BOSTON — Jon Lester got his mistake out of the way early. He didn’t make any others.
Lester struck out 11 over seven innings, keeping Boston close until the Red Sox started hitting late in a 7-3 win over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night.
Lester (4-1) outpitched Dan Haren, who entered with a 1.23 ERA and allowed just two hits over the first five innings.
“It’s fun to have those battles every once in a while and see who’s going to make the first mistake. I did early,” Lester said. “We just tried to hang around the best we could and keep them within striking distance.”
Lester’s only gaffe was an 0-2 pitch to Mark Trumbo, who drove it over the Green Monster and put the Angels up 1-0 in the second. Lester stayed calm and didn’t allow any of the other Angels beyond second base before Boston went to the bullpen in the eighth inning.
“He pitched so well after that he gave us a chance,” manager Terry Francona said. “We didn’t do anything early.”
Adrian Gonzalez and David Ortiz hit consecutive homers in the eighth, and Marco Scutaro added a two-run homer later in the inning for the Red Sox, who have won three straight and are within a game of .500.
Los Angeles has contributed to Boston’s recovery from an 0-6 start. The Red Sox have won all six games against the Angels this season, accounting for almost half of Los Angeles’ 14 losses. Boston has also won 15 of 16 meetings dating to last season.
“It’s not losing 15 out of 16 to, no disrespect, like the Mariners or the Pirates. It’s the Boston Red Sox. They’re a good ballclub,” Haren said. “In order to do 15 out of 16 you’ve got to have a little luck on your side. A lot of things have to happen, because it’s not that easy.”
The Red Sox finally got to Haren (4-2) with four hits in the sixth and two more in the seventh as they rallied for a 3-1 lead.
“Danny pitched a great game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “We need to get into our game, especially on the offensive side.”
Gonzalez and Ortiz hit Boston’s first consecutive homers this season to start the eighth inning. Three batters later, Marco Scutaro hit a two-run drive over the Green Monster.
Boston brought on closer Jonathan Papelbon with a 7-1 lead in the ninth. Papelbon gave up three straight hits, including Erick Aybar’s RBI double, then allowed Trumbo’s sacrifice fly before getting the final two outs.
Gonzalez’s RBI single tied the score in the sixth and he scored on Jed Lowrie’s single for a 2-1 lead. Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit an RBI double in the seventh, and Gonzalez led off the eighth with his first home run at Fenway since he was acquired by the Red Sox. That was Haren’s final pitch of the night.
Ortiz then homered off Hisanori Takahashi.
NOTES: The Red Sox are 12-6 following a 2-9 start. … Tuesday was the 8,000th game in Angels history. The first was a 7-2 win over Baltimore on April 11, 1961, when Ted Kluszewski homered twice and had five RBIs. … CF Jacoby Ellsbury, who left Monday night’s game with a bruised left knee contusion after he tripped over C Jeff Mathis, was back in the leadoff spot and extended his hitting streak to 12 games.
Tigers 4, Yankees 2
DETROIT — Scott Sizemore had three hits in his return to the major leagues, helping the Detroit Tigers snap a seven-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the New York Yankees on Tuesday night.
Sizemore was called up from Triple-A Toledo to try to bolster the top of Detroit’s struggling lineup, and for one night at least, the move paid off. Leadoff man Austin Jackson hit a double and a triple, and Sizemore hit a double and two singles batting behind him.
Brad Penny (2-3) pitched six strong innings without allowing an earned run for the Tigers. Daniel Schlereth pitched the seventh and eighth, and Jose Valverde finished for his sixth save.
CC Sabathia (2-2) went seven innings, allowing four runs on 10 hits. He struck out six and walked three.
Jackson led off the first inning for the Tigers with a ground-rule double down the left-field line. Sizemore followed with a double to right-center, although Jackson only advanced to third because he was tagging up, thinking the ball might be caught.
Magglio Ordonez drove in a run with a groundout for only his second RBI of the season, and Miguel Cabrera made it 2-0 with a sacrifice fly.
Penny appeared in trouble early as the Yankees put two runners on in each of the first two innings, but New York didn’t score until the fourth, when Sizemore made an error that led to an unearned run. Detroit escaped further damage that inning when Brett Gardner lined out to shallow right, and Casper Wells threw out Andruw Jones at the plate to end the threat.
Penny allowed six hits, walked two and struck out one.
The Tigers added two runs in the fifth. Jackson hit an RBI triple to the left-field corner with one out, and Sizemore followed with a sharp single to right. Detroit later loaded the bases, but Ryan Raburn struck out and Jhonny Peralta hit a soft comebacker to the mound.
Sizemore hit .224 in limited duty with Detroit last year, and he failed to win the second base job during spring training this season. But he was hitting .408 with Toledo when the slumping Tigers decided to give him another chance.
Offense hasn’t been Detroit’s only problem. At least four members of the Tigers’ taxed bullpen were deemed unavailable before the game by manager Jim Leyland. That left Schlereth to pitch two innings, but although Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer in the eighth, New York couldn’t mount a sustained rally.
Valverde then pitched a hitless ninth, one night after taking the loss in New York’s 5-3 win over the Tigers.
The Yankees gave Penny some help in the sixth with some questionable baserunning. Robinson Cano was on first when a pitch momentarily got away from catcher Alex Avila. Cano started toward second but ended up in a rundown and was tagged out after Avila retrieved the ball.
Jorge Posada then singled, but he was caught leaving first early before Penny made a move to the plate. The Detroit right-hander simply had to turn and throw to second for the out.
NOTES: Teixeira’s homer was his eighth of the season. … Cano played after sitting out Monday’s game with a left hand injury. … Yankees RHP Carlos Silva is scheduled to make his first start for Class-A Tampa on Wednesday night. The right-hander was released by the Chicago Cubs during spring training and agreed to a minor league contract with New York on April 9.