Pujols hits 2-run HR to help Angels beat Red Sox 5-2

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Hector Santiago was happy to overlook his rough stretch as long as the Los Angeles Angels got the win.

Santiago labored through five innings, throwing a season-high 119 pitches with six walks, and it was good enough as the Angels beat the Boston Red Sox 5-2 Saturday night.

"A phenomenal start," Santiago said. "We got the W. Who cares about the rest?"

After giving up a pair of runs in the first, including a leadoff homer to Mookie Betts, Santiago mostly managed to frustrate the Red Sox, who left 11 men on base.

"It's almost like he was effectively wild," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "He was erratic enough in the strike zone to prevent us from squaring anything up."

Santiago (10-4) has now won six consecutive starts, posting a 1.78 ERA, all in the month of July. He's the first left-hander to go 6-0 in a calendar month since Andy Pettitte managed it for the Yankees in August of 2007.

He was supported Saturday by the continued hot bat of veteran Albert Pujols.

After Santiago allowed the two runs in the first, the Angels got one back in the bottom of the inning against Drew Pomeranz (8-9) before Pujols put the Angels on top with a line-drive, two-run homer in the third.

Pujols has 20 RBI in his last 13 games, 30 for the month of July and 80 on the season. It was his 20th home run of the year. This after he started the season batting .185 in his first 33 games.

"Year after year, Albert is one of the most productive hitters to ever play the game," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We were never worried about Albert."

It was the third start for Pomeranz with the Red Sox since acquired from the Padres on July 14. He is 0-2 with a 7.53 in his three starts with Boston.

"Overall he just wasn't as strong as the last time out," Farrell said. "It's been a mixed bag. There's quality stuff being thrown, it's just a matter of consistency."

Pomeranz went 5 1/3 innings and was charged with all five runs. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out four.

He was not helped by the Red Sox offense, which stranded those 11 runners and could never come up with the timely hit after the first.

"Missed opportunities," Farrell said. "That's the story of this game."

The Angels backed up the erratic performance by Santiago with four scoreless innings of relief by four different relievers. Houston Street got the final three outs for his ninth save.

The Angels are 47-57, their season appearing lost. But they have won 10 of their last 15 and 18 of their last 25. And since 2012, they are 22-10 at home against the Red Sox.


The Angels parted ways with their opening-day platoon in left field, designating Daniel Nava and Craig Gentry for assignment. Not wanting to pay the luxury tax, the Angels signed the two in the offseason for a combined $2.4 million. Nava hit .229 with one home run. Gentry hit .147 in 34 at-bats before injuring his back and being assigned to the minors. The Angels activated outfielder Shane Robinson (right ankle sprain) from the disabled list.


The home run by Pujols left him with 1,190 career extra-base hits, tying Lou Gehrig for ninth on baseball's all-time list. With the home run, he joined Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only plays with 20-plus home runs in 15 of their first 16 seasons.


Red Sox: RHP Craig Kimbrel threw 17 pitches in his first rehab appearance. Kimbrel (surgery for torn left knee cartilage) started the game for triple-A Pawtucket, recording one out while hitting a batter and allowing one hit. Manager John Farrell it was uncertain what Kimbrell's next step would be, but said he could join the team when it opens a four-game series in Seattle Tuesday.

Angels: C.J. Cron may be on the verge of a remarkable recovery from his fractured left hand. Cron injured the hand on July 9 and it was originally expected he would be out six-to-eight weeks. But manager Mike Scioscia said Cron could return within two weeks. He is scheduled to be examined Tuesday and could be cleared to start swinging a bat.


Red Sox: RHP Steven Wright (12-5) will try to bounce back from his worst start of the season when he gave up eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings Tuesday against Detroit. In his last six starts, he has a 6.89 ERA but has gone 4-1.

Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs will try to duplicate his first start of the season. Skaggs, returning from Tommy John surgery, threw seven scoreless innings Tuesday, holding the Royals to only three hits in his first start since July 31, 2014.