EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

July 31, 2008

Dead Sox Angels show spunk of 2007 Red Sox

BOSTON — Los Angeles Angels centerfielder Torii Hunter, the second newest Angel of note, says he never heard anybody on his new team mention the embarrassing Boston Red Sox sweep last October.

Then, of course, his white lie was exposed as he rattled off reasons why he "heard" Angels looked so horrid, including Gary Matthews missing the series because of injury, Vlad Guerrero's bum leg and Garret Anderson's severe case of conjunctivitis in his important eye, the right one.

The point is the Angels are still sore about last October.

The rallying Red Sox buried the Angels in three straight games — 4-0, 6-3 and 9-1 — including Manny Ramirez's first walk-off homer in seven years with the Red Sox in Game 2.

"That was tough because they beat us pretty good," said Angels starter John Lackey, a day after nearly no-hitting the Red Sox through 81/3 innings. "They deserved it. They beat us. No excuses."

Last November they did something about it, signing Hunter, the prize free agent for 2008, to a 5-year, $90 million contract.

While the Red Sox have been floating in Nowhere Land the last month, mostly due to a faulty bullpen and the Manny Ramirez daily saga, the Angels mean business.

Over the last 12 days the Angels beat the Red Sox six times, including last night's 9-2 drubbing.

Over the span, the most disheartening aspect from the Red Sox perspective was that ace Josh Beckett was beaten handily twice, including last night.

"We don't care that it's the Red Sox," said Anderson. "We come to play every night. It doesn't matter who it is. The difference between now and the last October is obvious. We have depth."

The Angels improved to a major league best 67-40 last night and are now 12 games ahead of the second place Texas Rangers in the AL West.

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