April 24: Red Sox 7, Angels 0

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April 24: Red Sox 7, Angels 0

By SeanMcAdam
CSNNE.com

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The same team which needed eight games before it posted its first road win of the season now, seemingly, can't lose away from home.

The Red Sox shut out the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Sunday, 7-0, completing a sweep of their four-game series during which they outscored the home team, 20-5. The win was Boston's fifth in a row on the road after beginning the season 0-7.

Once more, strong starting pitching set the tone for the Red Sox. John Lackey beat his former team for the fourth time in four starts, limiting them to six hits over eight innings to even his record at 2-2.

Lackey, too, has enjoyed a turnaround to his young season. He was crushed for 15 runs in his first 8 23 innings, but over his last two outings, he's given up just one run in 14 innings.

The Sox pounced on Angels starter Matt Palmer in the first for three runs on run-scoring double from Adrian Gonzalez, an RBI single by David Ortiz and a run-scoring fielder's choice from Mike Cameron.

Carl Crawford cranked his first homer of the year in the sixth with Ortiz aboard. A sacrifice fly from Dustin Pedroia in the fifth and a run-scoring single by Gonzalez in the seventh closed out the scoring.

The four-game sweep was the first for the Red Sox in Anaheim since June 12-15, 1980.

Player of the Game: John Lackey
Whether they meant it or not, the Red Sox apparently have John Lackey's attention.

Ever since Lackey's turn was skipped following a rainout, the Red Sox rotation has been on a roll and Lackey has turned things completely around. He tossed eight shutout innings Sunday, allowing just six hits while walking only one.

Lackey has now allowed just one run over his last 14 innings; in his first two starts combined, he was rocked for 15 runs in 8 23 innings.

Honorable Mention: Adrian Gonzalez

Gonzalez had three hits and two RBI and is tied for the team lead in runs-batted in with 12.

Gonzalez doubled home the first run of the game in the first inning, then singled home the final one when he drove in Marco Scutaro from second in the seventh inning.

The Goat: (Tie) Torii Hunter and Vernon Wells

The two highly-paid veteran outfielders combined to go 0-for-5 as the Angels offense couldn't get untracked.

Hunter is hitting .102 over his last 13 games and Wells is at .169 for the season.

Turning Point: Lackey bears down

In the third inning, with the Red Sox leading 3-0, the Angels got two speedsters -- Peter Bourjos and Erick Aybar -- on base with no outs. But Lackey got Bobby Abreu to hit into a double-play and the Angels only got two more baserunners into scoring position the rest of the way.

By the Numbers: 0.88

Through the first 12 games, Red Sox starters had an ERA of 6.71. In the last nine, the ERA is 0.88.

Quote of Note
"What's it look like?" - John Lackey, when asked if being skipped in the Red Sox rotation has served as motivation in his last two starts.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

Curran: Can we swear off the stupid questions?

FOXBORO  -- To think there’d be no further questions about the Tom Brady-Jimmy Garoppolo dynamic when Brady’s four-game suspension ends would be moronic.

Bill Belichick won’t like them. He’s destined to give them the verbal Heisman. But there are aspects to the story which demand further interrogation.

So there’s those questions. And then there’s baiting for the sake of baiting, which is what happened Friday morning.

A reporter asked Belichick, “You said Tom will start when he’s eligible. Can you think of an occasion when you named a Week 5 starter in July?”

“Yeah, I don’t know,” Belichick said.

“What happens if Jimmy plays better?”

“Look, I told you what’s gonna happen,” Belichick answered.

Pressing on, the reporter began, “So there’s no, there’s, there’s . . . ”

At that point, with Belichick reacting like he’d come open a month-old-corpse and muttering, “Jesus Christ," the reporter cut himself off.

I’ve been trying to steer clear of the media ombudsman business. But this stuff makes it hard. The first question was obtuse in the extreme. I don’t even know how that gets formulated.
This is not a Brady-Bledsoe scenario.

You have the best quarterback of his generation who – 17 months ago – took down what was supposed to be one of the great defenses in NFL history in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. A guy who got smashed all over the field in Denver at the age of 38 and still almost pulled out a win last January.

When that guy’s cleared to play, you sprint him onto the field regardless of the circumstances.

“If Jimmy plays better . . . ”? Better than what? Better than 11 touchdowns, no picks, 116-for-160 and 1,547 yards, which is what Brady did in the first four games last season? Better than Brady played in Denver while getting his head caved in every other play?

I understand that sometimes you have to ask the dumb question to get something on the record, but this was not that. This seemed like someone who really thought he was onto something. Was going to paint Belichick into an uncomfortable corner and hang him with his own words.

Sorry, counselor.

Now, you and I can sit on the front stoop and wonder what happens if Garoppolo plays ridiculously well then Brady comes back and spends four weeks playing like he’s never been on a field before and is clearly an impediment to the team’s success.

Won’t happen. But we can talk about it.

Asking Belichick if he’s gonna go with the hot hand when two days prior he told you what he was going to do is asking for a JC response.

Belichick probably figured that stating Brady was the Week 5 starter before he was asked was the best way to defuse idle speculation. “We’ll see . . . ” or “We always do what’s best for the football team . . . ” would have ignited a thousand hours of conversation about the budding quarterback controversy in New England.

Belichick now knows that the speculation and scenario spinning is coming anyway. JC may hear his name muttered a few more times from the podium between now and October.