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Dustin Pedroia's tiebreaking RBI double in the eighth inning helped the Boston Red Sox rally for their sixth straight win, 7-6 over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night after ace Josh Beckett was scratched from his start with a stiff neck.
It was the teams' first meeting since Boston swept Los Angeles in last year's American League Divisional playoffs.
Jacoby Ellsbury hit two solo homers and Kevin Youkilis added a two-run shot for Boston, while Pedroia went 4-for-5 with three doubles and a single.
Beckett, the majors' only 20-game winner last year, started the season on the 15-day disabled list with a strained lower back before making his first start April 6. It wasn't immediately known when he'd make his next start.
Boston emergency starter David Pauley, recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Pawtucket, made his fourth major league start — and first since 2006 — and gave up five runs on seven hits in 4 1-3 innings.
Jeff Mathis had a two-run homer and RBI double for the Angels, who lost for just the third time in nine games.
Ellsbury reached on a bunt against Darren Oliver (1-1) and scored the winning run when Pedroia hit a grounder off a pitch from Scot Shields that went just inside the third-base bag and past the dive of Chone Figgins.
Mike Timlin (2-1) retired one batter in the eighth for the win and Jonathan Papelbon got three outs for his eighth save.
Los Angeles had scored five runs to grab a 5-1 lead after Ellsbury homered in Boston's first at-bat of the game.
Julio Lugo's RBI single in the fourth cut it to 5-2. Boston tied it with three in the fifth off starter Jared Weaver. David Ortiz's run-scoring single drove in Pedroia, who led off with a double.
After right fielder Vladimir Guerrero reached over a short wall for a running catch near the Pesky Pole to rob Manny Ramirez of what would have been his 497th homer and a tying shot, Youkilis tied it at 5 with a drive into the Green Monster seats.
Ellsbury homered into the right-field seats off Darren O'Day to make it 6-5 in the sixth, but Casey Kotchman tied it with a home run against Hideki Okajima in the eighth.
Weaver lasted five innings, surrendering five runs on 10 hits.
Los Angeles scored three runs in the third on Garret Anderson's two-run single and Mathis' RBI single. Pauley nearly got out of a bases-loaded mess with the score 1-1 by retiring Gary Matthews Jr. and Guerrero on pop outs, but Anderson bounced one up the middle.
Mathis homered in the fourth to make it 5-1.
Ellsbury homered into the Angels' bullpen on Weaver's fifth pitch of the game.
This program aired on April 23, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.
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