Beckett improves to 3-0 as Red Sox romp on Patriots Day

" Summary: The Red Sox jumped on the Angels quickly Monday, scoring five runs before Los Angeles even got an out. Josh Beckett's third strong outing of the year helped Boston cruise to the victory on Patriots Day.

" Injury bug: Angels star Vladimir Guerrero
left Monday's game against the Red Sox in the first inning after being hit on the
right wrist by a pitch from Beckett. X-rays were negative.

" Hero: Beckett scattered six hits over six innings and recorded five strikeouts to improve his record to 3-0 this season.

" Figure this: The Red Sox outscored the Angels 25-3 during the three-game series sweep in Boston.

" Elias Says: Beckett became only the third starting pitcher in Red Sox history to begin a season by winning each of his first three outings, allowing no more than one run and striking out at least five batters in each of those three appearances. Babe Ruth did that for the Red Sox in 1916, and Roger Clemens did it in 1991.

-- ESPN.com news services

Red Sox 7, Angels 2

BOSTON (AP) -- Josh Beckett woke up at early Monday only to learn that his start for Boston would be delayed at least two hours by rain. The Los Angeles Angels still haven't gotten their bats going.

Beckett pitched his third straight strong game and the Red Sox won 7-2, completing an abbreviated three-game series in which it outscored the Angels 25-3.

"It shows what our offense is capable of," Beckett (3-0) said.

The Red Sox scored six runs in the first inning off Ervin Santana (1-2), five of them before the first out. That erased a 1-0 lead the Angels took on Orlando Cabrera's first homer of the season.

"You know there's going to be ups and downs," Gary Matthews Jr. said after the Angels sixth loss in seven games. "It seems like when it rains it pours, figuratively and literally."

Sunday's game already had been rained out. After waking up, Beckett learned that Monday's 10:05 a.m. start had been pushed back two hours because of heavy rain. It started at 12:18 p.m. without further delays.

"It's definitely different. It feels like the loser's bracket of an AAU tournament or something. Getting ready for a 10 o'clock game last night, do you go to bed at 8 or 9?" Beckett said. "It's easy to get out of sorts" with the uncertain starting time.

In six innings, he gave up six hits, struck out five and walked one. Howie Kendrick homered against Red Sox reliever Kyle Snyder in the ninth.

The annual home game on Patriots Day, a state holiday, usually starts at 11:05 a.m. but was scheduled an hour earlier.

Santana had a lot more trouble than Beckett as the first six batters reached base, one on a throwing error by second baseman Kendrick on a potential double play ball.

"He was loose. He was ready to go into the game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Santana. "He really didn't have the command he needed to get ahead of guys to hold down a good lineup."

Julio Lugo started Boston's rally with one of the team's four doubles in the first and made two outstanding defensive plays.

With a runner at second and one out in the fourth, he made a catch with his back to the infield in short left field. With two outs and runners at first and second in the fifth, he threw out Reggie Willits from deep in the hole. Willits entered the game as a pinch runner in the first after Vladimir Guerrero was hit on the right wrist by a pitch. X-rays of his bruised wrist were negative.

"People say that I'm a better offensive player than a defensive player," Lugo said. "We're going to have to see."

In the sixth, with Garret Anderson on second and two outs, center fielder Wily Mo Pena charged Kendrick's single and fired the ball to cutoff man Kevin Youkilis. Kendrick was tagged out after rounding first.

Beckett's ERA remained at 1.50. In three games, he's allowed three runs and 10 hits with 18 strikeouts and five walks in 18 innings.

Santana continued his struggles on the road, entering the game at 9-12 with a 6.65 ERA in his career. At home, he is 20-5 with a 3.07 ERA.

He ran into trouble right away Monday.

Lugo doubled and scored on Youkilis' single. David Ortiz doubled Youkilis to third and Manny Ramirez singled both home. J.D. Drew then grounded to second, but Kendrick's throw was wide of shortstop Cabrera, allowing Ramirez to score and Drew to take second.

Mike Lowell and Alex Cora followed with RBI doubles. Boston's other run came in the fourth on Ortiz's fourth homer of the season, giving him eight RBIs for the series.

"I'm pleased," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "It was a weekend [with] spotty play, games were on hold, it was cold, we missed one, but we still came out, especially early, and swung the bats effectively."

Game notes
Cabrera's homer was the Angels' first in 65 innings in a span of eight games. ... Pena got his first start of the season. He replaced Coco Crisp, who was 1-for-16 on the homestand that ended Monday . ... Boston C Jason Varitek went 0-for-3 to drop to 3-for-26 batting left-handed. He is 3-for-4 from the right side. ... Matthews was 5-for-36 before singling in the fifth for the Angels. ... Scott Shields retired the heart of Boston's lineup on called third strikes in the seventh -- Ortiz, Ramirez and Drew.