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LAA@BOS: Haren strikes out eight over seven frames

BOSTON -- Manager Mike Scioscia threw down another ace on Tuesday night. The Red Sox didn't blink.

After dispatching Jered Weaver in the series opener, they managed to trump Dan Haren behind Jon Lester, their own ace. A 7-3 decision went to Boston after it surged ahead with a pair of sixth-inning runs, added one in the seventh and then went long-ball crazy, detonating three bombs in a four-run eighth.

"When you're facing guys like Haren or Weaver, just want to find a way to beat [them]," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "Just drive their pitch count up and get them out of the game, and hopefully have some runs to show for it."

Scioscia, meanwhile, bemoaned his club's inability to capitalize with the bats and support its strong arms.

"We need to get into our game, especially on the offensive side," Scioscia said. "We're seeing one at-bat after another mirroring each other with runners in scoring position, and it's putting a lot of pressure on our pitchers."

The Angels were 1-for-10 with men in scoring position and are batting .227 for the season in those game-changing situations.

In the sixth, Haren watched three ground balls find their way through the right side of the infield, including Jed Lowrie's go-ahead RBI single.

"It looked like they painted the line," Scioscia said. "Some balls just found holes."

Mark Trumbo's solo shot to left in the second inning was all the Angels could manage against Lester, who notched 11 strikeouts across seven innings in moving to 4-1. After Daniel Bard set them down in order in the eighth, the Angels put together a flurry against Jonathan Papelbon with three consecutive hits, scoring twice before he finished the job.

Hard-luck Haren fell to 4-2, departing after Adrian Gonzalez led off the eighth inning with a solo homer.

"The last pitch I threw [to Gonzalez], I was trying to go up and in and went down and in," Haren said. "I thought I pitched better than my line score would say. I kept us there. Once we gave up the lead, they've got a good pitcher on the mound. You know it's going to be hard."

Haren yielded four earned runs on nine hits, striking out eight with no walks.

"Danny pitched a great game," Scioscia said. "We're fortunate we're pitching well and making plays on the defensive side. It's given us a chance to keep our heads above water. We're going to get deeper [offensively]. We're going to get more production from Torii [Hunter] and Vernon [Wells], and hopefully we'll have Kendrys Morales coming back."

After Haren left, David Ortiz greeted Hisanori Takahashi with another blast to right. Marco Scutaro joined the party with a two-run shot to left-center following Lowrie's single, ending the harsh treatment of Takahashi.

The Red Sox are 6-0 against the Angels this season and 15-1 since getting swept by Scioscia's troupe in the 2009 American League Division Series.

"The focus is on our team," Scioscia said. "What's disturbing isn't getting beaten by one team. What's disturbing is not getting into our game."

Haren is 0-2 against Boston, 4-0 against everybody else.

"If it wasn't for them," he said, "we'd be sitting pretty good."

Gonzalez tied it for Boston in the sixth with a two-out RBI single to left, delivering Jacoby Ellsbury after he had bounced a double down the first-base line with one out.

The Red Sox acted as if they had the right side of the infield hot-wired for hits. Ortiz followed Gonzalez with a single past first, putting runners at the corners for Lowrie. He sent a broken-bat single through the right side, scoring Gonzalez with the go-ahead run.

"The ones down the line are frustrating, because they're so close," Haren said. "That's exactly what I'm trying to do -- get a ground ball. It's the way it goes."

Boston added an insurance run in the seventh. Carl Crawford singled with one out and raced around to score when Jarrod Saltalamacchia banged a double off the wall in left-center.

The inning ended with center fielder Peter Bourjos running down Dustin Pedroia's drive at the base of the wall.

In his first Fenway Park at-bat, Trumbo fell behind 0-2 in the count. Lester tried to sneak a fastball past him, and the young first baseman launched it deep over the Green Monster in left-center for his fifth homer of the season.

Trumbo's sacrifice fly in the ninth came after singles by Hunter and Wells and an RBI double by Erick Aybar.

Haren through five innings was in complete control. He retired the first seven men he faced before Crawford singled through the right side. He stole second, took third on an infield out and stayed there when Ellsbury struck out.

The Angels let chances get away against Lester in the first, third and fourth innings.

Maicer Izturis led off the game with a double past third, but he was stranded at third. Bourjos singled in the third, but he got no farther than second. Hunter was left at second in the fourth after a single leading off.

"We need offensively to do some things," Scioscia said. "It's not about the home run. It's situational hitting. We have way too many strikeouts. We need to get simple. Some guys are too passive, some too aggressive."

His ERA rising from 1.23 to 1.76, Haren returned the AL lead to Weaver with his 1.39 ERA.

In 10 of Haren's 22 starts for the Angels, they have been held to two or fewer runs. Eight times they've scored one or no runs. Comments