BOSTON — Kevin Jepsen hadn’t earned a save in nearly two years. He certainly deserved this one, after a clutch strikeout of Boston bopper David Ortiz.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit consecutive RBI doubles, and the Los Angeles Angels extended their AL West lead with a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox on Monday night.
With two runners on and none out in the ninth, Jepsen threw a well-executed changeup to Ortiz that moved off the plate, getting Big Papi to swing and miss wildly.
“I wanted to give him a pitch he thinks he can drive, but it fades out of the zone. In that situation, I’m going for the strikeout,” Jepsen said. “Watching him, I’ve seen him come up a ton of times in that situation and tie it up.”
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Jepsen then got Yoenis Cespedes to bounce into a run-scoring fielder’s choice before Mike Napoli lined to center, closing out his first save since Sept. 16, 2012.
It was the fifth win in six games for the Angels, who moved a half-game ahead of idle Oakland.
“That’s a great pitch,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “It’s a tough situation. David can beat you at any part of this ballpark on a variety of pitches, and you’ve got to make your pitches there.”
Ortiz reached base four times with a double, a single and two walks for the Red Sox, who have lost three of four after winning four straight.
Boston was 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 12 overall.