Casey Kotchman hit a two-run double to cap a three-run rally in the eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 yesterday for their fifth straight victory.
With another late comeback, the Angels completed their first three-game sweep of Boston in seven years. Los Angeles scored four runs in the seventh Saturday for a 4-2 win.
The Angels became the first team in the majors to win 60 games, and the victory was their fifth in six meetings with Boston, enabling them to clinch their first season series against the Red Sox since 2001.
The AL West-leading Angels, 39-18 against teams with winning records, are a season-high 22 games over .500 and lead second-place Oakland by nine games. None of the other five division leaders has more than a two-game cushion.
The Red Sox held a 3-2 lead and knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (6-7) had retired 17 of 19 batters before Juan Rivera and Howie Kendrick hit back-to-back doubles to start the eighth and tie the score.
Manny Delcarmen relieved and Jeff Mathis sacrificed Kendrick to third before Chone Figgins drew a walk. Kotchman followed by lining a 1-1 pitch into the right-field corner to drive in Kendrick and Figgins.
The Angels hadn't swept a three-game series from the Red Sox since 2001, and hadn't done it at home in 10 years.
Darren Oliver (3-1) fanned three in 1 1-3 hitless innings to earn the victory, and Francisco Rodriguez struck out the side in the ninth for his major league-leading 40th save in 43 chances. He became the fastest pitcher to 40 saves in big league history, doing so in 98 games. John Smoltz reached 40 saves in 108 games five years ago.
The Red Sox lost for the 10th time in their last 12 road games and remained 1 1/2 games behind the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays.
The Angels took a 2-0 lead in the second when Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter homered on consecutive pitches. They also went deep on back-to-back pitches July 7 against Texas' Luis Mendoza in the second inning of a 9-6 win.
The Red Sox tied it in the third on a two-out RBI double by Manny Ramirez and a run-scoring single by Mike Lowell.
Angels starter Jon Garland retired 10 of 11 batters before Coco Crisp drew a one-out walk in the seventh. Crisp stole second as Kevin Cash struck out and scored when Guerrero dropped Jacoby Ellsbury's liner to right for an error.
Wakefield allowed six hits and four runs with no walks in seven-plus innings. Garland gave up six hits and three runs, two earned, in 6 2-3 innings.
The Red Sox didn't have a hit after Lowell's RBI single in the third.
This program aired on July 21, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.