Angels-Red Sox Preview

The Boston Red Sox are having little trouble with the Los

Angeles Angels, and giving the ball to Jon Lester appears to be a

good way to maintain the status quo.

The Angels are again looking to Dan Haren to change it.

Lester and Haren will take the mound opposite each other for the

second time in less than two weeks when the Red Sox try to extend

their winning streak over the Angels to six games Tuesday

night.

Boston (13-15) has won 14 of the last 15 meetings with Los

Angeles (16-13), including all five this year and seven of eight at

Fenway Park after taking the opener of this four-game set 9-5 on

Monday.

The Red Sox’s domination of the Angels includes hitting .293

with 21 home runs while holding a 97-46 scoring advantage over the

last 15 meetings. They’ve been even better in the past eight as

host, batting .322 with 13 homers and 60 runs.

Lester (3-1, 2.52 ERA) has enjoyed his own success against Los

Angeles, winning his last two starts with a 0.64 ERA and 13

strikeouts in 14 innings.

The left-hander shut down the Angels again April 22, tossing six

scoreless innings while fanning eight in a 4-3 road victory as he

outpitched Haren (4-1, 1.23).

Haren also pitched six innings in that matchup, giving up four

runs – two earned.

“It was kind of a weird game. A couple of balls found holes, so

it’s not like it was flying everywhere,” said Haren, who has

compiled a 4.41 ERA while losing three straight starts against

Boston.

The AL ERA leader, Haren followed up that performance by

yielding an unearned run and three hits in seven innings of a 2-1,

10-inning loss to Oakland on Wednesday.

“The last couple of innings was as good as I’ve felt all year,”

Haren said.

The right-hander is 1-4 with a 3.81 ERA in five career starts at

Fenway.

Lester has been terrific in winning his last three starts with a

1.35 ERA, and he allowed two runs and four hits in eight innings

during Thursday’s 6-2 win at Baltimore.

“He was really good,” manager Terry Francona told the team’s

official website, “and he needed to be because we had chances to

spread it out and we didn’t. But he pitched so well, he gave us

enough time where we finally did.”

It’s unclear if the Red Sox will be without Jacoby Ellsbury, who

left Monday’s victory with a bruised left knee. The center fielder

has an 11-game hitting streak, during which he’s batting .383 with

five RBIs and 11 runs.

He’s hitting .350 over his last 14 games against the Angels.

David Ortiz has a .381 average with five homers and eight RBIs

in his last 12 games versus Los Angeles after getting two hits

Monday, including a two-run shot.

The slugger is also 7 for 20 with a triple and three homers off

Haren.

Howie Kendrick is surging offensively for the Angels, going 12

for 27 with three RBIs and eight runs over the last seven games to

see his season average spike 43 points to .304.

He also owns a .321 average with 22 RBIs against the Red Sox,

although most of that damage was done prior to 2011. He’s 3 for 19

this year after getting two hits Monday.

The Angels are hitting .200 with 10 runs versus Boston this

season.