Boston continued its recent mastery of the Angels in Tuesday's opener, as Clay Buchholz turned in seven scoreless innings and Ryan Kalish hit his first career grand slam in the Red Sox' 6-0 win. Darnell McDonald added a solo homer for Boston, which has won 10 of the last 11 regular season meetings with the Angels.
Buchholz (14-5) scattered five hits over his outing, fanning three with two walks for his third straight victory and fourth in five starts.
"Sometimes you won't have your good stuff and you have to battle and find your way through it," Buchholz said. "I think that's the name of the game. That's what pitchers are called pitchers for. If they go out there and execute on a given night where you don't have your best stuff or don't have the location that you normally do."
Torii Hunter and Hideki Matsui collected two hits each for the Angels, who, of course, swept the Red Sox in last year's ALDS, but have yet to beat them this season. The last time the club dropped more than seven games to Boston in one season was 1999 (1-9).
Jered Weaver (11-8) was dented in defeat for six hits and six runs over five full frames. It was the first time since May 18 at Texas that the right-hander failed to work at least six innings.
Hoping to add to the Angels misery tonight will be a familiar face in righty John Lackey, who will be trying to beat his former team for the third time this season. Lackey's last win came at the expense of the Angels back on July 27 in his first trip back to Anaheim since signing a five-year, $82.5 million contract with the Red Sox.
Lackey, though, has been inconsistent for the most part for Boston, going 10-7, while pitching to a 4.54 ERA. He did not get a decision on Thursday in Toronto, as he held the Blue Jays to three runs and eight hits in eight innings in a 6-5 loss.
"I threw the ball well, but we didn't win," Lackey said. "I still felt pretty strong, for sure, but we've got a good closer, so, I mean, it's tough to argue."
Anaheim will counter with lefty Scott Kazmir, who is 8-10 with a 6.36 ERA. Kazmir lost for the fifth time in six starts on Friday against Toronto, which managed two runs and four hits in six innings off of him.
Kazmir lost to the Red Sox the last time he faced them and is 8-8 lifetime against them with a 3.94 ERA in 24 starts.