Los Angeles Angels
couldn't afford to give the
Boston Red Sox
yet another psychological advantage in their budding postseason rivalry.
One night after a ninth-inning collapse, the Angels rallied behind
's tie-breaking blooper in the ninth to beat Boston 4-3 on Thursday night and avert a three-game sweep.
, who blew the previous game, earned the save and snapped Boston's seven-game winning streak.
''Winning cures everything,'' outfielder
said. ''I have already forgotten about the
and am thinking about our series with Texas.''
Los Angeles improved to 6 1/2 games ahead of Texas in the AL West, and the
hold a six-game lead over the idle Rangers in the wild-card race. If the standings hold, Boston will open the playoffs in
have beaten the Angels in 12 of their last 13 postseason games dating to 1986 and are 4-0 all-time in postseason series against
''Let's get there first,'' Angels manager
said. ''No messages to send tonight or feelings to get. Our first goal is to make the playoffs.''
Kendrick also homered in the third and score the tying run in the seventh, and Fuentes rebounded from Wednesday night's collapse
to hand the
their first loss at Fenway in 11 games.
(6-3) got four outs, then Fuentes got the last two batters to earn his major league-leading 42nd save and end Los Angeles'
three-game losing streak.
''I thought he had a nice inning last night,'' said Scioscia, who was still agitated over the questionable calls that prolonged
the ninth on Wednesday. ''I think it was good for him to get back out there, but he's been around. He knows what's it's all
about, being in that closer role. He did a good job coming in to get those last couple of outs.''
to lead off the ninth, then pinch-hitter
sacrifice bunted him to second. Kendrick blooped his third hit of the night over the second baseman's head to make it 4-3
and help the Angels avoid a September sweep by their likely first-round playoff opponent.
One game after Los Angeles complained about two questionable pitch calls that contributed to Boston's two-out comeback rally
in the ninth, starter
coughed up a 1-0 lead when he gave up
's homer to lead off the fourth and then a two-run shot to
three batters later.
The Angels cut it to 3-2 on back-to-back doubles by
in the fifth, then tied it in the seventh when Kendrick singled,
bounced one over the Los Angeles bullpen wall for a double and then
bounced a third strike between catcher
's legs, allowing the run to score.
''I guess it's frustrating, but there isn't (anyone) alive I'd rather have back there,'' Beckett said. ''Over the last four
years I can't remember one time where that's happened. It was just a freak deal.
NOTES: Beckett was facing the Angels for the first time since drawing a five-game suspension for throwing at
's head on April 12 and sparking a bench-clearing skirmish. Beckett went over the 200 inning plateau for the third time in
his career. ...
will throw a side session on Friday and, if all goes well, start on Monday against the
Kansas City Royals
. The first-time All-Star, who has a bad back, will not be in the rotation but will be available for spot starts. ... 1B
was back in the lineup after returning from Cleveland, where he was tending to personal matters. ... Santana hasn't beaten
Boston in five starts since 2005, including playoffs. ...
was out of the lineup for the third straight game.