The Boston Red Sox dominated the LA Angels of Anaheim over the previous two years, but that hasn't been the case in 2012.
The Angels earned a measure of revenge with a three-game sweep at Fenway Park earlier this month and target another series sweep Thursday in the finale of a three-game set at the Big A.
C.J. Wilson ended his winless streak in Wednesday's 10-3 pounding of the Red Sox and benefited from the offensive outburst. Wilson was 0-5 with a 6.09 earned run average in his last 11 starts and limited Boston to three runs on eight hits and two walks over six innings. It was his first win since June 26 at Baltimore and his last home win was versus San Francisco on June 19.
"It was good to go out there and get some solid innings," Wilson said. "I just simplified stuff tonight and hit my spots. I threw a ton of strikes, the bats gave me a nice lead early."
Kendrys Morales and Chris Iannetta each hit a two-run homer, while Torii Hunter tallied three hits, two RBI and a run scored for the Angels, who have won six of their last eight games and sit 3 1/2 games off the final American League Wild Card spot.
Anaheim will hit the road for six games against Seattle and Oakland following tonight's game and is slated to hand Zack Greinke the ball in this series finale. Greinke is 2-2 with a 5.22 earned run average in his six starts with the Halos since coming over in a trade with Milwaukee, and had his best start as an Angel in Friday's 2-1 win at Detroit.
Greinke, who went 9-3 in 21 starts with the Brewers, held the Tigers to a run and five hits in 7 2/3 frames. The right-hander has faced Boston six times in his career (5 starts) and is 1-4 with a 2.88 earned run average against them.
Boston sits 10 games behind in the AL Wild Card race and lost for the seventh time in 10 tries last night. Mauro Gomez had three hits and a run scored, while Dustin Pedroia and Scott Podsednik each drove in a run.
Red Sox starter Zach Stewart made his Red Sox debut and was pounded for nine runs and 10 hits in just three innings. Stewart was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in part of the Kevin Youkilis deal, and spent the past two months with Triple-A Pawtucket.
"Zach got too many pitches up, he has to keep the ball down in the zone," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "He wasn't very good tonight."
Valentine's club is winless (0-2) so far on its nine-game road trip and will also visit Oakland and Seattle.
Jon Lester draws the starts for Boston this evening and is riding a season- best three-game winning streak. In a 4-3 win over Kansas City on Friday, Lester lasted seven innings for a second straight start and allowed three runs to move closer to .500 at 8-10 in 26 starts. He also lowered his ERA slightly from 5.03 to 4.98.
The left-handed Lester has pitched well on the road as evidenced by his 5-2 mark in 11 starts, and is 4-1 with a 4.20 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels.