How the Angels lost (08/10): Cespedes continues to torment Halos' pitching
How the Angels lost: Yoenis Cespedes continues to torment the Halos even though he's no longer in the division.
With the game scoreless through seven innings, reliever Joe Smith left a slider up to the home run derby champ and he smashed into the left field stands for a decisive three-run shot. The Red Sox took the series finale by the score of 3-1, and won the series, 2-1.
Cespedes is now 5-for-10 against Smith (4-1), and .317 lifetime against the Angels.
"It's just every time I miss," Smith said. "Every time I miss, he's on it. That's what good hitters do. I missed and he got me."
Mike Trout's home run in the bottom of the eighth, his 27th of the season, was not enough. The Angels managed only one more hit following his line drive shot into the bullpen, and only six through the entire game.
Stud of the game: Hector Santiago threw six innings of two-hit ball and has not received a decision in four of his last five starts. It's unfortunate, since Santiago has pitched well as of late and especially was effective Sunday, with five strikeouts and two walks (one intentional) in 98 pitches.
"Just command the zone," Santiago said. "(I've been) in good counts, in good pitcher's counts and you put yourself in a situation to get guys out. I stopped giving up the free passes and that's kind of what I've been doing."
"He pitched his heart out," Scioscia said. "It's great to see Hector continue to take these strides forward because he's going to be important to us."
With Tyler Skaggs undergoing Tommy John surgery on Friday and out until 2016, Santiago's place in the rotation is solidified.
"That's tough on Skaggsy, but I just need to do my job," Santiago said. "I'm in the rotation and, I'll just go out there and make him proud, battle for him."
Dud of the game: Yet again, it was the Angels' offense. The Halos left nine stranded and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position.
"I think when you're not swinging the bats these situations are going to find you and you're going to have some skewed results," Scioscia said. "If you're not swinging the bats real well, which we haven't been for some time, then I think every category is going to show negative."
Despite the fact that they still own the second-best record in the league (68-49), the Angels' post-All Star break average of .223 is the worst in the American League and the third-worst in baseball.
"You can't speak of the whole team offense and just think that there's one magic pill that gets it going," Scioscia said. "Each player is an individual component of that. Some guys definitely need some extra work, need to make some adjustments; some guys need maybe not to even pick up a bat and just reset and refresh; some guys need to change their concept of what they're doing.
"There's individual things that each hitter need to do to keep his game where it has to be."
Key moments: The Angels had the bases loaded with one out in the first but couldn't capitalize as Howie Kendrick grounded into a double play.
Key stat: Smith has given up just 14 runs this season and Cespedes has been responsible for seven of them, either by scoring them or driving them in.
They said it: Scioscia felt that Smith's slider to Cespedes was heavy and flat: A pitch that an elite slugger like Cespedes isn't going miss.
"When you throw a cement mixer breaking ball to any hitter, or when Joe does, it just hung," he said. "And Cespedes didn't miss it."
What's next: Monday is a much-needed off-day. The Phillies then come to town for a two-game set before the Angels depart for a 10-game road trip.