Angels top Red Sox in ALDS, 5-0
ANAHEIM, Calif. — With Torii Hunter hitting the rocks and John Lackey rolling through the Boston lineup, the Los Angeles Angels finally got on top of the Red Sox in the playoffs.
Lackey pitched superbly into the eighth inning and Hunter hit a three-run homer off the rock pile in center field, leading the Angels to a 5-0 victory over their longtime playoff nemesis in their first-round opener Thursday night.
Hunter’s shot broke open a scoreless game and appeared to topple any mental barriers Los Angeles might have faced against the Red Sox, who ended three of the Angels’ past five seasons in the division series, winning nine of 10 games.
‘‘(Lackey) went out there and set the tone early,’’ Hunter said. ‘‘Man, we were so pumped up from then on. I’m excited about this start today.’’
Boston didn’t manage an extra-base hit while getting shut out in the playoffs for the first time since Game 2 of the 1995 division series against Cleveland. The shutout was the first in the Angels’ 53-game postseason history.
Game 2 is Friday night at Angel Stadium, with Boston’s Josh Beckett facing Jered Weaver.
The AL West champion Angels snapped a six-game home playoff losing streak behind Lackey, who dominated his first playoff victory since 2002 with fine control and good defense behind him.