BOSTON -- Vernon Wells knew it would be an adjustment -- new team, new environment, new manager and coaching staff, new everything. He just didn't anticipate getting off to the kind of start he did, the worst of his 12-year Major League career.
"It's not something you think about," he said following his biggest game in an Angels uniform during a 5-3 victory over the Red Sox across 13 innings. "In baseball, everything is a routine and comfort zone. When it changes, it kind of throws things off.
"As a competitor, you think, `No, you're going to fit right in and continue doing what you're doing.' But the more you talk to guys who've gone through it, you realize that in a lot of cases, there's an adjustment period."
Wells spoke with Carl Crawford, who has been going through the same process in his early struggles with the Red Sox. Crawford has begun to emerge from his early struggles, and so has Wells. He homered in the first and third games of the series at Fenway Park, a yard he knows well from his Toronto days, and his mammoth shot on Wednesday night off the light support above the Green Monster was another indication that he was finding what has been missing.
"Any time you hit a ball like that," Wells said, "it gives you the feeling, `That's what I'm supposed to be doing -- what I'm capable of doing.'"
The seventh-inning two-run shot against Dan Wheeler broke a scoreless game in the seventh inning. His homer on Monday night against Jonathan Papelbon was a gauge of how his bat speed and timing are in place.
"Jonathan Papelbon was throwing hard," Wells said, "and being able to turn on it the way I did was a good sign."
The two critical throws he made from left field were matters of execution -- hitting relay man Erick Aybar for an out at home and making a strong, accurate throw with a wet ball.
All in all, Wells was starting to feel like himself, a three-time American League All-Star and AL Gold Glove Award winner, again.
"I'm not there yet," he said, grinning, when asked if the two homers in the series met his target. "I took about four weeks off, but it's getting better."