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It is really hard not to like Jon Lester. How can you not root for a kid who comes back from cancer to win Game Four of the 2007 World Series, toss a no-hitter, and establish himself has one of the best left-handers in baseball? On a night when he didn’t have his best control, and the umpires conspired to make him work even harder, he pitched six solid innings. John Lackey, however, pitched seven and a third great innings, and the Angels defeated the Red Sox 5-0.
Angels outfielder Torii Hunter broke open a scoreless contest with a three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning that provided Lackey all the run support he would need.
The halos added two insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh, as Sox reliever Ramon Ramirez offered the world a lesson on self-destruction. After walking Bobby Abreu, Ramirez hit Hunter, and then botched a come-backer by Vladimir Guerrero that loaded the bases. Satisfied that he had done enough, Terry Francona summoned Takashi Saito from the bullpen. Saito, to his credit, almost escaped unscathed. After inducing Juan Rivera to hit into the rare 5-2-5 double play, Kendry Morales singled to left, and both runners scored as Jason Bay’s throw got by Mike Lowell at third. Howie Kendrick then lined a single to right, and Morales was thrown out at the plate by a perfect throw from J.D. Drew.
The Red Sox continue the series with Game 2 Friday, as Josh Beckett takes on Jered Weaver. First pitch is set for 9:37PM. Dan will be providing a live blog of the contest, so be sure to stay connected during the game!