Series: Game 1 of 3

LA Angels leads 1-0 (as of 7/28)

Game 1: Friday, July 28
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Game 2: Saturday, July 29
LA Angels6Final
in 11
Game 3: Sunday, July 30
LA Angels10Final

Angels 8

(53-49, 29-25 away)

Red Sox 3

(61-40, 32-14 home)

7:05 PM ET, July 28, 2006

Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts 

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LAA 010000610 8 15 0
BOS 000011001 3 9 0

W: K. Escobar (7-9)

L: J. Lester (5-1)

Seventh heaven: Six-run inning leads Halos past BoSox

BOSTON (AP) -- Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick hadn't seen Boston's ballpark or Red Sox starter Jon Lester before.

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 play."

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.

Game notes

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 strikes.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press