Red Sox 4, Angels 3

Dan Haren had allowed only one unearned run over his previous 22

starts. On Friday night, the Boston Red Sox scored two on a mixup

in the Angels’ outfield, and it was a great comfort to Jon Lester –

who didn’t need any extra help.

Lester scattered four hits over six scoreless innings and the

Red Sox overcame a shaky performance by their bullpen to beat the

Los Angeles Angels 4-3.

The Red Sox capitalized on a tough error charged to center

fielder Peter Bourjos. After a two-out walk to Jed Lowrie and a

double by J.D. Drew, slumping Carl Crawford followed with a lazy

flyball to short right-center. Bourjos, nine-time Gold Glove winner

Torii Hunter and second baseman Howie Kendrick all converged on it,

but no one took charge, and Buorjos made a last-second lunge at it

before the ball hit off his glove.

”It was kind of a ‘tweener,” manager Mike Scioscia said, ”But

it was up there long enough that somebody should have been camped

under it. (It was) not a Bermuda Triangle. Peter wasn’t aggressive

enough. There’s a chance there’s going to be some indecision.

Peter’s a tremendous center fielder; that’s one play he’s going to

learn from.”

Haren (4-1) didn’t find fault with Bourjos’ effort.

”Pete’s the only center fielder who gets to the ball Gonzalez

hit,” Haren said. ”I couldn’t believe he got there. There’s not

another center fielder who gets to that ball. He’s playing

tremendous outfield for us. It was just one mistake. If he keeps

doing what he’s doing, we’ll be fine.”

The Red Sox improved to 8-5 following a season-opening six-game

losing streak, making manager Terry Francona’s 52nd birthday a

happy one.

Lester (2-1) struck out eight, walked two and departed with a

4-0 lead after throwing 111 pitches. Boston’s starters have allowed

no more than two earned runs in the last seven games with a 1.19

ERA.

Haren allowed four runs, two earned, in six innings. The

right-hander struck out six and walked three in his first loss in

13 starts since Aug. 20 at Minnesota.

”I don’t want to lose, obviously, but the chances were that I

wasn’t going to go 34-0. So it was probably going to happen at some

point,” Haren said. ”It was kind of a weird game. A couple of

balls found holes, so it’s not like it was flying everywhere.”

Matt Albers, activated from the 15-day disabled list on Thursday

after missing 11 games with a strained muscle in his back, made his

first appearance since April 5 for the Red Sox and gave up an RBI

single to Jeff Mathis in the seventh.

Bobby Jenks surrendered an RBI single in the eighth to Bobby

Abreu that ended an 0-for-15 drought. Abreu got to second on a wild

pitch and came all the way home on a passed ball by Jarrod

Saltalamacchia, but Jonathan Papelbon pitched a scoreless ninth for

his fifth save in as many attempts.

”As far as consistency, I think Mariano Rivera’s No. 1 on that

list. But Pap has shown over the years that he’s going to be every

bit as good as him,” Angels left fielder Vernon Wells said. ”When

he comes into the game, you know you’ve got your work cut out for

you.”

Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis, 3 for 16 lifetime against

Haren, got the night off after fouling a pitch off his left shin in

the first inning of Thursday night’s series opener. Francona said

Youkilis would be back in the lineup Saturday night to face Ervin

Santana.

Saltalamacchia doubled with one out in the third, as Hunter had

trouble making the catch against the wall in right-center.

Saltalamacchia advanced to third after Hunter caught Marco

Scutaro’s flyball near the right field line, and Jacoby Ellsbury

drove in the game’s first run with a double.

Scioscia went to the mound and got into a very animated

conversation with Haren before the three-time All-Star struck out

Pedroia to end the inning.

”Mike was a little frustrated, as everyone was,” Haren said.

”We thought some calls weren’t going our way, so we kind of talked

it out and he made sure I stayed focused.”

Lester struck out his first four batters before giving up a

single to Wells and a walk to Alberto Callaspo. Scioscia started

the runners on a 3-2 pitch to Mark Trumbo with one out, and

Trumbo’s hard grounder to Dustin Pedroia gave the Gold Glove second

baseman enough time to apply the tag on the sliding Callaspo and

throw to first to complete the inning-ending double play.

Lester escaped another jam in the bottom half when Abreu flied

out to center with runners at second and third after getting behind

3-0 on the Angels’ designated hitter.

”I got a gift there with the 3-0 pitch. It looked a little up,

but we got the call,” Lester said. ”Then I just tried to battle

back into the count with a good fastball hitter. I made a mistake,

but he ended up hitting it right at (Ellsbury). So it was a good

mistake.”

Notes: The Angels have lost 11 of the last 12 meetings since

sweeping Boston in the 2009 AL division series. … Lester has not

allowed a home run in 26 innings over his last four starts, after

giving up three in Boston’s season opener at Texas. … The Red Sox

are 5-4 on Francona’s birthday since he took the job, including a

doubleheader sweep in 2009.