Jenks (H,2)||1||2||2||1||1||0||0||7.36|
|Jonathan Papelbon (S,5)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||2.16|
|WP - Jon Lester (1), Bobby Jenks (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jon Lester 111-71, Matt Albers 20-13, Bobby Jenks 26-14, Jonathan Papelbon 12-11|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jon Lester 5-4, Matt Albers 2-1, Bobby Jenks 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Jon Lester 23, Matt Albers 5, Bobby Jenks 6, Jonathan Papelbon 4|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||5||0||1||0||0||2||3||.286|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||4||1||1||0||1||2||2||.277|
|Bobby Abreu, DH||4||1||1||1||0||1||2||.246|
|Torii Hunter, RF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.212|
|Vernon Wells, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||2||.183|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||2||0||0||0||2||0||1||.303|
|Reggie Willits, PR||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Bobby Wilson, 1B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.125|
|Mark Trumbo, 1B||3||0||0||0||0||1||2||.247|
|a- Maicer Izturis, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.355|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.375|
|Jeff Mathis, C||3||0||1||1||0||1||1||.211|
|b- Hank Conger, PH||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.310|
|a-grounded out for Trumbo in the 8th|
|b-singled for Mathis in the 9th|
|2B - Peter Bourjos (5, Lester), Howard Kendrick (4, Jenks)|
|RBI - Bobby Abreu (6), Jeff Mathis (5)|
|2-OUT RBI - Jeff Mathis (3)|
|SB - Peter Bourjos (2, 3rd base off Lester/Saltalamacchia), Howard Kendrick (1, 2nd base off Lester/Saltalamacchia), Erick Aybar (2, 2nd base off Albers/Saltalamacchia)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|PB - Jeff Mathis (2)|
|E - Peter Bourjos (1, Dropped fly), Vernon Wells (2, Misplayed grounder)|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Dan Haren (L,4-1)||6||5||4||2||3||6||0||1.46|
|IBB - Saltalamacchia by Trevor Bell|
|WP - Trevor Bell (1)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 109-71, Francisco Rodriguez 18-9, Trevor Bell 30-16|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 5-8, Francisco Rodriguez 1-1, Trevor Bell 3-2|
|Batters Faced - Dan Haren 27, Francisco Rodriguez 4, Trevor Bell 8|
|Attendance - 39005|
|Game Time - 3:16|
|Temperature - 63|
|Umpires - Home - Larry Vanover, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - Dan Bellino, Third Base - Brian Gorman|