Angels-Red Sox Preview

The Associated Press

Felix Doubront helped the Boston Red Sox begin June on a high note, and they've continued to get solid pitching and timely hitting since.

He seeks another strong outing as Boston looks to end an eight-game losing streak to the visiting Los Angeles Angels in Friday night's series opener.

Doubront (4-2, 4.88 ERA) had his best outing of the season Saturday, allowing one run and striking out six in six innings of an 11-1 win over the New York Yankees, beginning a stretch of four victories in five tries for the Red Sox (37-24).

Boston has outscored opponents 39-12 while posting a 2.63 ERA to start the month after David Ortiz hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give it a 6-3 win over Texas on Thursday.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who returned from a five-game absence due to a groin injury, and Jonny Gomes each went 4 for 5. Dustin Pedroia, who was intentionally walked in front or Ortiz in the ninth, drove in two runs.

''I think it was a good move. I don't think there was anything wrong with that,'' Ortiz said of the walk to Pedroia. ''It's part of the game. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't.''

Doubront has been very good over his last four starts going 1-1 with a 2.74 ERA, though he said he's not concerned about those statistics.

"Forget about the numbers. Every successful outing that I have the numbers are going to get better," Doubront told the team's official website.

Manager John Farrell has been impressed with how the left-hander has come on lately.

"He's making steady progress each time he walks to the mound," Farrell said. "(Saturday) was another step."

Doubront will be making his first career start versus the Angels, who have outscored the Red Sox 63-32 while winning the last eight meetings.

Los Angeles (26-34), though, has been a disappointment this season and has dropped five of six after falling 8-6 in 10 innings to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

Howie Kendrick went 7 for 8 in the two-game series, including a two-run homer in the finale.

''It was one of those rare games the last three weeks where the pitching didn't get it done,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''Offensively we did enough to win a game, but we're still not firing on all cylinders.''

The Angels had a 2.66 ERA over their previous eight games, and Tommy Hanson will look to provide another solid effort on the mound against a Red Sox team hitting .360 in June.

Hanson (2-2, 4.19) will be making his second start since coming off the bereavement list due to the death of his stepbrother in April. He gave up five runs - four earned - in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-3 loss to Houston last Friday, but he said just being on the mound was a big step.

''It was good to get back out there and pitch again,'' Hanson said. "I was excited to go out and pitch. Not exactly the performance I would've liked to put out there, but it's good to get that one over with.''

The right-hander has faced the Red Sox once, giving up two hits in six scoreless innings of a 2-1 win while with Atlanta on June 28, 2009.

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