By SeanMcAdam and MaureenMullen
BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez had been one of the Red Sox' hot hitters before Tuesday night with a nine-game hitting streak, a .310 batting average and a team-high 18 RBI.
What he hadn't done is hit home runs. Going into Tuesday, in fact, Gonzalez had hit just one homer in 28 games -- and that came in the fifth game of the year.
By the time Gonzalez hit his second homer of the season in Tuesday night's 7-3 win over the Angels -- his first at home -- 96 at-bats had passed.
"Was I concerned?'' said Gonzalez, repeating a reporter's question. "Well, I thought I'd hit another before the end of the year.''
Gonzalez had talked about his homer drought last week in Baltimore and maintained that the long stretch without a long ball had nothing to do with his surgically-repaired shoulder and everything to do with a mechanical flaw in his swing.
''Since that day in Cleveland when he hit the first homer I was just focusing on hitting balls away,'' said Gonzalez Tuesday night. "But I've been moving in the right direction.''
Carl Crawford is showing signs that he's slowly but surely coming around at the plate.
The slumping outfielder had two hits again Wednesday, marking the third straight game in which he's collected two hits.
Crawford singled in the third inning for his 1,500th career hit, two years to the day afterhe tied modern major-league record with six stolen bases against theRed Sox. He is the fourth modern big leaguer ever to collect 1,500 hitsand 400 stolen bases before turning 30, joining Cesar Cedeno, Ty Cobb,and Eddie Collins.
In the seventh, Crawford singled again, then rode home all the way from first on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's wall-scraping double.
With the two hits, Crawford is now hitting .194, his highest average in weeks.
"It was just a matter of time,'' said Terry Francona of Crawford's emergence. "He's a good player. I think he's just starting to relax at the plate.''
The Red Sox are 6-0 against the Angels this season, outscoring them 36-13. The Sox are 15-1 against the Angels since the start of the 2010 season.
Its a good ballclub, said L.A.'s starter Tuesday night, Dan Haren. Its not losing 15 out of 16 to, no disrespect, like the Mariners or the Pirates. Its the Boston Red Sox --theyre a good ballclub.
In order to do 15 out of 16 you gotta have a little luck on your side. A lot of things have to happen because its not that easy. We got to just hope we can scratch one out tomorrow and then go from there.
Jacoby Ellsbury extended his hit streak to 12-games a team high with a sixth-inning double.
Marco Scutaros eighth-inning home run, his first of the season, passed a video review. It was the 10th time instant replay has been used at Fenway, the second time this season. It was the fourth time the on-field call has stood.
Kevin Youkilis was scratched from the lineup just before game time because of illness.
Jonathan Papelbon threw 24 pitches in the ninth inning a non-save situation three shy of his season high of 27 on April 3 in Texas, also a non-save situation, a 5-1 loss.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen