ANAHEIM // The Boston Red Sox extended their play-off domination of the Los Angeles Angels with a 4-1 win on Wednesday in the opening game of their American League division series. The Angels may have been the AL's dominant team in the regular season, but the defending World Series champions showed its a different game in October.
Left fielder Jason Bay hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning to put Boston in control of the game.He brought Boston back from a 1-0 deficit in the first post-season game of his career, and the Red Sox got a big start from pitcher John Lester, who allowed only one unearned run in seven innings. "It's big. Any time you can come into another team's ballpark and win is huge," Lester said. Los Angeles won eight of nine league games between the teams this year. But the Red Sox have won 10 straight postseason games against the Angels dating to 1986.
The Angels will try to draw even tonight in game two of the best-of-five series, with Ervin Santana pitching against Boston's Daisuke Matsuzaka. Los Angeles went ahead in the third inning here with an unearned run. With two outs, rookie Boston shortstop Jed Lowrie fumbled a groundball that allowed Vladimir Guerrero on base. Torii Hunter then hit a lineball to left field that scored Guerrero. Boston went in front when Bay hit a home run over the left-field fence with a man aboard. He then doubled in the eighth inning for good measure.
"I was trying to get used to the game," Bay added. "I had never seen him before." Lester retired the final seven batters, striking out four of them. The Angels, who wrapped up the AL West title with more than two weeks to spare, finished with a franchise-best 100-62 record that was tops in the majors. But this defeat to the Red Sox was their eighth loss in 10 post-season home games since winning the 2002 World Series.
* Associated Press