Boston, MA – It took Ervin Santana seven starts to earn a win at the start of the season. Now, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim can hardly lose with the right-hander on the mound.
The Angels won for the fifth straight time with Santana on the mound and dropped the Boston Red Sox, 5-3, in the opener of a three-game set.
Santana (7-10), who is 3-0 with a 3.52 earned run average over his last five outings, gave up two runs on five hits with four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings en route to the win.
"We got early runs which helped (Santana)," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Then our bullpen came in and did the job that we needed and we expect."
Mark Trumbo crushed a decisive two-run home run as the Angels snapped a four- game losing streak.
Los Angeles roughed up Aaron Cook (3-7) for five runs -- four earned -- and 11 hits in five innings. Cook struck out a season-high four, but lost for the sixth time in his last seven decisions. The right-hander has a 6.25 ERA over his last six starts.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered in a losing effort, as the Red Sox fell for the ninth time in their last 13 games.
The Angels went ahead in the third after Mike Trout grounded a one-out single up the middle. After an errant pickoff attempt moved Trout to second, he scored when Albert Pujols sent a base hit into center field.
The Angels expanded their lead to five with a pair of runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo had back-to-back singles with one out in the fourth. Erick Aybar dribbled a single through the right side to score Kendrick and Chris Iannetta lined a single to shortstop to give the Angels a three-run lead.
Kendrys Morales hit a one-out single before Trumbo smashed the eight pitch of his at-bat over the Green Monster, inflating Los Angeles' lead to five.
"I felt like I was making pitches, they were just finding holes with those singles," Cook said. "They were able to string together a few of those in the holes and then I left one pitch up on the 3-2 to Trumbo and he hit it about as hard as you can hit a baseball."
Boston started chipping away with two runs in the sixth. Cody Ross walked with two outs and Saltalamacchia made Santana pay with a fly ball into the right- field seats to bring Boston within three.
With Santana out of the game, Scott Podsednik greeted Jordan Walden with a double off the Monster. After he moved to third on a groundout, Podsednik scored on Walden's wild pitch, making the score 5-3.
But the Red Sox were unable to complete the comeback. Boston put two runners on against Kevin Jepsen in the eighth with two outs, but Mike Aviles grounded out to end the threat.
Ernesto Frieri tossed a perfect ninth to seal the win and nail down his 15th save of the season.
Trout became the first rookie in major league history to hit at least .340 with 96 runs, 24 home runs, 70 RBI and 39 stolen bases after 100 games. Trout also ranks fifth all-time in hits and second in runs through 100 games in a rookie campaign ... In the ninth inning, Trout was caught stealing for the first time since June 4, snapping a string of 30 consecutive stolen bases ... Los Angeles has won three straight games at Boston after losing 10 of the previous 12 ... Each player on Boston wore No. 6 in honor of Johnny Pesky, who passed away last Monday at 93. The Angels also wore a patch in his honor.