ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Angels have grown accustomed to providing a stage for Yoenis Cespedes to show off his skills.
One of the most memorable highlights of the season was the throw Cespedes made here, reaching home on the fly from the left-field foul pole to cut down Howie Kendricks at the plate.
Plays like those were what made Cespedes such a beloved character in Oakland, California, where his parting from the Athletics for Jon Lester caused much wailing among their fans, who had adopted “Yoenis for the Rest of Us” as a slogan.
Sunday afternoon, Cespedes used the Angels as a launching pad to forge a connection with a new fan base, the one in Boston. Cespedes broke up a scoreless tie with his first home run as a member of the Red Sox.
The result: Cespedes’ three-run shot, his 18th home run of the season, propelled the Sox to a 3-1 victory over the Angels in the rubber match of this three-game set, the Sox surviving a solo home run by Mike Trout in the bottom of the eighth. The Sox are now 3-3 on this three-city trip, with two games left in Cincinnati before they return home.
They’ve hit just two home runs on the trip, both coming in Angel Stadium. Mike Napoli homered Friday night; Sunday afternoon, he was ejected for arguing balls and strikes.
Smith smackdown: Angels reliever Joe Smith had made 23 straight scoreless appearances until Brock Holt reached on an error by first baseman Efren Navarro, Dustin Pedroia singled and Cespedes went deep, his line drive clearing the left-field fence.
Rubby Sunday: Rubby De La Rosa held the Angels scoreless on four hits before Trout led off the eighth with a home run, just as he did the night before against Clay Buchholz. De La Rosa, who was lifted for Edward Mujica, walked three and struck out eight, giving the Sox three consecutive strong starts against a team trying to keep pace with the Athletics in the AL West.
Koji time: Closer Koji Uehara, who worked a scoreless 12th in Saturday’s 19-inning marathon defeat, made it 11 straight scoreless appearances by notching his 25th save.
Uehara has gone exactly a month since allowing his last run.