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LAA@CWS: Haren handles the White Sox, improves to 4-0

Two of Boston's newest stars, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and outfielder Carl Crawford, have gone from a comfortable perch in the spotlight to a tricky place under the microscope in less than one month.

Such is life in Red Sox Nation.

However, it could be two pitchers -- Angels starter Dan Haren and Red Sox hurler Jon Lester -- that could be the difference when the two teams square off in the second game of a four-game series in Anaheim on Friday.

Haren (4-0) has been dominating and is off to one of the best starts of his career. The right-hander is staying ahead of hitters and putting them away with a wide range of quality pitches. He has issued only two walks and has racked up 27 strikeouts over 31 innings.

Lester has thrown three straight quality starts and is pitching like an ace. In his last outing, Lester gave up one run in six innings against the Blue Jays.

"I battled a few things out there with myself, almost feeling a little too good at times and then going back to not feeling so good," Lester said. "A little bit of a grind, but it was a good win."

As for Gonzalez, he went 2-for-5 on Thursday and drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the 11th inning in the 4-2 victory. He's reached base safely in 15 of 18 and has one home run with nine RBIs.

He's hitting .286 for the season.

"I'm starting to feel better, definitely," Gonzalez said. "It's a process of just making small adjustments every at-bat. In April, for me, it's always give and take. One day I feel great, one day I feel horrible off the plate, or I'm pulling off the ball, doing things I don't want to do. It's happened to me every year."

Crawford is hitting .143 for the season.

"He's a hard worker, he's a good kid," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "We appreciate the way he's going about this. The results haven't totally been there yet, and we know that. So does he. He's working hard. With guys with track records, they come in bunches. They get to their level."

Red Sox: Pedroia sparking offense
• Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 on Thursday and has reached base in 16 of 18 games, hitting safely in 13 of those contests. He walked twice Thursday and has walked at least once in nine of his last 11 games.

• The Red Sox won nine of their 10 games against the Angels in 2010, including nine consecutive games to start the season and all three in Anaheim.

Angels: Haren, Weaver form winning pair
• Through 10 combined outings/nine starts, Haren and Jered Weaver are 9-0 with two complete games and a 1.20 ERA. They've racked up 66 strikeouts in 67 2/3 innings.

• On the disabled list since March 20, Kendrys Morales has experienced issues with his range of motion and had some stiffness in his ankle. There is no timetable for his return.

Worth noting
• Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis had to leave Thursday's game against the Angels in the bottom of the second inning because of lingering discomfort after fouling a ball off his left shin in the top of the first.

• Highly touted Red Sox prospect Ryan Kalish was taken to a hospital on Thursday after injuring his left shoulder on a diving catch for Triple-A Pawtucket.

• Angels pitcher Joel Pineiro, on the disabled list with right shoulder tightness, will pitch Monday for Class A Inland Empire. Scott Kazmir threw earlier in the week during an extended spring training game in Arizona, tossing 45 pitches, all fastballs, in three innings.

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