Finding themselves on a prolonged slide, perhaps a trip to Fenway Park will be just what the Angels need.
The Angels have won their last eight games against the Red Sox, including the last six meetings in Boston.
Still trying to dig themselves out of an early-season hole, the Angels will aim to continue their success against the Red Sox when the two teams open up a series in Boston on Saturday afternoon. The series was originally scheduled to begin on Friday night, but rainy weather in Boston forced a postponement to Saturday, when the two squads will play a day-night doubleheader.
Taking the mound for the Halos in the early game will be Tommy Hanson, who returned to action May 31 after missing almost four weeks on the restricted list to deal with a loss in the family. The right-hander allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits over 6 1/3 innings vs. the Astros and took the loss.
"It's not exactly the performance I would have liked, but it's good to get that over with," Hanson said after the game. "It's something to build on and hopefully I'll be better the next time."
Opposing Hanson for the Red Sox will be Felix Doubront. After struggling through the early part of the season, the lefty has settled into a nice rhythm of late, going 1-1 with a 2.50 ERA in his last three starts.
"We've talked to the adjustments he and [pitching coach] Juan [Nieves] have gone through prior to the [Rays] start," said manager John Farrell. "I think with each successive outing he feels more comfortable with them and he's gained confidence. He's attacked the strike zone, I think, with more consistency and better success. And we're seeing a better life to all his pitches through the strike zone. I know he's feeling in a better place about himself and his abilities. Like we said, we're going to need more of that tomorrow."
In the nightcap, Clay Buchholz takes the mound against C.J. Wilson, who has struck out 22 batters over his last 20 innings.
The Angels left-hander has owned the Red Sox throughout his career, going 5-1 over 55 innings with a 2.62 ERA, holding them to a .210 batting average. While the Red Sox are third in the Majors in batting average against righties (.284), they're 15th (.249) against lefties.
Buchholz leads the Majors among qualified starters with a 1.62 ERA. He shut out the Yankees over five innings in a rain-shortened effort Sunday after having his previous start skipped due to soreness in his clavicle, but he showed no signs of injury at Yankee Stadium.
Angels: Williams moved to the 'pen
Despite Jerome Williams' five straight quality starts, the Angels have moved the veteran right-hander from the starting rotation to the bullpen.
"The bottom line is we have six guys that are starting for us, that are throwing the ball well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think Jerome has the opportunity to be a wild card, whether he's back in the rotation or helping us with an appreciable role in the bullpen. He's going to help us and right now, as we pare down to five, there's definitely a role for him in the 'pen."
Because of Friday's rainout, though, Williams could get at least one more chance as a starter Wednesday, when the Angels may need a replacement to keep the rest of the group on regular rest.
Williams pitched one-third of an inning out of the 'pen on Wednesday against the Cubs, retiring the only batter he faced.
Red Sox: Ellsbury returns to lineup
After a five-game absence, Jacoby Ellsbury stepped back into the Red Sox's lineup on Thursday night against the Rangers at Fenway Park, returning to his customary leadoff spot and playing center field. He roped two singles and two doubles in five at-bats and appeared to run well, though Farrell said Ellsbury is not yet at full strength on the basepaths.
Ellsbury had been in the midst of his best offensive stretch of the season when he suffered a left groin injury while setting a Red Sox record with five stolen bases on May 30 against the Phillies.
"Yesterday after his work on the field, he didn't experience any additional stiffness or soreness and actually throughout the game last night, and a couple of conversations last night, he felt confident he'd be able to go today, and in fact, he is," said Farrell.
The club will monitor Ellsbury on a daily basis for a while, and give him a rest if needed.
• Dustin Pedroia enters play with a 10-game hitting streak. The second baseman is fifth in the American League with a .329 average this season.
• Josh Hamilton has a .386 career average with eight doubles, two triples and four homers in 21 games at Fenway Park.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.