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Francona not looking for statement

Francona not looking for statement

While this series could be a preview of a postseason matchup, you won't get manager Terry Francona thinking about the postseason or trying to make a statement.

"I don't think we concern ourselves with the playoffs, let alone next week," he said.

What he will admit is that the Angles are a very tough team because of the way they play.

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"They are as aggressive a team as there is in baseball," Francona said. "If you aren't prepared to throw the ball to the right base, they can run you into mistakes," he added.

Francona also said that managing against the Angels isn't always fun.

"Its not a very relaxing game when you play the Angels." He said. "You're always on edge because of the way they play the game."

While the games have been hard fought, the Red Sox do hold a significant advantage, having gone 27-17 against the Halos since 2002.

"We've been lucky," Francona admitted, "We've gotten them when they've been struggling, which is fine with me.

"Beat them and get out, and let them beat up on someone else."

Pitching matchup
BOS: RHP Tim Wakefield (13-9, 4.55 ERA)
In his last start at Fenway Park, Wakefield celebrated his 41st birthday by controlling the Orioles for seven strong innings. He allowed only six hits and three fifth-inning runs, winning his 150th game as a member of the Red Sox, only the third Boston pitcher to accomplish that feat. What's more, he's on pace to record a career high in victories after tying for the then-league lead with 13. "I don't feel 41," he said after the game.

LAA: LHP Joe Saunders (5-0, 3.10 ERA)
Saunders continued his high-caliber work in dispatching the A's across 6 2/3 innings, holding them to two earned runs on six hits while striking out three and walking two. A strike-thrower who keeps his defense involved, Saunders also keeps his team in games. The Angels are 7-0 in his starts since he opened the season with a 4-3 loss to Oakland. He has faced Boston once for a no-decision, going 5 2/3 innings on Aug. 22, 2006, giving up two unearned runs in a game won by the Angels in Anaheim.

Player to watch
Manny Ramirez, who is only 11 home runs short of the 500 club, has hit 22 of them against the Angels. He also leads all current Red Sox with 78 RBIs against the Angels.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• NESN

On radio
• WRKO 680, WROL (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Red Sox (Jon Lester, 1-0, 5.09) at Angels (Dustin Moseley, 4-1, 4.43), 10:05 p.m. ET
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Red Sox (Daisuke Matsuzaka, 13-8, 3.70) at Orioles (Brian Burres, 5-5, 4.61), 7:05 p.m. ET

Glenn Rabney is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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