If the Anaheim Angels make the playoffs, they're going to be confident going against the AL's elite teams.
Garret Anderson homered and drove in three runs as Anaheim won its second consecutive series against a possible playoff opponent, holding on for an 8-6 victory over the Boston Red Sox Sunday.
"It says we're good," said Angels closer Troy Percival, who pitched the ninth for his 38th save. "We may not be the most talented team in baseball, but we play hard."
The Angels, who took two of three games from the Red Sox after winning three of five in New York earlier in the week, built a 7-2 lead with two runs in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth.
"I'm real proud of the guys," Angels manager Terry Collins said. "One of the biggest concerns coming out of New York was a letdown in emotion. After losing (Saturday), we came right back out with emotion."
The victory, along with Texas' 5-3 loss to Chicago, increased Anaheim's lead over the Rangers to three games in the AL West.
"We're on a roll," said Angels DH Tim Salmon, as his teammates crowded around a TV set in the back of the locker room, watching the final inning of the Rangers' loss.
Anaheim, which has won 16 of 23 games, visits AL Central-leading Cleveland for two games beginning Tuesday night.
"This is it," Salmon said. "This is the trip of the year. We're taking advantage of it."
Mo Vaughn hit a three-run homer, John Valentin had a two-run homer and Nomar Garciaparra added a solo shot for Boston.
Red Sostarter Tim Wakefield (15-6) had his worst start of the season, giving up seven runs and six hits in 3 2-3 innings.
"It was just one of those days," Wakefield said. "I can't think of anything that went wrong. I would have liked to have thrown more strikes."
Shigetoshi Hasegawa (7-3) pitched 3 1-3 innings of scoreless relief for the victory after starter Jeff Juden couldn't make it through the fifth.
"We battled back, but it was too high a hill to climb," Boston manager Jimy Williams said. "Hasegawa was the key for them. He shut us down."
Anderson's two-run homer, a line drive just inside the right-field foul pole, evened the score 2-2 in the second.
The Angels benefited from a pair of infield hits that each traveled less than 75 feet during their four-run third. After two walks, Darin Erstad and Tim Salmon each hit weak tappers that rolled down the third-base line, leading to the first run. Greg Jefferies added a bases-loaded, two-run double and Anderson's run-scoring grounder made it 6-2.
Erstad's RBI single chased Wakefield in the fourth and made it 7-2 before Garciaparra hit his 28th homer in the bottom of the inning.
Vaughn's 34th homer, a 442-foot drive into the center-field seats, cut the score to 7-6 in the fifth and knocked out Juden.
Gary DiSarcina had a run-scoring single off Garciaparra's glove in the eighth to make it 8-6.
Boston took a 2-0 lead in the first when Darren Lewis tripled and Valentin followed with his 18th homer, his second in as many days.
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