By Gerard Wright
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - David Ortiz continued his offensive resurgence for the Boston Red Sox by belting a pair of home runs in a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.
Ortiz followed his solo homer in the second with a two-run blast in the eighth as the Red Sox improved to 56-44, still five games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL wildcard.
The Angels lost new pitching hope Dan Haren in the fifth inning after he was struck on the forearm by a Kevin Youklis line drive, dealing the home side another blow.
Haren, traded to the Angels by the Arizona Diamondbacks at the weekend, left the game immediately but he insisted the injury was not serious.
"I think it will be just fine," he told reporters after throwing eight strikeouts with no walks in 4 2/3 innings. "I'm lucky. He hit it well and it got me pretty good."
The Angels trailed 2-1 in the second inning but failed to snatch the lead after Boston's Clay Bucholz had loaded the bases and were held scoreless for the next six innings.
Bucholz retired 11 in a row through the bottom of the sixth.
"It's obviously big," Angels manager Mike Sciosia said of the failure to score in the second inning. "We had opportunities there."
Presented with their own opening in the eighth after Youklis had stolen second base against reliever Fernando Rodney, the Red Sox made them count.
After having sent one shot into the right field seats, just outside the foul line, Ortiz found the range again on a 3-2 pitch, for his 21st homer of the season.
Hideki Matsui's eighth-inning homer again made it a one-run game at 4-3 and the Angels chose to go with 24-year-old Michael Kohn, making his major league debut, as their closer.
The defeat was the Angels' sixth in eight games, with two more games to come in the home series against the Red Sox.
(Editing by Alastair Himmer)