Troy O'Leary went 4-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs, and Bret Saberhagen won his fourth straight road decision as the Boston Red Sox beat the Anaheim Angels 5-1 Friday night.
Saberhagen (7-4) pitched five innings, allowing a run and six hits with a season-high seven strikeouts. The only run came in the fourth, when he issued his only two walks with one out and Steve Decker followed with a double between first baseman Mike Stanley and the bag.
After stranding two Boston runners in each of the first two innings on groundouts, Angels right-hander Steve Sparks (5-8) allowed the first five batters to reach base in the third.
A leadoff walk to John Valentin and Brian Daubach's 14th homer to right-center gave the Red Sox a 2-0 lead and ended their three-game home run drought. Boston then loaded the bases on a single by O'Leary and two walks but Sparks struck out Jason Varitek, got Darren Lewis on a popup and fanned Trot Nixon.
O'Leary led off the fifth with his team-leading 21st homer, a towering drive just inside the right-field pole that increased Boston's margin to 3-1 and helped send the Angels to their 17th loss in 21 games.
O'Leary drove in Boston's final two runs with a double to right center against Shigetoshi Hasegawa. The four hits were a career-high for O'Leary and the three RBIs tied a season-high.
The Angels got a pair of two-out singles in each of the first two innings, but Jim Edmonds looked at a third strike to end the first and Orlando Palmeiro fanned to end the second.
Sparks was charged with three runs and six hits in six innings. The home runs by Daubach and O'Leary who also homered in the same game last Sunday night against the Yankees marked the sixth time that Sparks has surrendered two in a game this season.
Notes Over the past two seasons, Saberhagen is 17-4 following Red Sox losses. Angels leadoff man Orlando Palmeiro, facing Saberhagen for the first time in his career, struck out all three times he faced the two-time Cy Young Award winner leaving two men on base in both the second and fourth innings. Major league batting leader Nomar Garciaparra, whose 13-game hitting streak was stopped Thursday night by Chuck Finley and Al Levine, has gone consecutive games without a hit for only the second time this season. The other time was July 18-19-20 against the Florida Marlins. Saberhagen walked more than one batter for only the second time in his 16 starts. He issued three bases on balls against the Chicago White Sox on April 13. Angels shortstop Gary DiSarcina broke out of an 0-for-27 drought with a pair of singles. Friday's demotion of utility infielder Andy Sheets to Triple-A Edmonton created an opening on the roster for Australian-born second baseman Trent Durrington, who lined the first pitch he ever saw in the majors to right field for a single.
©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed