John Lackey Blanks Red Sox as Angels Capture Game 1 Win

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John Lackey Blanks Red Sox as Angels Capture Game 1 Win Torii Hunter, John Lackey and the 2009 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim apparently don’t care too much for history.

The Halos, who had just one win in their last 10 postseason games against the Red Sox dating back to 2004, jumped out to a 1-0 series lead after shutting out the Red Sox 5-0 in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Thursday in front of 45,070 fans at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Hunter's long three-run home run to left-center in the fifth off Red Sox starter Jon Lester got the scoring started for the Angels and they never looked back. Lackey's 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball made the lead stand up as L.A. got out to a series lead against the team that's knocked them out of the postseason in three of the last five years.

Boston’s offense managed just four hits in the loss and made it past first base just three times — once due to a catcher’s interference, once because of a two-out walk and finally due to a wild pitch.

Angels 5, Red Sox 0
Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif.
October 8, 2009

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Headliner: Angels starter John Lackey went 7 1/3 shutout innings and held the Sox bats to just four hits in his first postseason win over the Red Sox in four starts. It was also the righty’s first playoff win since winning Game 7 of the 2002 World Series over the San Francisco Giants.

Dirt dog: Angels right fielder Bobby Abreu went hitless in the win but the No. 2 hitter did his part by drawing four walks and scoring a run.

Sox starter Jon Lester was offered no offensive help as he took the loss despite allowing just three runs on four hits in six innings. The lefty was wild in defeat as he walked four batters, something he hadn't done since July 19 against the Blue Jays. After going 2-0 in his first three postseason appearances, Lester is now 0-3 dating back to last year's ALCS against the Rays. 

Better luck next time: Reliever Ramon Martinez took over for Lester in the bottom of the seventh but failed to produce an out. Ramirez walked the first batter he faced before drilling Torii Hunter and allowing an infield single — a screaming come-backer off his mitt — to load the bases with no outs before Sox manager Terry Francona pulled him for Takashi Saito. After a rare 5-2-5 double play, Kendry Morales smacked a two-out single to left to plate a pair of Angels to make it 5-0.

The Red Sox defense made three errors in the loss including throwing errors by both Alex Gonzalez and Mike Lowell, although both errors appeared to have been missed calls by first-base umpire C.B. Bucknor.

Key moment: After allowing a leadoff double down the left-field line to Erick Aybar, Lester walked Bobby Abreu with one down to put runners on first and third. Torii Hunter then stepped in and crushed a three-run blast to deep left-center to give the Halos a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Juan Rivera ripped another double down the third-base line to give Anaheim its third extra-base hit of the inning. In last year’s ALDS, the Angels had six total extra-base hits in all four games combined.

On deck: Josh Beckett takes the bump in Game 2 on Friday night at 9:37 p.m. ET as he faces Jered Weaver and the dangerous Angels offense.

Beckett picked up 17 wins this season to go with a 3.86 ERA. Although he’s just 2-3 in eight career starts against the Halos, he is undefeated against Mike Scioscia’s crew in two ALDS starts, including a complete-game shutout in 2007. The Sox ace is 7-2 with a 2.90 ERA in 13 postseason games (12 starts).

Weaver went 16-8 with a 3.75 ERA for L.A. this season and held the Sox to just one run on four hits over seven innings, earning a no-decision in his only appearance against Boston this summer. The 27-year-old is 1-1 in two career postseason starts — both against the Sox — picking up the Angels' only postseason win over the Sox this decade when he pitched two scoreless innings of relief in Game 3 of the 2008 ALDS.

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