The Angels and Red Sox were even at 4′s and took the game into the 12th before Erick Aybar drove in the go-ahead run to give the Angels another shot at a series comeback.
The Angels loaded the bases off Josh Beckett in the first, but could only score one run on Juan Rivera’s walk. The Sox took the lead with three in the second before Mike Napoli blasted his first homerun of the night, a two-run shot above the Green Monster to tie the game. He then drove a solo homerun in the fifth for the go-ahead run. Boston evened it up in the bottom half, and the Angels were shut out until the 12th when Napoli got a leadoff single and came around to score on Aybar’s single, his first hit of the ALDS.
Joe Saunders didn’t make it out of the fifth inning and was tagged for four runs on five hits, including a three-run Boston rally in the second. Arrendondo, Oliver, Shields, and K-Rod then held the Red Sox scoreless until Weaver tossed the last two innings, getting the win as a reliever.
Game 4 is set for Monday night, and the Angels look to become the fifth team to rally back and win the series after being in an 0-2 hole. John Lackey and Jon Lester will face off, a rematch of Game 1 in which Lester came out on top after giving up no earned runs through seven.
The Angels came back to tie it up after the Red Sox had an early 4-0 lead, but K-Rod gave up two in the ninth to put the Angels in an 0-2 hole for the series.
Boston scored four in the first, but the Angels rallied back throughout the game to tie it a 5′s by the eighth. Hunter got an RBI-single in the first but Juan Rivera grounded out with runners on second and third to end the inning. Figgins got an RBI-single in the fourth before another by Hunter in the fifth. Mike Napoli walked with bases loaded in the seventh to bring the Angels within one, but Aybar struck out with bases loaded to keep the Angels down a run. Mark Teixeira drove in Chone Figgins, who led off with a triple, on a sac fly to tie it in the eighth but Jonathan Papelbon shut down the Angels in the ninth to end the game.
It was the first inning that hurt Santana, giving Boston a quick 4-0 lead, including a three-run homerun to Jason Bay. He gave up another run in the fourth before leaving in the sixth, being down two runs. Arrendondo and Shields held the Sox offense while the Angels tied it up, and K-Rod came in for the ninth hold the tie. He gave up a leadoff double to David Ortiz and one out later gave up the go-ahead two-run homerun to JD Drew.
The Angels now have nine consecutive postseason losses, and 11 consecutive postseason losses to the Red Sox. Joe Saunders will look to help the Angels avoid the feat they suffered last year, with a sweep from Boston. Saunders is a perfect 4-0 with a 2.75 ERA in six career starts against the Sox, with the Angels winning all six of those games. Three of those four wins have come at Fenway, but he will have to face Josh Beckett to continue his undefeated streak. Beckett went 12-10 this year, with two of those losses courtesy of the Angels.
The offense could only rally for one run as Jason Bay’s two-run homerun in the sixth off Lackey put the Red Sox ahead for good.
The Angels managed six hits off Jon Lester’s seven innings, but only scored one, in the third off Torii Hunter’s RBI single. They also failed to get runs on other opportunities, like loading the bases in the first and having two back-to-back one-out singles in the eighth, but Vlad ran through the stop sign and was thrown out.
Lackey tossed five shutout innings before giving up Jason Bay’s first career postseason homerun, a two-out, two-run go-ahead shot in the sixth. Lackey was lifted in the seventh and is still winless in his last five postseason starts. Oliver and Shields came in to relieve, with Shields running into trouble in the ninth, giving up two RBI-singles to make it 4-1.
The Angels will try and forget that this is their eighth consecutive postseason loss, their fifth at home. Ervin Santana has the chance to even up the series in Game 2 on Friday. His battery mate will be Mathis, and those two had a 14-4 record with a 2.88 ERA while starting together this season. Santana is 1-2 lifetime against the Sox, but did not face them this year. He will face Dice-K, who had a 9-0 road record this season, and had a 2-1 record in four postseason starts last year.
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