By Sean McAdam
BOSTON -- J.D. Drew, hitting just .231, is out of the lineup Wednesday night despite the presence of a right-hander -- Ervin Santana -- on the mound for the opponents.
Terry Francona went with Mike Cameron in right field.
"Drew's been scuffling a little bit,'' explained Francona. "We want him to play tomorrow. Cam's got some hits off this guy (2-for-2) and we want to keep Cam sharp. So, it's a little combination of both."
Drew has just one homer and five RBI and is hitless over his last 12 at-bats and is just 1-for-16 on the homestand.
"He's been out in front of a lot of off-speed,'' said Francona. "I think he's still battling the strike zone. He's pretty stubborn. He's got a pretty good eye. But if he doesn't think he can hit it, he's not going to swing.
"He's got a great eye and I don't think he thinks he can handle things that aren't strikes. Saying that, knowing you're right but still making outs . . . you've got to make adjustments."
The Sox had won 15 of the last 16 meetings against the Angels before Wednesday, but Francona had no explanation for his team's dominance.
"They're a hard team to play,'' said Francona. "We have teams in the past where they've run us into mistakes and I think we've done a better job of that. The ball has ended up where it's supposed to, for the most part. Because they are so aggressive, that if you keep the ball ahead of them and keep it down, they don't run us into big innings.
"Sometimes those things happen. Remember a couple of years ago, we beat the Yankees eight or nine in a row and then they beat us eight or nine in a row? This game will make you crazy."
Jon Lester was charged with an error on a pickoff attempt Tuesday night. The lefty had worked with pitching coach Curt Young on doing a better job controlling the running game during spring training, but according to Francona, isn't yet completely comfortable with some of the adjustments he's made.
"He's worked on it a lot,'' said Francona. "He came into camp with a lot of video of other lefties but it's not where he wants it to be. I think there's some time when he's not as comfortable with his move as he wants to be.
"Every once in a while, he'll throw one over there and it's got some deception. But he has trouble repeating that. But it's something he wants to be better at, for sure."