10/06/07 7:45 PM ET
With Sox up, Halos need some magic
Los Angeles hopes to turn series around on its home turf
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
The Game 2 loss had to be demoralizing for Los Angeles, not so much for the outcome but for the unrewarded effort. After having been little more than spectators in the 4-0 loss in the opener on Wednesday, the Angels went toe-to-toe with the Red Sox for nearly four hours, and still, all the fight was taken out of them on one swing.The Angels "created" three runs, handled the mysterious Daisuke Matsuzaka well enough to get the game down to a bullpen battle -- in most instances an advantage for them -- and still came up short. "We did a lot of the things we need to do," Scioscia said. "The one glaring thing was going 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but there were definitely positive signs of the type of offense we need." Perhaps worst for the Angels was the loss of the only man in their lineup capable of matching the thunder of an Ortiz or a Ramirez. Vladimir Guerrero left late in Friday's game with a knot in his left shoulder, which had stopped a Manny Delcarmen fastball an inning before. Guerrero's availability for Game 3 remained up in the air on Saturday. X-rays on his left shoulder came back routine, confirming a contusion.
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"It looks like he'll be able to play," Scioscia said. "But we have time. We don't have to make that decision until [Sunday] morning."With or without Guerrero, Scioscia implied some changes in the offing for an Angels lineup that has scored a total of 13 runs in its last seven games, including the end of the regular season. In personnel or batting-order changes, Scioscia will be looking for a combination to unlock their "batter's box" offense. Considering the cross-country travel which followed Friday night's lengthy game, all participants welcomed another break in this ALDS schedule. "It's a big reason why we chose this bracket," said Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon. "[On Saturday], we'll get some rest, then we've got Schill going in Game 3, and we wouldn't want anybody else in that spot." Schilling and Josh Beckett had departed Boston for the West Coast prior to the start of Game 2. Boston's starters for Game 3 and a potential Game 4, thus, got extra rest that 48 other players could only envy. Both teams were beaten by the sun to Orange County, accounting for Saturday's light day. Game 3 starter Jered Weaver was the only Angels player at the park, while about half of the Red Sox turned out for a voluntary workout. "We got in late, but it's the same for both teams," said Boston skipper Terry Francona. "You just do the best you can. You sleep in the winter." Schilling and Beckett also got to miss out on the home-plate party arranged by Ramirez's game-winner. Maybe the two right-handers will get a little private pound Manny time when they see him. "Man, we beat the stuffing out of him," Ortiz said of the celebration. "Wait till you see him. Somebody elbowed him and he's got a black eye." Angels left fielder Garret Anderson has played this entire series with a half-shut eye because of a viral infection. So now the other left fielder also has a little eye condition. Somehow, that doesn't seem like enough to even the sides.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.