Boston, which was swept by the Angels in last year's American League Division Series, improved to 9-0 against the Halos this season on Wednesday, as Adrian Beltre finished 2-for-5 with a two-run homer and knocked in three runs, helping the Red Sox to a 7-5 win. Victor Martinez added three hits, an RBI and scored twice, while Bill Hall also homered for the Red Sox, who have taken 11 of the last 12 regular season meetings.
The Red Sox have only beaten the Angels in 10 consecutive games one prior time in series history, and that came between the 1993 and '94 seasons. The Angels had actually won the season series in each of the last two seasons.
John Lackey (11-7) beat his old club for the third time in 2010, allowing 10 hits and five runs with five strikeouts over seven innings.
"You outlast the other guy a lot of good things can happen," Lackey said. "I take pride going deep into games and grinding out innings. I really felt a nice groove those last couple of innings."
Jonathan Papelbon turned in a scoreless ninth to post his 30th save and became the first pitcher in baseball history to record at least 30 saves in each of his first five full seasons.
"We had some positives that we hopefully can build on," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Tonight on the offensive side I think we had much better at- bats and did a good job."
Hoping to complete the sweep tonight for the Red Sox will be righty Josh Beckett, who is 3-2 with a 6.51 earned run average. Beckett did not get a decision on Friday in Texas, but was hit hard for six runs and 10 hits in five innings of his team's 10-9 loss.
Beckett, though, beat the Angels earlier in the year and is 3-3 in nine starts against them with a 4.10 ERA.
Los Angeles, meanwhile, will rely on the right arm of Ervin Santana, who has won four of his last five starts. Santana's latest win came on Saturday against Toronto, as he held the Blue Jays to a run and three hits in seven innings to improve to 12-8 on the year to go along with a 3.99 ERA.
Santana did not get a decision in his last start against the Red Sox, despite surrendering just a run in seven innings. He is 1-2 in his seven starts against them with a 4.61 ERA.