All it took was a couple of at-bats for him to get used to them.
Kendrick went 3-for-5 with three RBI on Friday night and Kelvim
Escobar pitched six solid innings to win for only the second time
in 12 starts, beating Boston 8-3. Garret Anderson went 3-for-4 with
two hits in the Angels' six-run seventh.
"My first two at-bats, I was overanxious, swinging at things I
wouldn't normally swing at," said Kendrick, who confessed he was
in a bit of awe playing at Fenway Park for the first time. "Later
on, I took the crowd out of it and played the same game I always
In his second start since going on the disabled list with right
elbow inflammation, Escobar (7-9) allowed two runs on six hits and
two walks, striking out eight in six innings. The Angels, who had
scored three or fewer runs in seven of his nine losses, finally
gave him some support, sending 11 batters to the plate in the
seventh to improve to 18-5 in July.
"We struggled supporting a lot of our pitchers for the first
two months," manager Mike Scioscia said. "But I think the last
month has been a little different story."
Lester (5-1) took his first career loss, giving up five runs and
10 hits while striking out two in 6 1-3 innings. The rookie
left-hander brought a 2-1 lead into the seventh, but gave up
singles to Anderson and Tim Salmon to start the inning.
"Tough to ask Jon Lester to hold that offense to one run,"
third baseman Mike Lowell said. "They made adjustments the third
time around, but they weren't crushing the ball off him."
Mike Napoli hit a bouncer to third for a force out at second,
but pinch-runner Curtis Pride went hard into second and Mark
Loretta couldn't turn the double play. Robb Quinlan hit a short
bouncer to third, forcing Lowell to make an off-balance throw to
first that pulled Kevin Youkilis off the bag for an RBI single.
Maicer Izturis doubled to score another run and chase Lester.
Kendrick singled off Manny Delcarmen to score two more. After a
groundout, Vladimir Guerrero was intentionally walked and Juan
Rivera singled in Kendrick to make it 6-2.
Anderson singled off Javier Lopez, just called up from Triple-A,
before pinch-hitter Chone Figgins grounded into a fielder's choice
to end the inning. The Angels added another in the eighth when
Napoli singled and scored on Kendrick's single.
Rivera doubled and scored on Salmon's single to give Los Angeles
a 1-0 lead in the second. The Angels put a runner in scoring
position with nobody out in the fifth and sixth, but Lester pitched
out of it each time.
The Angels have lost 11 of their last 14 at Fenway Park.
... The game was delayed 2 hours, 2 minutes by rain. ... Anderson
has hit in 19 consecutive games against the Red Sox. ... Boston LHP
David Wells will return to the rotation on Monday against the
Cleveland Indians. Wells has not pitched since sustaining a bruise
below his right knee when he was hit by a line drive on May 26
against Tampa Bay. ... Former Red Sox closer Keith Foulke pitched a
perfect inning on a rehab outing for Class-A Lowell on Friday
night, striking out one and throwing 10 of his 12 pitches for