Los Angeles (75-57) at Boston (78-53)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Boston, MA
Temp: 56° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Thu Sep 2, 2004
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Anaheim Angels signed Bartolo Colon to a lucrative contract for situations like this.

With the Boston Red Sox threatening to pull away in the AL wild-card race, the Angels will look for Colon to deliver a big performance as they try to avoid a sweep of their three-game series at Fenway Park.

Colon, who signed a four-year, $51 million deal with Anaheim during the offseason, spent the first half of the year pitching like a journeyman fifth starter. He went 5-8 with a 6.57 ERA through July 3 before turning things around drastically after the All-Star break.

The Dominican right-hander reeled off six straight wins from July 9-Aug. 7 and is 8-2 overall in the second half, allowing three runs or fewer in seven of 10 starts during that stretch.

On Saturday, Colon was not at his best, yielding five runs and eight hits over six innings in a 7-1 setback to Minnesota. He struck out five without a walk, but gave up a three-run homer to Jacque Jones in the fourth inning that put Anaheim in a 4-0 hole.

“I was not able to get the ball where I wanted against Jones,” Colon said. “I went inside against him, but I didn’t get the ball inside enough.”

Colon’s location will have to be pinpoint against the surging Red Sox, who have won eight straight and 20 of their last 24 games to open a 3 1/2 -game lead on the Angels. Boston, which is just 3 1/2 games behind New York in the AL East, got a homer and four RBIs from Kevin Millar in Wednesday’s 12-7 victory over Anaheim.

Johnny Damon had four hits of Boston’s 16 hits, and Mark Bellhorn, David Ortiz and Orlando Cabrera drove in two runs each.

Vladimir Guerrero and Bengie Molina had two hits apiece for the Angels, who have lost three of four since a nine-game winning streak. Anaheim is three games behind Oakland in the AL West.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Colón NYM vs. D. Lowe Tex
18-12 Record 14-12
5.01 ERA 5.42
158 K 105
71 BB 71
1.37 WHIP 1.61