ANAHEIM, Calif. – Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning, Rubby De La Rosa pitched five-hit ball into the eighth, and the Boston Red Sox bounced back from a 19-inning loss with a 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
The teams returned just 12 hours after the longest game in the majors this season, a 6 1/2-hour epic won 5-4 by the Angels on Albert Pujols’ homer.
Mike Trout homered in the eighth for the Angels (68-49), who still have the majors’ second-best record despite losing five of six.
Cespedes broke open a scoreless game with his first homer for the defending World Series champions, driving a pitch from Joe Smith (4-1) into the Boston bullpen in left.
Smith has been outstanding for the Angels, but Cespedes has either scored or driven in seven of the 14 runs he has allowed this season. Smith hadn’t allowed a run in 23 straight appearances over 23 2/3 innings before the former Oakland slugger connected.
Brock Holt started the rally by reaching base on Efren Navarro’s error.
Boston took two of three from the powerful Angels, winning its first series in three weeks.
Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 25th save, striking out pinch-hitter Josh Hamilton with a runner on.
Both depleted teams needed strong starts on a hot day at Angel Stadium, and both pitchers came through.
Hector Santiago threw six scoreless innings of two-hit ball in another strong start for the Angels, allowing just one runner to reach third base.
De La Rosa (4-4) was even better in his first victory in four starts. With Dan Butler making his major league debut at catcher, De La Rosa had eight strikeouts and blanked the Angels until Trout’s homer on his 110th pitch.
Trout’s homer was his 27th, matching last year’s total.
Red Sox: Kelly Johnson made his Boston debut, playing first base. The former Yankees third baseman was activated from the disabled list on Thursday.
Angels: Left-hander Tyler Skaggs has elected to undergo Tommy John surgery, likely sidelining him until 2016.
Red Sox: Joe Kelly (0-0, 1.29) opens an interleague series in Cincinnati on Tuesday.
Angels: Los Angeles also has a day off before a two-game series with Philadelphia. C.J. Wilson (8-8, 4.82) will start Tuesday because Matt Shoemaker had to pitch three hitless innings of relief Saturday, getting the win.