The Los Angeles Angels hope a rare postseason victory at Fenway Park will help provide a spark and get their AL division series back home.
The Angels look to win consecutive playoff road games against the Boston Red Sox for the first time while trying to again avoid elimination in Game 4 on Monday night.After dropping the first two of the series in Anaheim, Los Angeles gutted out a 5-4, 12-inning victory over Boston on Sunday to avoid being swept in the best-of-five series. Not only did the win snap an 11-game playoff losing streak to the defending World Series champions, it put the Angels in position to move the series back to Anaheim for a decisive contest with another win Monday."We've got to come back out here and get after it again," said catcher Mike Napoli, who went 3-for-5 with two homers and three RBIs on Sunday. "We're not done yet."A possible Game 5 would be Wednesday at Angel Stadium where Los Angeles would need to snap a six-game postseason home losing streak to the Red Sox to reach the ALCS.Napoli scored the winning run on Erick Aybar's single, giving Los Angeles its second victory in eight postseason games at Fenway. It was the Angels' first win there and overall against Boston in the playoffs since 1986.The Red Sox came back from a 3-1 ALCS deficit to beat the Angels and reach the World Series in 1986, then swept them 3-0 in 2004 and last year en route to their two latest World Series titles."(The Red Sox are) not taking the field thinking they have a world championship behind them last year that's going to change anything," Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. "They're taking to the field trying to beat us and that's what he have to do to them."Chone Figgins had three hits, closer Francisco Rodriguez pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the 10th and Jered Weaver earned the victory after he allowed a hit and struck out three in two innings of his first career relief appearance.Vladimir Guerrero and Mark Teixeira each added two hits for the Angels, who avoided being swept after posting a major league-best 100 wins during the regular season. Guerrero and Teixeira are a combined 14-for-25 in the series.Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury had two hits and recorded the first three-run single in postseason history on a shallow popup in the second that fell after the Angels' Torii Hunter and Howie Kendrick miscommunicated on the play. Ellsbury is 6-for-14 with three doubles and five RBIs in the series.Kevin Youkilis also added two hits with an RBI for Boston, which had its four-game playoff home winning streak."We played a good game, just as good as they did," Boston starter Josh Beckett said. "They just happened to score one more run. They had opportunities, we had opportunities. I thought we played a good game for the most part."Boston All-Star Dustin Pedroia, a candidate for AL MVP honors, went 0-for-5 and is 0-for-13 in the series.Monday's pitching matchup pits the same starters who opened the series with Los Angeles' John Lackey going against Jon Lester.Boston didn't do much against Lackey, who went 12-5 during the regular season, until Jason Bay's two-run homer in the sixth inning of the Red Sox's 4-1 win in Game 1 on Wednesday.Lackey, who won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series for the Angels, allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts to fall to 2-3 with a 3.52 ERA in eight postseason starts."John pitched a terrific ballgame and certainly gave us a chance to win," said Scioscia, of the right-hander, who is 0-2 with a 4.26 ERA against Boston in the playoffs.Lester, meanwhile, will try for a third straight postseason victory after allowing no earned runs and six hits while striking out seven in seven innings for the win Wednesday."Lester was on his game," Scioscia said. "He's having a terrific year. He's got a great arm."The left-hander has not allowed an earned run in 12 2-3 innings of two postseason starts, including the Red Sox's World Series-clinching Game 4 last year.