Pedroia's RBI double in eighth earns BoSox sixth straight win; Beckett scratched

BOSTON (AP) -- The Red Sox were hardly fazed after their ace pitcher was scratched from his start.

Dustin Pedroia's tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning helped Boston rally for its sixth straight win, 7-6 over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night after Josh Beckett missed the game with a stiff neck.

"Baseball isn't a one-man game. It's different guys every game," said Kevin Youkilis, who tied it at 5 with a two-run homer. "There's a lot of times when Josh will pitch well. There's times when we're going to need to score some runs for him."

It was the teams' first meeting since Boston swept Los Angeles in last year's American League Divisional playoffs.

With last season's postseason hero sidelined, the Red Sox mounted a comeback from a 5-1 deficit.

"We didn't quit," Pedroia said. "They had a lead. We strung together at-bats."

Jacoby Ellsbury hit two solo homers and Pedroia went 4-for-5 with three doubles and a single. Every starter had at least one of Boston's 16-hit effort, 10 in the final five innings.

Beckett, the majors' only 20-game winner last year, started the season on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back before making his first start April 6. Boston manger Terry Francona said after the game that Beckett is likely to take his next turn in the rotation.

"My best guess at this point is we'll probably keep him on his next start," Francona said.

Boston emergency starter David Pauley, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Pawtucket, made his fourth major league start -- and first since 2006 -- and gave up five runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.

The Angles knew they blew an excellent chance, having a lead and not having to face Beckett.

"Whether you have Beckett on the mound or this kid, you have to play baseball," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We just couldn't minimize the damage and hold some leads."

Jeff Mathis had a two-run homer and RBI double for the Angels, who lost for just the third time in nine games.

Ellsbury reached on a bunt against Darren Oliver (1-1) and scored the winning run when Pedroia hit a grounder off a pitch from Scot Shields that went just inside the third-base bag and past the dive of Chone Figgins.

Mike Timlin (2-1) retired one batter in the eighth for the win and Jonathan Papelbon got three outs for his eighth save.

"To be honest, I am tired of ... our luck here," said a frustrated Shields. "I'm tired of it. They beat us. Now let's move on to the next day."

Los Angeles had scored five runs to grab a 5-1 lead after Ellsbury homered in Boston's first at-bat of the game.

Julio Lugo's RBI single in the fourth cut it to 5-2. Boston tied it with three in the fifth off starter Jered Weaver. David Ortiz's run-scoring single drove in Pedroia, who led off with a double.

After right fielder Vladimir Guerrero reached over a short wall for a running catch near the Pesky Pole to rob Manny Ramirez of what would have been his 497th homer and a tying shot, Youkilis tied it at 5 with a drive into the Green Monster seats.

Ellsbury homered into the right-field seats off Darren O'Day to make it 6-5 in the sixth, but Casey Kotchman tied it with a home run against Hideki Okajima in the eighth.

Weaver lasted five innings, surrendering five runs on 10 hits.

Los Angeles scored three runs in the third on Garret Anderson's two-run single and Mathis' RBI single. Pauley nearly got out of a bases-loaded mess with the score 1-1 by retiring Gary Matthews Jr. and Guerrero on pop outs, but Anderson bounced one up the middle.

Mathis homered in the fourth to make it 5-1.

Ellsbury homered into the Angels' bullpen on Weaver's fifth pitch of the game.

Game notes
It was Ellsbury's first career multihomer game, and first leadoff. ... Figgins extended his hitting streak to 13 games, one shy of his career best. ... The Red Sox designated INF-OF Joe Thurston for assignment to make room for Pauley. "If it does happen that I go down to Pawtucket, I want to show them I'm ready for anything," he said. ... Boston RHP Bryan Corey, who was designated on April 11 and chose free agency April 17, was re-signed to a Triple-A contract by the Red Sox. ... Boston RHP Manny Delcarmen was sent home with the flu. ... The Red Sox are counting down Ramirez's climb to 500 with white numbers on a red sign at the base of a left-field light tower above the Monster. ... Pauley's last start was June 11, 2006.