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BOS@LAA: Webster whiffs three over 6 2/3 innings

The Red Sox's impressions of Mike Trout probably didn't change much Monday night.

"We've only had a chance to see him in a handful of games, and there's not an aspect of his game that's a shortcoming," Boston manager John Farrell said before his club's series opener against Los Angeles. "To consider that the first three years he's put in a level of performance that's arguable of one of the best players in the history of the game, so far -- exciting to see."

A few hours later, Trout had helped the Angels to a 4-2 win against the Sox, propelling his team to a half-game lead over the A's in the American League West. Trout doubled in the game's first run in the third, scored on Albert Pujols' subsequent single -- and, for good measure, caught the game's final out in center field.

The Red Sox will try to even the series Tuesday, when they send young right-hander Allen Webster to the mound against Angels righty Jered Weaver in a rematch of their Aug. 8 game.

Webster, who is 3-1 with a 4.79 ERA in five starts since making his first of the season July 27, got the better of Weaver in that game. He went 6 2/3 innings and allowed two runs to earn the win, while Weaver gave up four runs in six innings and was hit with the loss.

Each pitcher has thrown one game since then, both of them picking up wins. Webster beat the Astros with a six-inning effort in which he allowed four runs (three earned). Weaver, who is 13-7 with a 3.66 ERA, tossed six innings of two-run baseball against the Phillies to rebound from the loss to Boston.

"I started locating the offspeed stuff a little bit better," Weaver said after that start. "My fastball command still isn't quite where it needs to be, but I was able to work out of some jams and try to limit runs. You keep this team in the game, the offense is going to come through eventually."

Red Sox: Bradley sent to Pawtucket; Betts comes back
The Red Sox, after waiting patiently for Jackie Bradley Jr. to start hitting, optioned the rookie center fielder back to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday.

Mookie Betts, ranked Boston's No. 1 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, was recalled from Pawtucket to take Bradley's spot on the roster.

"The move to send Jackie back to Pawtucket has been talked about for a little while now," Farrell said. "I think it's important to note that this isn't reactionary. Had it been reactionary, you might suggest it was going to be done awhile ago."

This is the third stint for Betts with the Red Sox this season, but this time he will have a defined role, taking over as the primary center fielder.

"I'm just happy to get the opportunity again," said Betts. "I wasn't really thinking about it too much. I figured it was probably going to be until September. It did kind of surprise me."

Angels: Hamilton sits again, will have extra hitting session
Angels cleanup hitter Josh Hamilton was out of the starting lineup for a second straight day Monday, with manager Mike Scioscia wanting to give him some extra time to recover from his ongoing slump.

Hamilton had five hits and 18 strikeouts in his last 38 at-bats, dropping his batting average to .266 while keeping his home run total at eight through 72 games. He's scheduled to come to Fenway Park early on Tuesday to have a one-on-one session with hitting coaches Don Baylor and Dave Hansen "to try to find a comfortable concept in the batter's box that he can take to the game," Scioscia said.

"I'm all right," Hamilton said Monday, "but I don't make the lineup. ... I'm going to do some early work tomorrow, see how it goes. If I hit enough out, I'll play."

Worth noting
• Allen Craig could be activated by the Red Sox on Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Mariners. Craig, who got hurt in his first game after being traded to the Red Sox, started his Minor League rehab assignment Monday for Triple-A Pawtucket.

Slotted in as the designated hitter Monday, Craig went 0-for-2 with a walk against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

• Angels first baseman Albert Pujols started at designated hitter for a second straight game Monday, with Scioscia calling it "a double-up recharge day." Pujols, expected to return to first base Tuesday, hadn't started back-to-back games at DH since June 28-29.

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