The Red Sox completed their sweep of the Angels Sunday with a 7-0 win powered by John Lackey's eight shutout innings and Carl Crawford's first homer of the year.
Facing journeyman starter Matt Palmer, the Red Sox grabbed an early three run lead in the first. Jacoby Ellsbury continued to thrive in the leadoff spot with his return to slap hitting, quickly lining the fifth pitch of the game into right field and using his speed to race into second. Adrian Gonzalez followed suit with a double of his own to plate the first run of the game. After Kevin Youkilis walked, David Ortiz singled Gonzalez in and Mike Cameron avoided the double play to push across a third run.
Spotted a three-run lead before he stepped on the mound, John Lackey did exactly what the Red Sox have always wanted him to: he threw strikes. While this led to a pair of singles in a scoreless first, it also led to three strikeouts in the second. After working around some questionable defense in the third inning, Lackey was relatively unchallenged the rest of the way, allowing just seven baserunners over eight scoreless innings, striking out six.
While the Red Sox had all the runs they would need, that didn't stop them from adding on a few extra. In the fifth inning, it was Marco Scutaro and Jacoby Ellsbury singling to set up Dustin Pedroia for a sacrifice fly (the sort of situational hitting the Red Sox have been sorely in need of). And, in the seventh, it was again Adrian Gonzalez doing the dirty work with a sharp single to left to score Marco Scutaro. But by far the most encouraging hit came in the sixth inning when, up against lefty Hisanori Takahashi, Carl Crawford worked the count full before hooking a low-outside pitch up and into the stands in right field for his first homer of the season. He would add a line drive single in the eighth.
With the win, the Red Sox are now just one win shy of .500.