Lackey ends drought vs. Red Sox

Lackey ends drought vs. Red Sox

BOSTON -- With the trading deadline fast approaching, the Angels continued to concentrate on a big bat for the middle of their batting order.

But some players proved Sunday there is still some thunder in their sticks.

Orlando Cabrera, Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera all hit solo shots in the top of the third off Red Sox starter Curt Schilling to provide evidence that perhaps the offense is robust enough to power a pennant drive. The real concern may be the health of the pitching staff.

Paced by a 16-hit attack, the Angels bullied their way to a 10-4 victory over the Red Sox in front of a Sunday night national TV audience to win a series they could have swept.

On Saturday afternoon, the Angels were five outs from their second straight win here, but the Red Sox rallied for an extra-inning victory led by David Ortiz.

But with John Lackey tossing six workman-like innings, the Angels were able to rebound Sunday to take two of three games from the Red Sox and end their 10-game trip with a 6-4 record.

"It was definitely big for us," Lackey said. "The extra-inning losses are tough. To lose them is kind of a bummer. But to come back and win was big for us."

With the victory, the Angels were able to remain a half-game back of the front-running A's in the American League West after Oakland's walk-off win over the Blue Jays.

The Angels will have little time to rest, though, in preparation for a seven-game homestand that begins Monday night against the A's and concludes with four games against the Rangers. The late start here means the players will arrive home in California about 6 a.m. PT with the first pitch later that evening.

"It is part of baseball," said Chone Figgins, who went 2-for-5 with two RBIs. "All of these games are going to tough. But we'll be ready. We'll enjoy this one on the plane."

The big offensive night not only helped Lackey, but it also saved the back end of the bullpen. Earlier in the day, the Angels placed Bartolo Colon on the 15-day disabled list with triceps tendinitis in the back of his right elbow.

Greg Jones was recalled from Salt Lake to provide bullpen depth. Colon's start on Tuesday will likely be filled by left-hander Joe Saunders but it has become apparent the Angels will need all of their pitching depth to help carry the load down the stretch. Colon will not be available to start until Aug. 11 when the Angels will start a four-game series at Yankee Stadium.

Shouldering most of the burden Sunday, though, was the resurgent offense, led not only by the three-homer inning but Maicer Izturis, who went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. He was one of seven Angels to have at least two hits and one of four with two RBIs.

"Izzy has always been a tough out," manager Mike Scioscia said of Izturis, who is batting .375 with 21 runs scored in his last 21 games. "He is getting the chance to show what he can do. He is getting more comfortable at third base and certainly at the plate. He is getting some key hits for us."

After the Angels scored in the top of the first on Guerrero's single that brought home Izturis, Lackey gave up an unearned run in the bottom half.

Kevin Youkilis singled to lead off the bottom of the inning and then went to third on Howie Kendrick's throwing error on a potential double play ball by Alex Cora. Kendrick threw to second to try and get Youkilis but his throw sailed into left field.

Lackey struck out Ortiz, but Manny Ramirez followed with a comebacker that hit Lackey's right thigh and rolled up the first-base line. The sure out was at first base, but Lackey fielded the ball, wheeled and fired home late, allowing Youkilis to score on the fielder's choice.

The Angels put two more on the board in the top of the second when Kendrick doubled to lead off the inning and scored on a triple into the right-field corner by Adam Kennedy, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Figgins followed with an RBI double into the left-field corner and the Angels led, 3-1.

In the third, the Angels put on their power display as Cabrera and Guerrero hit back-to-back home runs and Rivera followed with a one-out blast. Guerrero's shot left the building and ended up on Lansdowne Street.

It was the first time since Sept. 11 of last year that the Angels hit three homers in an inning and the first time since April 24, 1984, they accomplished the feat at Fenway Park. For Schilling, it was the first time he's allowed three home runs in an inning since Sept. 21, 1997, when he was with the Phillies.

"He's a heckuva pitcher, and when he makes a mistake you have to square up on them, and we did," Scioscia said.

The Red Sox pulled within a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. Alex Gonzalez singled to lead off the inning and Cora followed with a one-out double. Ortiz then doubled to knock in two runs and Wily Mo Pena added an RBI double later in the frame as the Red Sox trailed, 6-4. The Angels had a four-run inning in the sixth, highlighted by Izturis' two-run double.

Lackey (10-6) allowed four runs, three of which were earned, on nine hits and two walks with six strikeouts for the win while Schilling (13-4) allowed six runs on 10 hits with five strikeouts to take the loss.

"If we score some runs we should be all right," Lackey said. "We can pitch with most teams."

Mike Scarr is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.