Red Sox stay hot with win over Angels, 7-0

191542.jpg

Red Sox stay hot with win over Angels, 7-0

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 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.

TURNING POINT
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

Cassidy: 'Trying to set a standard' of being one of the NHL's better teams

Cassidy: 'Trying to set a standard' of being one of the NHL's better teams

BOSTON – The Bruins have won seven of eight games under interim coach Bruce Cassidy and are fortifying their position as the third playoff team in the Atlantic Division with each passing victory.

The 4-1 win over the Arizona Coyotes at TD Garden on Tuesday night probably shouldn’t be all impressive based on the Yotes standing as the second-worst team in the NHL, but it was a classic trap game coming off a long West Coast road trip. Instead of falling for the trap the Bruins exploded for three goals in the second period, energized by a shorthanded Riley Nash strike, and continue to extend the winning stretch they need in order to punch their playoff ticket.

The postseason clincher is still a long way away from reality, but Cassidy said the B’s are starting to achieve the elevated level of play they’re aiming for while finally getting the full potential out of their team.

“I just want the guys to make sure that they play confident, solid hockey and believe in themselves. And play to a [higher] standard,” said Cassidy. “We’re trying to set a standard where we’re one of the better teams in the National Hockey League. They’ve been there before, the leadership group here. That’s where we’re striving to get through in the end.”

They haven’t exactly shied away from the competition either, twice beating the first-place San Jose Sharks and shutting out the first place Montreal Canadiens in the final straw that saw Michel Therrien axed in favor of Claude Julien.

The B’s have now opened up a three-point cushion over the Maple Leafs for their playoff spot and they’ve averaged 4.13 goals per game (33 goals in eight games) while allowing just 2.13 goals per game (17 goals in eight games) in the eight games going from Julien to Cassidy. 

The challenge now is to maintain that level of play over the final 19 games of the regular season to drive home their playoff bid and finish strong at a point where in each of the past two seasons they’ve utterly imploded.


 

Wednesday, March 1: Bruins okay with not dealing

Wednesday, March 1: Bruins okay with not dealing

Here are all the links from around the hockey world as NHL trade deadline day is upon us with no promise of fireworks in Boston.

*As referenced above, there’s a good chance the Bruins won’t be doing much today and they’re perfectly okay with that.

*Craig Custance grades every move made ahead of the trade deadline with plenty of action out of the way early.

*The Vancouver Canucks will not be trading Ryan Miller, which is smart given the normal market for No. 1 goaltenders.

*The New York Rangers lost out on the Kevin Shattenkirk rental sweepstakes at the deadline, so they’ve opted for Brendan Smith instead.

*The Florida Panthers may make a move at the deadline (which they did in acquiring Thomas Vanek) but they will not make or break their team with deadline deals.

*Doug Armstrong says that Shattenkirk was frustrated by his role with the St. Louis Blues, and that played into his trade to the Capitals.

*For something completely different: It’s a national holiday in Canada as Jay and Dan will be returning to their natural habitat.