Angels: Red Sox complete the four-game sweep of the Angels, winning 7-0 Sunday at Angel Stadium
News flash: The Boston Red Sox beat the Angels.
Well, that may seem like old news, since it happens so often, as in virtually every time these teams meet up these days. The score, stats and location may change, but the result usually doesn't.
With Sunday's 7-0 triumph before 35,107 at Angel Stadium, Boston completed a four-game series sweep and has won 13 of 14 games against the Angels dating to the start 2010 season.
It's the second straight shutout for the Angels, who lost to Boston, 5-0, on Saturday.
The Angels (12-10) have lost four straight after winning 11 of 14. It's the first four-game home sweep the Angels have been dealt since 2005 by the Seattle Mariners.
Boston (10-11) has won a season-high five straight games and eight of nine overall -- and this is after the Red Sox started the season dropping eight of 10 games.
As in the previous three games here, Boston received a strong performance from its starting pitcher who quieted the Angels' bats while his own offense provided the fireworks.
Lackey (2-2) threw eight shutout innings, giving up just six hits while striking out six and walking one.
Boston's starting pitchers have allowed two runs or fewer while throwing more than five innings for nine games, which ties a team record set in 1946. Over the last nine games, Boston starters are 7-1.
Angels right-hander Matt Palmer (1-1) started the game but was pulled in the sixth with his team in a 4-0 hole. Palmer threw five innings, giving up four runs on six hits while striking out two.
The Red Sox started early, scoring three in the first inning shortly after the game was held up briefly because of rain.
Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury led the game off by smacking a double to right field, and he scored from second base on a double to right-center by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Following a Palmer walk of third baseman Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox slugger David Ortiz hit an RBI single to shallow left-center to score Gonzalez. Boston outfielder Mike Cameron then grounded into a fielder's choice that scored Youkilis.
The good news for the Angels, though: They got more hits in the first inning as they did in their entire loss Saturday, i.e. two. The bad news for them is that they didn't get any runs out of it, nor did they in the third inning when they had two runners on base and no outs.
Boston added a run in the fifth inning when shortstop Marco Scutaro scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Dustin Pedroia. Then outfielder Carl Crawford, Boston's high-priced free agent off-season acquisition, hit his first home run in his new uniform, a two-run shot to right field in the sixth inning.
Crawford's home run came on a full-count pitch from Angels right-hander Hisanori Takahashi. Boston added another run in the seventh inning when Gonzalez singled to score Scutaro from second base.
In an effort to rejuvinate the offense, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia chose to tweak the linup and to bat third baseman Alberto Callaspo in the clean-up spot for the first time all season.
Callaspo, who entered the game batting .304, went one for four with a single.
Starting second baseman Macier Izturis, the Angels' leading hitter, was scratched from the lineup just before the game with a sore left hamstring, moving shortstop Erick Aybar into the leadoff spot for his second appearance there this season. Aybar batted one for four.
Mark Trumbo, who was orginally given the day off, replaced Izturis in the lineup and played first base. Trumbo batted 0 for 4.
Boston's pitchers held the Angels to five runs and 21 hits in this four-game series.
The Angels play host to Oakland in the first of a three-game set on Monday at 7 p.m.
Right-hander Jered Weaver (5-0, 1.23 ERA) will take the mound for the Angels while left-hander Gio Gonzalez (2-1, 1.80 ERA) will get the start for the A's.
-- Baxter Holmes
Photo: Former Angels ace John Lackey found his form for the Red Sox during an eight-inning start on Sunday at Angel Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press