Ervin Santana Outduels Josh Beckett as Angels Salvage Series Finale

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Ervin Santana Outduels Josh Beckett as Angels Salvage Series Finale Postgame, Angels 7-2: We turn the page to the Toronto series, which begins Friday night. The hope is that Dustin Pedroia is back for that one.

"When he wakes up tomorrow the plan is to have him play," Terry Francona said. "If he wakes up sore, see a doctor."

That's the last thing the Red Sox need as they cling to playoff hopes. Sure, there are 40 games left but at the rate they are making up ground, which is not at all for nearly a week, time is running short.

That said, Toronto may be ripe for the picking. Boston has owned the Jays this year and has three starters going in the series who have dominated Toronto in their careers. It'll be Jon Lester against Brett Cecil in the opener Friday night. Hope you come back and follow along.

Final, Angels 7-2: The Angels were probably due to win one against the Red Sox, but it is still a tough loss. With games disappearing from the schedule and Boston not making up any ground, they all are.

The Sox will try to get back in the win column Friday night against Toronto when Jon Lester takes the mound.

Back in 60-90 minutes to wrap this one up for you.

Mid 9th, Angels 7-2: Tim Wakefield's season has become so forgettable, unfortunately. It's just the way things have played out. But even in mop-up duty he is still fun to watch when he is able to make a guy look downright silly. Hideki Matsui was one such guy, swinging through a knuckler in wild fashion to end the top of the ninth.

End 8th, Angels 7-2: Bases loaded and no outs and the Red Sox only get one run. That may have been their last opportunity to make this a game again.

Looking ahead the Sox welcome in Toronto for three starting Friday night. Boston is 9-3 against the Blue Jays and will throw three pitchers in Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz who are 6-0 vs. Toronto in 2010.

9:52 p.m.: Well, maybe we're not quite done here. The Sox have loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth and Mike Scioscia has elected to bring in Kevin Jepsen to face Victor Martinez. Jepsen coughed up the lead just 24 hours ago.

Mid 8th, Angels 7-1: Tim Wakefield's first appearances since his one-pitch loss in Texas the other day goes a bit better. He retires the side in seven pitches.

Ervin Santana begins the eighth with a pitch count of 93.

End 7th, Angels 7-1: Looks as if the Red Sox are ready to move on to the next stage of this homestand. They swung at three first pitches in a lightning fast bottom of the seventh.

Tim Wakefield is the fourth Boston pitcher of the night.

It's looking as if the Red Sox will be seven games behind the Yankees in the loss column with 40 games to play. That's a pretty difficult road to travel.

Mid 7th, Angels 7-1: That was a pretty remarkable inning. The Angels send nine men to the plate and not one hits the ball out of the infield. An RBI groundout, a bases-loaded walk and an infield hit net three runs.

If the current scores hold up Anaheim will be seven games out in the AL West. They still feel as if they have something to play for.

9:25 p.m.: Safe to say Manny Delcarmen did not do his job. He walks three of the four men he faces to allow two inherited runners to score. Josh Beckett's line looks a whole lot uglier than it should.

Scott Atchison is the third Red Sox pitcher of the inning. Bullpen help anyone?

Beckett is charged with six earned runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two.

9:11 p.m.: Josh Beckett gives up an infield single and a walk with one out in the seventh before his night comes to a close. Not a bad outing, but he'll pay for a handful of poor pitches in the sixth.

Manny Delcarmen is on in a big sutiation here. With the way Ervin Santana is pitching you have to keep this a three-run game.

End 6th, Angels 4-1: A walk and an error give the Red Sox a little life. Adrian Beltre represented the tying run with two outs and, as usual, did not get cheated, taking a vicious swing with thoughts of tying this one. Alas, it was a weak pop to left.

Love when they play "The Outfield" between innings. I imagine the outfielders do too.

Mid 6th, Angels 4-1: Well that changed in a hurry. Josh Beckett did not allow a single runner to reach second base for 5 1/3 innings. The next four men not only reached second, but also came home.

Maicer Izturis doubled with one out and Alberto Callaspo drove him in with a double of his own. After an infield single Hideki Matsui crushed a three-run shot into the Boston bullpen, which instantly became busy.

As has been the case for the better part of three straight starts, every hit came on a fastball from Beckett.

End 5th, Red Sox 1-0: Second baseman Maicer Izturis gobbles up three straight grounders for three straight outs as Ervin Santana continues to cruise.

Santana has allowed just one run in 12 innings at Fenway Park this year. He may really end up lamenting that 2-1 changeup he threw to David Ortiz in the fourth.

Mid 5th, Red Sox 1-0: The Angels haven't even sniffed a rally yet. They are retired in eight pitches in the fifth by Josh Beckett.

Beckett has six groundball outs in the last three innings and only one has been hit reasonably hard.

End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Pretty interesting moment here at Fenway Park. The crowd had become somewhat lulled by the steady stream of weak outs but with a count of 2-1 on David Ortiz and one out in the fourth, a rhythmic clap began to arise. Ortiz responded in immediate fashion.

Just as the clap began to pick up Ortiz lined his team-leading 27th home run over the Angels' bullpen in right. Ortiz has hit in 10 straight and is just one homer shy of matching last season's total, which he did in 150 games.

Mid 4th, 0-0: Sure, it's been a bit rocky for Josh Beckett of late, but he has quietly thrown nine straight scoreless innings at home and has an ERA of 0.75 at Fenway Park since coming off the DL.

Beckett has thrown a tidy 59 pitches through four.

End 3rd, 0-0: It is still early but we have a nice little duel taking shape here. Ervin Santana sets down the Sox in order in the third, picking up his first strikeout of the game to end it.

For those of you already thinking pigskin, make sure to check out Jeff Howe's Patriots Live Blog, which will bring you all the action for the Pats-Falcons down in Atlanta.

Mid 3rd, 0-0: Run prevention! It works! Josh Beckett gets a 1-2-3 inning with the help of two fantastic plays by Mike Lowell and J.D. Drew.

There have been a handful of times since Lowell has taken over at first base that he has not made a play that Kevin Youkilis likely would have. Not sure many first baseman in the majors make the play Lowell made in the third, diving to his backhand to rob Bobby Abreu.

Drew's diving catch came on a looper toward the line in right. Both will be on your highlight reel.

End 2nd, 0-0: Ervin Santana allowed three of the first five Red Sox hitters to reach in this one. A double play off the bat of J.D. Drew and a weak dribbler back to Santana by Mike Lowell helps the Angels' righty to coast through the second.

We know the Yankees have already won. Tampa Bay plays in Oakland later on, the beginning of seven in a row for them on the West Coast.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Say it with me folks — Daniel Nava ties a major league record by recording all three putouts in the second inning. Good job.

Nava had some minor issues with one of the flies in his direction as it got caught up on a pretty good wind. There may be some tricky situations for the outfielders in this one.

End 1st, 0-0: A single, a walk and a 410-foot drive aren't enough for the Red Sox to get on the board in the first. Marco Scutaro was thrown out trying to steal second on a questionable call and Victor Martinez's long fly to center was tracked down.

Mid 1st, 0-0: No issues with the fastball in the first inning for Josh Beckett. He pumps it in several times at 95 mph, the last of which gets Torii Hunter swinging for the third out.

Beckett struck out two and walked one in a 15-pitch inning.

6:59 p.m.: Josh Beckett will take the mound in a few minutes in what might amount to his biggest start of the season. He is coming off a promising side session in which he worked through some of his issues with the fastball, both two- and four-seam.

"You see it with a lot of pitchers when they start to throw a cutter they fall in love with it," Terry Francona said. "And he's thrown some good cutters and some not so good. That's why I said the other day get back to the basics."

Beckett has two factors in his favor. His lone home start since returning from the DL was a gem, as was his one outing vs. the Angels.

6:21 p.m.: When Dustin Pedroia stole a base in Wednesday night's win we felt that it was a great sign for him. Turns out he regrets the decision.

"Yeah, that was stupid. That wasn't very smart," Pedroia said moments ago when asked about the pain in his left foot that has caused him to be removed from the lineup.

The stolen base and the rest of the action during the game left Pedroia tossing and turning last night as the pain in his foot increased. After taking batting practice and running the bases a bit Thursday afternoon he met with the medical staff and was urged to give it a rest for a day.

As disappointed as he is, Pedroia was prepared for nights like this.

"I knew that, they told me that," he said when asked about needing a day off now and then. "It's kinda impossible to break your foot in the area I broke it and come back and play 43 straight games. I knew that.

"They kinda won't let me go out there if it's hurting. Today it's pretty sore in the area where I broke it so that's when you kinda have to take a step back and get treatment and hopefully it's better tomorrow."

Pedroia said his all-out style of play becomes an issue. He wants to push it 100 percent all the time but knows that might set him back from time to time. The All-Star will not change his ways, but will think a bit about certain actions.

"I gotta play how I play. That's part of my problem, I'm always diving all over the place. I got to be smart about it."

Fortunately for the Red Sox, Jed Lowrie had recovered enough to be able to fill in. Lowrie had not played since suffering heat exhaustion Friday in Texas.

"I don't think he feels great but OK," Terry Francona said. "He bounced back certainly enough where we can use him."

6:17 p.m.: Dustin Pedroia said moments ago that his foot feels "terrible," not necessarily the word you want to hear. He has been scratched for this one.

More on this in a few minutes.

4:56 p.m.: The Red Sox are going to need another day or two or three before they know for certain what is plaguing Jarrod Saltalamacchia, whose trip to the disabled list gives the Red Sox a total of 23 DL moves this year, seven this month.

Saltalamacchia's leg became sore Wednesday and during the afternoon he was brought to MGH for what Terry Francona figured would be a quick checkup.

"An hour turned into two and into three," Francona said.

The doctors have eliminated MRSA, but it could still be some sort of staph infection. The blood work will not be in for a bit. In the meantime, Saltalamacchia, who was recalled Aug. 11 and has played in only two games, will be in the hospital for up to three days receiving IV and antibiotics.

Although the diagnosis is not complete, Francona is familiar with what Saltalamacchia is going through. He contracted a staph infection in 2002 after routine surgery and had a fight on his hand to stay alive. The skipper even urged media members to pass on his information related to the issue.

Saltalamacchia is unaware of how he contracted whatever it is he has.

"Not even the remotest idea," Francona said. "He has no idea. He doesn't remember hitting it, cutting it, nothing. No idea."

Dusty Brown played in six games in an earlier stint with Boston. He went 2-for-11.

In other news, Hideki Okajima was scheduled to throw a side session Thursday but with picture day and the Jimmy Fund it has been a busy day. Not sure if he got out there yet.

Jason Varitek's scan on his broken foot was sent to North Carolina and there will be a conference call with the doctor down there to discuss, likely on Friday.

4:33 p.m.: After seeing Jarrod Saltalamacchia limping around the clubhouse Wednesday we now know why. Sort of. Saltalamacchia is the latest to be placed on the disabled list with an infection in his lower right leg.

The club is still waiting for some blood work to come back while Saltalamacchia is at MGH for what could be 48 hours. He will get antibiotics, an IV and then will likely return to the club and slowly regain his strength.

The cause and exact condition is still unknown.

More on Salty in a bit. Dusty Brown was recalled.

Here is the Angels lineup against Josh Beckett:

Bobby Abreu, LF
Maicer Izturis, 2B
Alberto Callaspo, 3B
Torii Hunter, RF
Hideki Matsui, DH
Howie Kendrick, 1B
Erick Aybar, SS
Jeff Mathis, C
Peter Bourjos, CF

3:07 p.m.: Greetings from Fenway Park, where it's picture day for the Red Sox. That photo you see when you buy the yearbook or the poster will be shot in the next hour or so. At least nine of those players, 10 if you include Josh Beckett, will be on the field later on to go for the sweep of the Angels. Here is the lineup:

Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Victor Martinez, C
Adrian Beltre, 3B
J.D. Drew, RF
Mike Lowell, 1B
Ryan Kalish, CF
Daniel Nava, LF

8:20 a.m.:There are many who believe that if the Red Sox are going to ever make a serious run at a playoff spot, Josh Beckett has to be on his game, or at least better than he has been.

Following two rough outings on the road, Beckett takes the ball in the finale of a three-game series with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Thursday.

The right-hander followed up three solid starts after coming off the disabled list with a pair of troubling appearances at New York and Texas. He went 0-1 with a 12.10 ERA in those outings and helped the Rangers rally from an 8-2 deficit last Friday night.

Beckett has always had better results when he gets an extra day of rest, as is the case Thursday. He is 17-11 with a 3.11 ERA in 36 career starts in such situations.

The Red Sox enter the finale of the set with a 9-0 record against the Angels but still six games behind both New York and Tampa Bay in the loss column.

Ervin Santana, who dueled with Jon Lesterat Fenway Park back in May, will start for Anaheim.

First pitch is 7:10 p.m.

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