ANAHEIM -- The Angels launched three home runs, including a go-ahead shot by Luis Valbuena, to topple the Red Sox, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon, securing their second straight win and a series victory at Angel Stadium.Andrelton Simmons, Michael Trout and Valbuena all homered off Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello, though
ANAHEIM -- The Angels launched three home runs, including a go-ahead shot by Luis Valbuena, to topple the Red Sox, 3-2, on Sunday afternoon, securing their second straight win and a series victory at Angel Stadium.
Andrelton Simmons, Michael Trout and Valbuena all homered off Red Sox right-hander Rick Porcello, though Valbuena delivered the biggest blow with a shot that snapped a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning. With the win, the Angels improved to 49-51 and pulled within 2 1/2 games of the second American League Wild Card spot with eight days to go until the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
"It's big, especially against a good team," Simmons said. "It shows that we can still compete. We have a couple injuries to our pitchers, to [Cameron] Maybin, but we're still grinding. We're still in the fight. We have to keep doing it every day and take away as many games as we can."
Porcello was charged with his second complete-game loss in his last three starts despite allowing just three runs on five hits over eight innings. Sunday marked only the second time this season that Porcello has allowed more than two home runs in a game.
"I felt good. Three pitches just up in the middle of the plate, not quality pitches," said Porcello. "They deserved to get hit out of the park. Other than that, felt really good about keeping those guys off-balance and getting some quick outs. Just three mistakes. You can't leave pitches in the middle of the plate to those guys and allow them to do what they did."
Rookie right-hander Parker Bridwell delivered an effective and efficient outing for the Angels, yielding two runs on five hits over a career-high seven innings. Bridwell opened the game by retiring the first 10 batters he faced and didn't allow a hit until Sandy Leon singled with two outs in the fifth. Brock Holt and Deven Marrero followed with two more singles, tying the game at 1, but Bridwell induced a forceout from Mookie Betts to minimize the damage.
Bridwell's only other blip was surrendering a solo home run to Hanley Ramirez that briefly gave the Red Sox a 2-1 lead in the sixth.
"I made a couple mistakes to Hanley there at the end, but overall, it was good," said Bridwell, who lowered his ERA to 3.09. "Located most of the pitches really well and kept my team in the game."
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Bridwell departed after throwing only 78 pitches, but Richard Parker and Bud Norris combined to throw two scoreless innings to seal the Halos' win. Norris allowed a leadoff single to Ramirez in the ninth, but he struck out Mitch Moreland and coaxed a game-ending double play from Xander Bogaerts to pick up his 15th save of the season.
After another spotty game by their offense, the Red Sox announced that they have purchased the contract of third baseman Rafael Devers from Triple-A Pawtucket. The club's No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, Devers will join Boston for Monday's opener of a three-game series in Seattle.
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Trout ties it: Trout answered Ramirez's homer with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game at 2. Trout smoked a 1-1 fastball from Porcello to right-center field, collecting his 19th home run of the season. Since coming off the disabled list on July 14, Trout is batting .276 (8-for-29) with three home runs, six RBIs, five runs and two stolen bases.
"That's the kind of player he is," Simmons said. "Some players are just a little better than others."
Valbuena's deciding blast: Valbuena led off the seventh by smashing a 2-0 fastball from Porcello to right field, breaking the 2-2 deadlock. Valbuena's ninth home run of the season had an exit velocity of 101.5 mph and traveled a projected 375 feet, according to Statcast™.
"I wanted to be aggressive with the fastball," Valbuena said in Spanish. "He threw one, and I didn't miss it."
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Porcello's 40 quality starts since the start of 2016 are the most in the American League in that span.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
In the second, Bogaerts hit a grounder to short and was called safe after appearing to beat out Simmons' throw to first. The Angels issued a challenge after replay showed that C.J. Cron had scooped the ball before Bogaerts' foot touched the bag. The ruling was ultimately overturned and Bogaerts was called out, ending the inning for the Red Sox.
Red Sox: Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (4-2, 3.66 ERA) makes his second start since returning from the disabled list when the Red Sox open a three-game series at Safeco Field against the Mariners on Monday night at 10:10 p.m. ET. Rodriguez pitched well in his lone previous appearance in Seattle, holding the Mariners to three hits and a run in 6 1/3 innings on Aug. 1 of last season.
Angels: After an off-day on Monday, the Angels will open a three-game series against the first-place Indians on Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. PT at Progressive Field. Right-hander Jesse Chavez (5-10, 4.88 ERA) will take the mound in the opener and make his second career start against Cleveland.
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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.
Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.