BOSTON (AP) — Victor Martinez homered and drove in four runs and the Boston Red Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels with an 11-6 win Thursday night.
Martinez’s two-run homer in the third cut the Angels lead to 4-2 and his two-run double in the fifth tied it. The Red Sox added three more runs in the fifth, going ahead on Jeremy Hermida’s two-run single and making it 7-4 on Darnell McDonald’s RBI double.
Boston improved to 15-14, the first time its been over .500 since its opening night win over the New York Yankees. Los Angeles dropped its seventh straight game and is 0-7 on a road trip that ends with three games in Seattle.
The last time the teams met at Fenway Park, the Angels completed a three-game sweep of the Red Sox in last year’s AL division series with a 7-6 win on Oct. 11.
Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1) retired 13 of the last 16 batters he faced after allowing four runs in the first. Scott Kazmir (2-2) gave up seven runs in 4 1-3 innings after coming off his best start of the season.
Matsuzaka made his second start since beginning the season on the disabled list with a neck strain, and the Angels capitalized on his wildness to score four in the first.
He walked the first two batters, Erick Aybar, who stole second, and Bobby Abreu. Torii Hunter’s single made it 1-0. After a double steal by Abreu and Hunter, Hideki Matsui walked, loading the bases. Juan Rivera drove in one run on a forceout at second and Howie Kendrick drove in two with a double.
But Matsuzaka allowed just two hits in the next four innings while the Red Sox scored seven runs.
Martinez hit his second homer of the year before Boston went ahead to stay with five runs in the fifth. Marco Scutaro singled, Dustin Pedroia doubled and Martinez drove in both with his tying double. Boston then loaded the bases on walks to Kevin Youkilis and J.D. Drew.
Brian Stokes relieved Kazmir and was touched for run-scoring hits on his first two pitches — to Hermida and McDonald.
Mike Napoli’s two-run homer, his first of the season, cut that to 7-6 in the sixth, but the Red Sox added four runs in the bottom of the inning. They scored on a bases-loaded walk to Drew, a single by Adrian Beltre, an error by second baseman Kendrick on Hermida’s grounder and a force at second on a grounder by McDonald.
Notes: The Red Sox last three series have been sweeps. They went 3-0 in Toronto and 0-3 in Baltimore before beating Los Angeles in four straight. … Matsui went 0 for 3 and is in a 3-for-31 slump with eight strikeouts in his last nine games. … Kazmir had a 7.20 ERA in his first three games but allowed just two runs in six innings against Detroit last Saturday. … Boston’s starting pitchers are 6-1 in the last nine games. … Abreu reached safely on all five plate appearances with a single, double and three walks.