Anaheim, CA – Mike Trout tied the game with a broken-bat RBI single, and Torii Hunter capped the two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning with a sacrifice fly, as the Los Angeles Angels edged the Boston Red Sox, 6-5, to start a three-game series.
The Red Sox were in line to extend their winning streak in Anaheim to eight games, but Alfredo Aceves (2-9), who returned from a team-imposed three-game suspension, blew the save opportunity.
Erick Aybar was nicked by a pitch with one out and stole second before pinch- hitter Alberto Callaspo walked.
Trout, who homered earlier in the game to become the first MLB rookie with 25 homers and 40 steals, broke his bat on a single up the middle, just past a diving Dustin Pedroia.
"I shortened up my swing and hit the ball up the middle," Trout said. "I got a pitch to hit and I found a hole."
Aybar scored easily, and Hunter followed with a deep fly ball to center field, and Callaspo trotted home as the Angels beat Boston for a sixth straight time.
"Every game is big for us," Trout said. "We just have to take it one game at a time and push this race to the playoffs."
Trout had three hits and two RBI, and Albert Pujols also went deep for the Angels, winners in five of their last seven games. They are 4 1/2 games behind Baltimore and Oakland in the wild card chase.
Boston's Clay Buchholz and the Angels' Jered Weaver each threw seven innings in a rematch from last Wednesday.
Kevin Jepsen (3-2) pitched the ninth inning to keep the Angels in striking distance until Aceves suffered his eighth blown save of the year.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered and knocked in two runs for Boston.
"I thought we played a good game. We scored enough runs to win, but we couldn't hold on tonight," Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said.
Trout homered to left-center field on Buchholz's second pitch of the night. Mark Trumbo's sacrifice fly plated Hunter later in the opening inning.
Saltalamacchia crushed a 2-2 pitch over the wall in right field in the second inning, and the Red Sox went ahead with three runs in the fourth.
A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases before James Loney's line drive base hit to right field tied the game, 2-2. Saltalamacchia's single to right field scored Jacoby Ellsbury, and Ryan Lavarnway came home on Ryan Kalish's double-play groundout.
Ellsbury singled, stole second and scored on Lavarnway's sac fly in the sixth inning before the Angels got two back in their half on Pujols' 29th homer of the year, a shot to center, and Howie Kendrick's RBI double to left. With men on the corners, Aybar grounded out to end the frame.
Kendrick has a 14-game hitting streak .... The 21-year-old Trout became the youngest player ever with at least 25 homers and 40 steals in a season. Cesar Cedeno (1973) was the only player in history to do so before turning 23 years old ... The Red Sox placed left-handed pitcher Franklin Morales on the 15-day disabled list with left shoulder inflammation ... Ellsbury has tallied multiple hits in six straight games.