Anaheim, CA (Sports Network) - John Lackey returned to his former stomping grounds and pitched 7 1/3 quality innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 4-2 win over the Angels in the middle installment of a three-game series.
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.
Josh Beckett is scheduled to make his second start following a lengthy stint on the disabled list in Wednesday's series finale, when the Sox will attempt to sweep the Angels for the second time this season.
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 which showed two runs allowed on six hits with eight strikeouts.
The Angels scored the game's first run in the third inning. Maicer Izturis reached first on a fielder's choice, moved to third on a single by Alberto Callaspo and scored when Abreu doubled.
Weaver struck out the side in the fourth and got three straight outs in the fifth after Darnell McDonald led off the frame with a double. After another easy 1-2-3 effort in the top of the sixth, the Red Sox finally reached Weaver in the seventh.
McDonald worked a two-out walk in the seventh before a single by Marco Scutaro put runners on the corners. Lowrie then stepped to the plate and drilled a double to the wall in left field for a 2-1 Boston advantage.
"It got away from me in the seventh. I wish it was a different outcome," Weaver said. "I can only do what I can do and we came up a little short."
The visitors gained an important insurance run in the seventh via Beltre's RBI double.
"I felt strong and executed pitches," Lackey said. "I heard the boos. It is what it is. Weave has come into his own. He's one of the top pitchers in the league. For us to get runs off him late, gives our team a confidence boost."
Abreu drilled his 12th homer of the year to right field with one out in the eighth, and the blast marked the end of Lackey's night. Daniel Bard then entered from the bullpen. Bard struck out Torii Hunter and forced Mike Napoli to fly out.
In the top of the ninth, an errant throw on a grounder to second base allowed Scutaro to score for a two-run lead before Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth for his 24th save of the campaign.
Boston right fielder J.D. Drew was scratched from the starting lineup due to tightness in his left hamstring...The BoSox also swept the Angels in a four- game series at Fenway Park in early May...Weaver has lost four of his starts, while Lackey halted a four-start winless skid.