Red Sox look to regroup in Anaheim

Red Sox look to regroup in Anaheim

In general, the Red Sox are never happy to see the Yankees, and after this weekend, they will be ecstatic that they will not meet again until mid-September. After five straight losses to their archrivals, the Red Sox now sit 6 1/2 games back in the American League East. It was the first time the Red Sox had been swept in a five-game series since 1954.

The Red Sox will now fly to the West Coast for a nine-game road trip, making their first stop in Anaheim, where they will take on the Angels. The two teams currently sit in second-place in their respective divisions, looking up at their rivals and trying to make playoff baseball a possibility through their next six weeks of games.

October glory would be nothing new for these teams and neither would a playoff matchup between them. The Red Sox won the World Series in 2004, while the Angels took the title in 2002, both as the Wild Card. The teams have met twice in the playoffs, with Boston winning both encounters.

The first meeting came in a seven-game battle in the 1986 American League Championship Series, highlighted by Dave Henderson's Game 5 home run, which saved the Red Sox season when the Angels were only one strike away from the pennant. David Ortiz then stole the show in a three-game sweep of the 2004 American League Division Series by hitting a walk-off home run to close the series.

These two dark horses for the American League flag will begin a three-game series on Tuesday night when Red Sox right-hander Kyle Snyder takes on rookie southpaw Joe Saunders at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

"I'm excited to get a chance to start again, no doubt about it," Snyder said. "[I'll try to] go out there and keep this team in the ballgame and give them an opportunity to win the game and work as deep into the game as I can. That's something that they're looking for, and I have all the confidence in my ability to be able to do that."

With the Red Sox having played five games in four days, Snyder will take the mound despite making two relief appearances in the series with the Yankees. Since being acquired from the Kansas City Royals, Snyder has made four starts with Boston and has been primarily used in a relief role during August.

"I talked to him last night about it and kinda told him, [we] went back and forth ... he said, 'I'll be real honest with you how I feel,' so we'll go off that a lot," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "If he's not feeling good, you can throw a pitch count out the window because I don't want to hurt him, but at the same time, I'm cognizant of the fact that he's been in the bullpen, he hasn't started in awhile and he's pitched a few times. Hopefully he'll be efficient and get us pretty deep into the game."

His last start came on July 26 against Oakland, where he allowed five runs and 10 hits over six innings in the loss.

"I feel as good physically as I've felt in my career," Snyder said. "It's just a matter of going out there and staying focused and worrying about the task at hand and giving them as many innings as I can."

"It should be fun, it's going to be a battle," Saunders said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Kyle Snyder (3-2, 6.35 ERA)
Despite pitching 3 2/3 innings in relief against the Yankees on Aug. 18 and 19, Snyder will be called on to take the mound since all five regular starters were used in the New York series. Snyder has made four starts with Boston since being acquired, but he has not started a game since July 26 against Oakland. In that outing, he allowed five runs and 10 hits over six innings.

LAA: LHP Joe Saunders (4-1, 3.64 ERA)
Saunders suffered his first loss of the season Wednesday in Texas. The rookie left-hander had given up only seven runs (five earned) in his first four starts and 27 innings, but was battered for eight runs (seven earned) in just 2 2/3 innings by the Rangers in a 9-3 loss. Saunders will be facing the Red Sox for the first time in his career.

Player to watch
Manny Ramirez is batting .727 (8-for-11) in his last five games.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television

On radio
• WEEI 850 AM, WROL 950 AM (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (LHP Jon Lester, 6-2, 4.72) at Angels (RHP Kelvim Escobar, 9-10, 3.77), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Red Sox (RHP Josh Beckett, 13-8, 5.35) at Angels (RHP Jered Weaver, 9-0, 1.95), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Friday: Red Sox (RHP Curt Schilling, 14-5, 3.84) at Mariners (LHP Jarrod Washburn, 6-12, 4.43), 10:05 p.m. ET

Howard Kussoy is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.