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MIN@BOS: Morales solid in six frames of one-run ball

So far, a trip to Boston has been just what the slumping Angels needed to rejuvenate their playoff push.

On Thursday at Fenway Park, the Angels will be looking for their first sweep of Boston since July 2008 as left-hander C.J. Wilson takes the mound opposite Boston's Franklin Morales.

In his last time out, Wilson couldn't hold an eight-run lead against Tampa Bay. He surrendered seven runs in one inning, extending his current winless streak to 10 starts.

"Obviously, C.J. lost his release point," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Wilson (9-9, 3.62 ERA). "And when you've got an eight-run lead, you can't walk people. He got behind in counts and ended up putting some guys on."

The Red Sox are a familiar opponent for Wilson, who is 4-1 with a 1.53 ERA in 17 games (five starts) against Boston.

Wilson's counterpart, Morales, a fellow southpaw, has lost back-to-back outings and has struggled at home with a 5.16 ERA (compared with a 2.66 mark on the road).

But for most of the season, Morales (3-4, 3.67 ERA) has been solid, allowing just 58 hits in his 73 2/3 innings.

"He has what it takes," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said. "You know, the one thing you can't teach is experience, and he has to experience situations and different hitters ... as long as he's working both sides of the plate with his fastball. He has two splits also -- a changeup and a split."

Morales could receive a break as Angels first baseman and No. 3 hitter Albert Pujols was removed in the bottom of the fourth inning Wednesday with tightness in his right calf, though it's unclear if he'll miss any time.

Angels: Richards returns, slotted in 'pen
• The Angels recalled right-hander Garrett Richards from Triple-A on Wednesday, placing outfielder Peter Bourjos on the 15-day disabled list with a sore right wrist.

Unlike his last stint with the big league club when he started nine games, Richards will head to the bullpen, which has struggled mightily since the All-Star break.

"He still has his length, but we're planning on using him out of the 'pen to see if he can be an effective piece there," Scioscia said. "We'll take it one step at a time."

Red Sox: Matsuzaka could return soon
• One of Boston's most high-profile signings of the last decade could be set to wind down his tenure in Boston with relatively little fanfare.

Right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is in his final season of a six-year contract, is in the process of recovering from Tommy John surgery earlier in the year and neck issues more recently. He could make his return as early as Sunday.

"I've really enjoyed my time in Boston and my family has also enjoyed our time here, so of course I'd like to," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Jeff Cutler, regarding a possible return to the Red Sox next season. "But it's a little early to say where I'm going to be or to be talking about that. But no matter how long I'm going to be here, I'd like to wear the Red Sox uniform with honor."

Worth noting
• Half of Boston's 20 August games have been decided by two runs or fewer, with the Red Sox winning just two of those contests.

• Dustin Pedroia is hitting .400 in 10 at-bats against Wilson, and Adrian Gonzalez is 3-for-7 against him.

• The Angels have won four straight games at Fenway Park after a stretch in which they lost eight of nine. Comments