As you would expect, Red Sox manager Terry Francona is an avid sports fan. He follows the Celtics closely, has a fantasy football team, and is conversant in college football and basketball.

But when the Sox started the season with 10 losses in 12 games, Francona clicked his television over to The History Channel. Better to learn something about the ancient Greeks than be reminded of how historically bad his team was.

Those days are over. The resurgent Red Sox completed a four-game sweep of the Angels yesterday with a 7-0 victory. It was their eighth victory in nine games.