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 fielder's choice from Mike Cameron.
Carl Crawford cranked his first homer of the year in the sixth with Ortiz (balk) 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 here was the first for the Red Sox 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 with 12 RBI.
Gonzalez doubled home the first run of the game in the first inning, then singled home the fial one when he scored Marco Scutaro from second in the seventh inning.
GOAT OF THE GAME: (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.
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.