With the Red Sox trailing 3-0 in the top of the sixth inning, John Lackey fell behind Kevin Youkilis 3-0 with two on and two out. But the Angels' ace, who tossed 7 1/3 scoreless frames, fought back to work the count full before inducing an inning-ending forceout at third base.
3 -- Errors by the Red Sox, which nearly matched their hit total. Game balls
Lester kept the Red Sox in the game, logging a quality start on a night he wasn't at his best.
Pedroia had one of Boston's four hits and the only one that came from the top four batters in the lineup.
Despite making a throwing error, Gonzalez singled in the third inning for the first hit of the game off Lackey.
Sense of October
Making his first career postseason appearance, Ramon Ramirez did not retire any of the three batters he faced to begin the bottom of the seventh before being pulled. Two runs scored later in the inning to give the Angels a 5-0 pad.
3 AB, 0 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 R 0 SB
Comment: The Red Sox's sparkplug typified his team's offensive struggles with a down night at the plate.
0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 0 Ks
Comment: It's safe to say Ramirez won't remember his playoff debut all that fondly.
"Because of the way Lackey was pitching, three runs looked like a lot." -- Terry Francona, on Torii Hunter's three-run home run off Lester in the fifth.
Boston will aim for a split in Anaheim behind postseason veteran Josh Beckett in Game 2 on Friday.
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.