Colon wins fifth straight decision

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Bartolo Colon kept it simple against the Boston Red Sox, throwing one fastball after another.

Juan Rivera hit a pair of three-run homers, Colon won his fifth straight decision and the Los Angeles Angels won 13-4 on Thursday night in the series opener between AL division leaders.

"Any time you face a team like the Red Sox, it does push you a little bit harder because they have a tough lineup," Colon said through a translator. "The confidence built as the game went on."

Rivera homered on the second pitch from Mike Myers after Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield left the game in the fifth inning when he got hit in the right ankle on a comebacker by Casey Kotchman.

"There was some surprising power, which has been missing from our game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "The home runs made it a great offensive night."

The Angels extended their AL West lead to 2 games over idle Oakland. Boston's lead over the idle Yankees dropped to four games in the East.

Scioscia credited Colon with turning his fastball into three different looks for Boston's hitters.

"For Bart to use that fastball as much as he did, he really had to create zones with it, in and out and up and down. He did a great job of that," the manager said. "He was throwing the ball hard. This might have been the best fastball he had all year."

Colon (16-6) allowed three runs and eight hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked none. At one point, the right-hander retired 11 consecutive batters, throwing mostly fastballs.

"I was able to continue the rhythm and finish off hitters," he said. "My fastball was working for me. I probably threw over 90 fastballs. One time I threw a slider and they almost broke my face [on a liner up the middle]."

Colon dominated the heart of Boston's lineup, with David Ortiz
going 0-for-4 and Manny Ramirez 1-for-4. Leadoff hitter Johnny Damon also had one hit in four at-bats.

"We really didn't hit like we wanted to, and it starts with me," Damon said. "I need to find it and get hot because the offense goes when I go. I'm disappointed with how I'm doing."

Wakefield (13-9) gave up six runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out five and walked four in ending his four-game winning streak. X-rays on his ankle were negative, but he has a deep contusion of the lower shin area. The Red Sox said it was too early to know if he would make his next start.

Wakefield didn't talk to reporters after the game.

"He has a way of bouncing back from things," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "When things don't look very good, and tonight they certainly didn't, we have a way of bouncing back as good as anybody."

Rivera added his second three-run shot and 11th of the season with two outs in the eighth off Mike Remlinger, giving the Angels a 13-3 lead.

"I just keep trying to do my best when I have the opportunity," he said through a translator.

Clinging to a 1-0 lead, the Angels broke open the game with six runs in the fifth inning, tying a season high.

Kotchman and Darin Erstad each had two RBI as the Angels stopped a two-game losing streak.

Mired in a 4-for-23 slump in his previous eight games, Kotchman homered to lead off the second inning for the Angels' first run.

Los Angeles piled on in the fifth. Erstad's RBI single scored Orlando Cabrera, who took third on a two-base throwing error by Ramirez, making it 2-0.

Erstad scored his 800th career run on a single by Bengie Molina
before Kotchman's RBI single hit Wakefield, allowing Vladimir Guerrero to score for a 4-0 lead.

Rivera's three-run homer extended the Angels' lead to 7-0. They added a run in the sixth on a RBI groundout by Erstad.

Boston made it 8-3 in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Kevin Millar and a two-run single by Gabe Kapler. Bill Mueller
homered in the ninth.

The Angels added two runs on a bases-loaded single by Chone Figgins with two outs in the seventh.

Game notes
Angels outfielder Garret Anderson missed his fifth consecutive game because of a sore sacroiliac joint, where the spine meets the pelvis. The team said lab tests on Anderson were normal. A bone scan and MRI confirmed irritation in his right lower back and an MRI on his left knee confirmed patella tendintis. He's listed as day-to-day. ... Boston's nine-game streak of scoring five or more runs was snapped. ... The season series is tied 2-2. ... The Angels are 13-13 against the AL East, with their next nine games against the division. ... Rivera had the second multihomer game of his career and his second six-RBI game. Both previously happened on June 19, 2004, against the White Sox.