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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lestee outduels Haren, Red Sox hang on

Don't look now but the Boston Red Sox have won six out of their last seven and are inching closer to the .500 mark.

The Red Sox (8-11) won their third straight West Coast road game, 4-3 last night at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

Jon Lester (2-1) gave Boston six solid innings (4 hits, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts) before a high pitch count (111 pitches) forced him to depart. He left with the Red Sox up 4-0 and they hung on as their bullpen had to cobble together innings without ace reliever Daniel Bard (who had worked a ton lately).

Dan Haren (4-1) suffered his first loss of the 2011 season for the Angels (12-8). Haren also went six innings but he allowed five hits, four runs (two earned), three walks and six strikeouts.

Boston built a 4-0 lead based on some luck. Back in his rightful leadoff spot for a night, Jacoby Ellsbury delivered with an RBI single in the third which scored Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

The gift was in the fourth as Angels rookie center fielder Peter Bourjos dropped a fly ball by Carl Crawford. Jed Lowrie and J.D. Drew (2 hits) scored on the pivotal play.

Finally, Drew drove in Lowrie in the sixth with an RBI single.

Los Angeles got on the scoreboard in the seventh as Jeff Mathis hit an RBI single off Red Sox reliever Matt Albers, scoring Erick Aybar.

Bobby Abreu added an RBI single (scoring Howie Kendrick) in the eighth off Bobby Jenks and then he scored on Saltalamacchia's passed ball.

However, Papelbon was able to get his fifth save thanks to a very efficient night (11 of 12 pitches for strikes) that included a hit and a strikeout.

Daisuke Matsuzaka faces Ervin Santana tonight in game three of this series.

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