Red Sox ignore Angels’ regular season domination

Published 5:13 am Thursday, October 2, 2008

No matter how much the Angels dominate Boston during the regular season, they can’t beat the Red Sox in October.

Jason Bay hit a two-out, two-run homer off Los Angeles ace John Lackey in the sixth inning, and the Red Sox beat the Angels 4-1 Wednesday night in the opener of their first-round AL playoff series.

‘‘I think we proved a lot,’’ Bay said.

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The Angels won eight of nine regular-season games between the teams this year, outscoring the Red Sox 42-17 in the final six. But the Red Sox have won 10 straight postseason games against the Angels dating to 1986, including first-round sweeps in 2004 and 2007 en route to World Series titles.

The World Series champion Red Sox tied a major league record for consecutive postseason wins over the same opponent, a mark Oakland set against the Red Sox from 1988-03.

Acquired in the three-team trade that sent Manny Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers two months ago, Bay brought Boston back from a 1-0 deficit in the first postseason game of his career, and the Red Sox got a big start from John Lester (1-0), who allowed only an unearned run in seven innings.

‘‘We had some chances early, and couldn’t get some hits to fall in,’’ Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ‘‘Lester was on his game. He’s having a terrific year. He’s got a great arm and his velocity was up a bit from earlier in the year and he was able to get the fastball on both sides of the plate.’’