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Angels return from 19-inning victory for their 5th loss in 6 games, 3-1 to Boston Red Sox

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ANAHEIM, Calif. - The Los Angeles Angels' good feelings from a 19-inning victory lasted only about 12 hours until another starting pitcher began sitting them down again.

And not even a strong start from Hector Santiago could help his slumping teammates.

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 won their first series in three weeks with a 3-1 victory Sunday.

Mike Trout hit his 27th homer in the eighth, matching his total from last season as Los Angeles lost two of three to the last-place Red Sox. The Angels (68-49) still have the majors' second-best record despite losing five of six, but their .223 batting average since the All-Star break is the AL's worst.

"There's some improvement that we need from players," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "A lot of this is cyclical. We have a lot of guys that are obviously struggling right now, and we need to just keep pushing forward. We need some hits to fall in. We've just been grinding."

The teams had to go right back to work about 12 hours after a 6 1/2-hour epic won 5-4 by the Angels on Albert Pujols' homer well after midnight. Most position players were exhausted, and neither team scored in the first seven innings on a hot day at Angel Stadium.

Cespedes broke it open with his first homer for his new team, driving a pitch from Joe Smith (4-1) into the Boston bullpen in left.

Smith said he missed his location on the fateful slider by "a lot. About 428 feet, I think. ... Every time I miss, he's on it. That's what good hitters do. I missed and he got me. We'll battle again in about a week."

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 Cespedes connected to cap a rally started by first baseman Efren Navarro's error.

Both teams needed strong starts, and both pitchers came through.

Santiago threw six scoreless innings of two-hit ball for the Angels, allowing just one runner to reach third.

"I definitely could have gone back out there for the seventh, but there's nothing wrong with giving the ball to our bullpen right now," Santiago said.

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.

"I had a rhythm, and I was really confident," De La Rosa said.

Koji Uehara pitched the ninth for his 25th save, striking out pinch-hitter Josh Hamilton with a runner on.

PITCHING RECORD

Reliever Vinny Pestano made his Angels debut, striking out the side with one walk in the ninth inning. He is the 30th pitcher used by the Angels this season, breaking the 1996 franchise record.

GET SOME SLEEP

De La Rosa got more rest than his teammates because he left the ballpark while the 19-inning game was still going. He didn't put it on television at the hotel, either: "I fell asleep."

TRAINER'S ROOM

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.

ON DECK

Red Sox: Joe Kelly (0-0, 1.29) opens an interleague series in Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Angels: Struggling C.J. Wilson (8-8, 4.82) will start Tuesday against Philadelphia because Matt Shoemaker had to pitch three hitless innings of relief Saturday.

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