Angels head to Beantown for four

Angels head to Beantown for four games

The Angels, leaving behind Milwaukee cheddar for New England chowder, are souped up for a four-game series with the Red Sox that begins with manager Mike Scioscia throwing down his ace, John Lackey. Boston is scheduled to counter with veteran right-hander Tim Wakefield.

"It's always exciting to play at Fenway Park, with all of its history and tradition," Angels center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. said. "We'll try to put on a good show for the fans -- and win some games."

Lackey has it going in the early season, a rarity for him. He says he's made tremendous strides in controlling his emotions during the course of the game -- "I've stepped behind the mound," he said after throttling Oakland on Saturday -- and the results have been impressive. He's 1-4 with a 5.86 ERA in nine career starts against the Red Sox, but he was 1-0 against them last year with a 4.50 ERA in one outing.

Wakefield, originally scheduled to start on Thursday before a rainout, continued an unfortunate theme from last season when he was unable to get run support in his first start.

Wakefield took a 2-0 loss to Robinson Tejeda and the Rangers. He hopes to have better luck in his home debut against the Angels. This will be appearance No. 228 for Wakefield at Fenway Park, where he is 67-60 with a 4.33 ERA.

Starter Jered Weaver is expected to rejoin the club in Boston and get ready for his first start of the season on Monday against Julian Tavarez. Weaver got a late start this spring with biceps tendinitis but has pitched effectively in two rehab starts for Class A Rancho Cucamonga, delivering 92 pitches in seven scoreless innings in his most recent start Wednesday night.

Shea Hillenbrand, the Angels' new DH, has experienced some tightness in his groin muscle, but he expects to play in the familiar Fenway environs. Hillenbrand was an All-Star third baseman for the Red Sox in 2002.

Pitching matchup
LAA: RHP John Lackey (2-0, 0.75 ERA)
Lackey has struggled at Fenway Park, where he's 1-2 in five career starts with a 7.11 ERA that is his highest in any AL ballpark.

BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (0-1, 1.50 ERA)
Vladimir Guerrero and Garret Anderson have hurt Wakefield. Guerrero has four homers and six RBIs in 13 at-bats against the knuckleballer, hitting .462, while Anderson is a .316 hitter with five homers and 15 RBIs against Wakefield in 57 career at-bats.

Players to watch
Join the club, John: Manny Ramirez has made life miserable for Lackey, hitting .500 in 18 at-bats with four homers and 11 RBIs. David Ortiz is hitting .350 against the big right-hander with a homer and six RBIs in 20 at-bats.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN

On radio
• 710 ESPN, AM 830 (Español)

Up next
• Saturday: Angels (RHP Kelvim Escobar, 1-1, 3.18) at Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 1-1, 4.91), 12:55 p.m. PT
• Sunday: Angels (RHP Ervin Santana, 1-1, 6.35) at Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 2-0, 1.50), 10:05 a.m. PT
• Monday: Angels (RHP Jered Weaver, 0-0, 0.00) at Red Sox (RHP Julian Tavarez, 0-1, 9.00), 7:05 a.m. PT