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John Lackey expected a little appreciation of his eight years with the Los Angeles Angels. He got mostly boos in his return to Orange County, perplexing the Angels' former ace.
Lackey still left his old mound with another win when the Red Sox backed him with another late-inning rally.
Lackey gave up seven hits while pitching into the eighth inning, and Jed Lowrie's two-run double in the seventh put Boston ahead in a 4-2 victory over the slumping Angels on Tuesday night.
Lackey's steady performance was exactly what Anaheim fans grew to expect from the right-hander, who won Game 7 of the 2002 World Series as a rookie on the same hill. He won 102 games before leaving the Angels for a five-year, $82.5 million deal with Boston last fall.
He didn't expect the fans to root for him, but he also didn't expect the chorus of boos that hit him before the game, between innings and again when he left after giving up Bobby Abreu's homer on his 124th pitch.
"Nobody wants to get booed like that," Lackey said. "The scoreboard talks the loudest. ... That won't be forgotten, for sure."
Although Lackey (10-5) was durable and dynamic for the Angels, many fans thought he showed little sentimentality about wanting to stay with the club last season. He alienated more fans when he quickly signed with the Red Sox, Los Angeles' longtime playoff nemesis before last season's breakthrough led by Lackey's outstanding start in the division series opener.
The announcement of Lackey's name during pregame introductions was greeted with plenty of boos, and the jeers intensified when he took the mound in the bottom of the first inning. A few fans even held up derogatory signs.
His former teammates didn't think much of the reception for their former ace.
"The ovation that he got tonight wasn't quite what I thought he'd get," said Jered Weaver, who narrowly outpitched Lackey until the seventh. "I mean, this guy has done too much for this organization for eight years, and to get an ovation like that was very disappointing.
"People don't understand what happens behind closed doors. All they see is him going to our so-called rival in the playoffs, but he's a great guy and was a great mentor. I enjoyed my time with him, and I'm glad he was here. I owe a lot of where I am today to that guy."
Darnell McDonald and Marco Scutaro scored Boston's first two runs on a clutch two-out drive in the seventh inning by Lowrie, playing in just his sixth game of the season after missing nearly four months with mononucleosis.
Adrian Beltre added an RBI double in the eighth, and Scutaro scored on a throwing error in the ninth. Scutaro had three hits, McDonald had two in a last-minute start for J.D. Drew, and Lowrie had two doubles.
The Red Sox have scored eight of their 11 runs after the sixth inning in the series' first two games, and the Angels have wasted solid starts by Dan Haren and Weaver (9-7), who allowed six hits in seven innings and struck out eight in his fourth loss in five starts.
"He's the man," Lackey said of his former understudy. "Weave has really come into his own, and he's one of the top pitchers in the game. You were going to have to grind out some runs, because Weave is having a great year. To get some runs like that is a big confidence-booster for our offense."
Abreu also had an early RBI double for the Angels, who have lost six of seven.
"We're not a perfect club, but certainly on the offensive side, we're underachieving, and have been for a while," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It was a tough night. The guys in that room don't feel real proud about the way we played. We're better than we've shown for a while now, and that's what we have to keep focusing on."
Daniel Bard got two outs in the eighth after Abreu's homer, and Jonathan Papelbon finished for his 24th save.
The Red Sox scratched Drew a few minutes before the first pitch with tightness in his left hamstring. Lowrie moved into his No. 2 spot in the order, while McDonald was his replacement - and both played key offensive roles for the star-studded Sox.
McDonald drew a two-out walk from Weaver in the seventh after falling behind 0-2. Scutaro added a single, and Lowrie poked Weaver's 112th pitch over the head of left fielder Juan Rivera, who was playing exceptionally shallow.
This program aired on July 28, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.
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