Angels Drop To .500 As Red Sox Finish Sweep

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Scutaro, Red Sox Slam The Door On Pineiro-Less Angels

The Red Sox finished off their sweep of the Angels, thanks to a eighth-inning grand slam by Marco Scutaro off Fernando Rodney, sending the Halos to their fourth straight loss. The Angels are now nine games behind the Texas Rangers, as thoughts move toward 2011.

It appears Derrek Lee was warranted in not wanting to get traded to Anaheim from the Chicago Cubs.

The Angels fortunes didn’t look so bright, even before the game began, as Joel Pineiro was scratched from his scheduled start during pregame warmups. Per the Associated Press:

Los Angeles Angels right-hander Joel Pineiro will miss six to eight weeks after straining a muscle in his left side while warming up for a start against the Boston Red Sox.

Pineiro hurt an oblique muscle Wednesday while throwing in the bullpen. He underwent an MRI exam and the Angels announced he’ll be out for well over a month.

Scot Shields made the emergency start, his first start since September 28, 2003, and was understandably not up to the task. Shields allowed four hits and two walks while recording only five outs, giving up two runs.

However, relievers Francisco Rodriguez and Rich Thompson picked up the slack, combining for 5 1/3 innings of relief, as the Angels fought back to take a 3-2 lead. They gave up only one run, a game-tying solo home run to Kevin Youkilis in the seventh inning.

The Angels have tomorrow off before beginning an increasingly unimportant three-game series with Texas on Friday night.

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Joel Pineiro Scratched From Start, Replaced By Scot Shields

Joel Pineiro was a late scratch by the Angels from his start today, and replaced by reliever Scot Sheilds. Shields hasn’t started a big league game since September 28, 2003, and had made 399 straight relief appearances before today’s start.

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Today's Angels-Red Sox Lineups

Here are the lineups for today’s series finale with Boston:

Red Sox
Scutaro SS
McDonald RF
Youkilis 1B
Ortiz DH
Martinez C
Beltre 3B
Hermida LF
Hall 2B
Patterson CF
Beckett P

Sean McAdam of Comcast Sports Net reported that both Jonathan Papelbon and Daniel Bard are unavailable for today’s game.

Angels
Aybar SS
Izturis DH
Callaspo 3B
Abreu RF
Matsui LF
Kendrick 2B
Napoli 1B
Wilson C
Willits CF
Pineiro P

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Angels Wrap Up Series With Boston Trying To Stop Freefall

(Sports Network) - Josh Beckett makes his second start since returning from the disabled list this afternoon when the Boston Red Sox try to complete a three-game sweep against the LA Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium.

Boston, which was swept by Anaheim in last year's ALDS, already swept a four- game set from the Angels in Fenway earlier in the year and is 6-0 against them this season while also winning eight of the last nine meetings overall.

Beckett, who is 1-1 with a 6.66 earned run average on the year, returned on Friday after missing two months with a back injury, but did not get a decision in Seattle, as he allowed a run and five hits in 5 2/3 innings of his team's 2-1 win.

"Oh man, that was so encouraging," said Red Sox manager Terry Francona of Beckett's impressive return. "The ball came out of his hand good. He threw his breaking ball really well, and that's what he had really wanted to spend the majority of his time on in the bullpen session with [pitching coach] John [Farrell], and it was crisp."

Beckett has faced the Angels eight times and is 2-3 with a 4.13 ERA.

The Angels, meanwhile, will counter with righty Joel Pineiro, who lost for the first time in eight decisions last Wednesday in New York. The Yankees reached him for six runs and 11 hits in six innings in that one, dropping Pineiro to 10-7 on the year to go along with a 4.18 ERA.

Pineiro lost to the Red Sox earlier in the season and is 3-6 lifetime versus them with a 5.94 ERA.

John Lackey had a successful return to Anaheim on Tuesday, as he pitched 7 1/3 quality innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 4-2 win.

Lackey (10-5), who pitched for the Angels for his entire eight-year career before inking a free agent contract with Boston in the offseason, allowed two runs on seven hits for the Red Sox, who have won two straight games and four of six overall.

Jed Lowrie hit a two-run double and Adrian Beltre added a key RBI in the victory.

Bobby Abreu hit a solo home run and finished with two RBI for the struggling Angels, who have dropped three straight and six of their last seven games.

Jered Weaver started on the hill for Los Angeles and was very strong through six scoreless innings, but suffered the loss. Weaver (9-7) exited after seven full frames and ended with a line that showed two runs allowed on six hits with eight strikeouts.

The Red Sox swept a four-game home set over the Angels from May 3-6, but have lost seven of their last 11 in Anaheim.

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