Boston fights back from a 4-1 deficit to top the Angels.

BOSTON (AP) – Johnny Damon lined a three-run double over the head of center fielder Steve Finley to break an eighth-inning tie and give the Boston Red Sox a 7-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.

The Angels led 4-1 and Kelvim Escobar was coasting, allowing just three Red Sox hits and one unearned run over six innings. But Escobar, in just his second start since bone spurs landed him on the disabled list, was lifted after 95 pitches and Boston scored three times off Brendan Donnelly in the seventh and three more off Scot Shields (4-3) in the eighth.

Mike Myers (2-1) was charged with one hit and an intentional walk in one inning, striking out two to win the matchup of first-round opponents from last year’s AL playoffs. Keith Foulke pitched the ninth for his 12th save – his first since May 20. He struck out Finley with the bases loaded to end it.

It was 4-4 when Trot Nixon led off the eighth with a single and stole second on Jason Varitek’s strikeout. After Kevin Millar popped out, Bill Mueller was walked intentionally and No. 9 hitter Mark Bellhorn was walked unintentionally.

Damon followed with a liner that turned Finley around in straightaway center, clearing the bases.

Adam Kennedy was 4-for-4 for Los Angeles. Chone Figgins had a double and a two-run homer that gave the Angels a 4-1 lead in the fifth.

The bottom of the order also helped Boston tie it in the seventh. Millar doubled, Mueller walked and Bellhorn doubled to make it 4-2. Damon followed with an RBI groundout, and Edgar Renteria walked before Shields replaced Donnelly.

David Ortiz, who won Thursday’s game with a last-chance homer, hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-all. Manny Ramirez grounded out to end the inning.

David Wells allowed four runs and nine hits in seven innings, striking out four. He fanned Finley in the first inning for his 2,000th career strikeout.

Orlando Cabrera, who endeared himself to Boston fans during last year’s World Series run, went 1-for-4 with a double and a run scored. The former Red Sox shortstop got a standing ovation before his first at-bat.

Notes: Among the celebrities in the crowd were David Lander, who played Squiggy in the sitcom “Laverne and Shirley,” and Susan St. James of “Kate and Allie.” St. James and her husband, NBC sports executive Dick Ebersol, were in town to attend the naming of a ballfield after their son, Teddy, who died in a plane crash. … Escobar walked two and struck out eight to lower his ERA to 2.97. … The Red Sox play 24 consecutive games against opponents from outside their division.

AP-ES-06-03-05 2219EDT


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