By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Zack Greinke yielded five hits over seven
strong innings, Albert Pujols hit an early two-run double and the
Los Angeles Angels swept their season series with Boston for the
first time with a 5-2 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night.
Mark Trumbo and pinch-hitter Alberto Callaspo drove in runs in
the third inning for the Angels, who stayed in the AL wild-card
hunt by winning all six meetings with Boston over the past 10 days.
Los Angeles has won seven of nine overall, keeping pace with
Baltimore and Oakland in the five-team wild-card race.
James Loney went 3 for 4 with a homer and Jon Lester threw eight
innings of nine-hit ball for the Red Sox, who have lost eight of
Boston had never been swept in a season series of at least six
games by any opponent in franchise history.
Mike Trout tied the franchise rookie record by scoring his 103rd
run for Los Angeles, which has won eight straight over Boston
dating to last season, one victory shy of the Angels’ club record
against the Red Sox.
Greinke (3-2) was unintimidating but effective in his seventh
appearance for the Angels, striking out five and limiting Boston to
two runs during his third victory in four starts. The right-hander
might have found his groove in Orange County after a slow start
following his arrival from Milwaukee, yielding three runs in 14 2-3
innings over his last two starts.
Kevin Jepsen escaped a jam of his own making in the eighth
inning, and Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his 16th save in
Lester (8-11) yielded eight hits and gave a lift to Boston’s
worn-out bullpen by pitching the entire game, but fell behind 5-1
in the fourth inning. The left-hander’s first three-game winning
streak of the season ended.
After Trout led off the game with a four-pitch walk, Torii
Hunter singled. Pujols drove them both home with a sharp double
down the left-field line, giving the three-time NL MVP 90 RBIs in
124 games during his first season with Los Angeles.
Greinke then issued back-to-back four-pitch walks to load the
bases in the second inning, but Boston managed only one run on Mike
Aviles’ sacrifice fly.
Los Angeles scored twice on four straight singles against Lester
in the third inning, capped by Callaspo’s run-scoring hit.
Callaspo replaced second baseman Howie Kendrick, who left with a
sore right knee. The Angels didn’t immediately announce when
Kendrick had been hurt, but the former All-Star flied out to center
in the first inning, which meant his 15-game hitting streak ended.
Loney sneaked his first homer for the Red Sox just over the
short fence in the right-field corner in the sixth inning. The
former Dodgers first baseman has a hit in each of his first five
games with Boston.
NOTES: Trout scored 103 runs in 108 games to tie the Angels
rookie record set in 1987 by Devon White, who needed 159 games to
reach the same number. … Greinke allowed a homer in his sixth
consecutive start, matching the longest such streak of his career
in 2005. … After one home series, the Angels are back on the road
for another week starting Friday in Seattle, where Dan Haren faces
Kevin Millwood. … Boston’s nine-game West Coast road swing
continues in Oakland on Friday night.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)