AL Playoffs: Angels 4, Red Sox 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. ó With Jered Weaver picking up right where John Lackey left off for the Los Angeles Angels, not even Josh Beckett could keep the Boston Red Sox from the brink of playoff elimination.
Weaver yielded two hits while dominating Boston into the eighth inning, and Maicer Izturis drove home the tiebreaking run in Los Angeles’ 4-1 victory over the Red Sox on Friday night, extending the Angels’ first-round lead to 2-0.
Game 3 is early Sunday at Fenway Park, with Boston’s Clay Buchholz facing Angels newcomer Scott Kazmir.
Erick Aybar followed Izturis’ RBI single with a two-run triple during the Angels’ two-out rally in the seventh to break up a stellar pitching duel between Weaver and Beckett, Boston’s ace.
Aybar’s hit chased Beckett, who yielded five hits and four runs in 6 2-3 innings during his first playoff loss in a Red Sox uniform. It was his first defeat in nine postseason starts since Game 3 of the 2003 World Series with Florida.
The Red Sox eliminated the Angels in three of the past five postseasons, but they’ve mustered just one run and eight hits in the series’ first two games.
After Lackey and Darren Oliver combined to blank the Red Sox 5-0 in the series opener, Weaver was better than Beckett, the former World Series MVP, in just his second postseason start.