The shoe is finally on the other foot for the Red Sox. After suffering sweeps at the hands of the Rangers and Indians (and arguably the Rays) to start the season, the Red Sox have turned things around and taken four straight from the Angels in convincing fashion. How convincing? Not once in the series did the Angels take the lead.
Much like yesterday's game, there wasn't much to feel bad about in today's game. The offense was on from the get go, scoring three runs in the first with hits from Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz--the first two being doubles--mixed with a walk from Kevin Youkilis and an RBI ground out from Mike Cameron.
John Lackey took advantage of the early lead and some agressive Angels hitters, working ahead in the count all day and throwing strike after strike. The Angels managed some fly balls, but with none of them leaving the park, Lackey cruised along for eight strong shutout innings, including a three strikeout second. All-in-all, he finished the day with six hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. If it weren't for Daisuke's performance Saturday, he would arguably have set a new benchmark for a rotation which has put up an ERA under 1.00 in their last nine games.
If Lackey's start wasn't encouraging enough, though, how about the performances from some of the struggling Sox? Jacoby Ellsbury picked up a pair of hits, continuing to slap hits around instead of swinging for the fences every time. Adrian Gonzalez picked up three hits of his own, too. And then there was the best of them all: the low-and-away 3-2 slider that Carl Crawford launched into the stands in right field for his first home run of the year.
The Red Sox are headed into Baltimore winners of eight of their last nine games, and with their strong combo of Buchholz, Beckett, and Lester scheduled to start. Suddenly, all is well in Boston.