BOSTON — In a contest that featured three home runs and a game-ending strikeout of Mike Trout, Red Sox manager Alex Cora pointed to an under-the-radar reliever as the one who saved the day in Boston’s 5-4 series-clinching victory over the Los Angeles Angels.

Red Sox reliever Justin Slaten, a Rule 5 rookie, inherited runners at first and third and one out when he replaced starting pitcher Brayan Bello in the sixth inning. With one pitch to Brandon Drury — a 90 mph cutter from the right-hander — the Red Sox got out of the frame still possessing a 3-2 lead.

Boston didn’t trail thereafter.

“That one pitch, double play, saved the day,” Cora said. “One pitch to double-play was great for us.”

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Slaten said he had the exact scenario in his mind when he ran onto the field.

“Coming out of the bullpen, that was the only thing on my mind: Throw my best pitch for a ground ball,” Slaten said. “Luckily, I was able to throw one and get out of it. It felt good to pick up the team and to pick up Bello.”

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Cora lauded the rookie for stepping up in such a critical spot.

“He doesn’t get too emotional,” Cora said. “He got the double play, we were all excited in the dugout and was like, ‘Got to go back and get three more outs.’

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“He’s a good one. He’s really good. Little by little you see how we’re using him, multiple innings. And we’ll take care of him physically because obviously this is a lot different to the minor leagues and the way he’s been used. But he was really good for us.”

Here are more notes from Red Sox-Angels:

— Kenley Jansen got the blood pumping with his appearance in the ninth inning. The veteran closer hit the first batter, allowed a hit and walked another. It prompted Mike Trout to come to the plate with runners on second and third and LA trailing by one run.

But Jansen, who was critical about the quality of the baseball, ultimately struck out Trout for the final out of the game. Cora is hoping it will spark the 36-year-old after a slow start to the campaign.

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“Hopefully that at-bat against Mike (Trout) gets him locked in,” Cora said. “You see the velocity was there. He got the three outs, we won the series and we go on from there.”

Cora added: “I bet half a million people out there would walk Mike Trout, but not this guy. He’s one of the best players in the world and we trust him. That last at-bat was really good for us.”

— Relief pitcher Chris Martin is dealing with an injury to his left shoulder, Cora said postgame. Cora did not confirm whether or not it would require a trip to the injured list, but said the staff wants to make sure they don’t rush Martin.

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“We don’t want him to try to do something mechanic-wise to get to where he needs to go and then something happens with him,” Cora said.

— Tyler O’Neill continued his stellar start. O’Neill hit his seventh home run of the season in the first inning, the first of back-to-back blasts by O’Neill and Triston Casas. O’Neill reached base three times in the game, and had a line drive robbed by Trout.

“Obviously the homer was great, but he controls the at-bat,” Cora said. “He knows what he wants to do. He’s not expanding. He’s been locked in.”

O’Neill’s seven home runs are the most ever by a player in their first 14 games as a member of the Red Sox, per Sox Notes’ J.P. Long.

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— Cora said pregame the Red Sox were not worried about the sluggish start of Masataka Yoshida. Cora said Yoshida has been fighting with his mechanics a bit, but added how the group remained confident the results would come.

Yoshida hit his first home run of the season Sunday, a two-run shot in the sixth inning that ultimately served as the game-winning run for Boston.

“We know he can hit, we all know he can hit,” Cora said after the game. “It’s just a matter of time. And when he gets locked in, it’s fun to watch.”

— Kutter Crawford will get the start for the Red Sox in their series opener against the Cleveland Guardians on Monday morning. First pitch in the Patriots’ Day contest is scheduled for 11:10 a.m. ET, and you can watch it live on NESN after an hour of pregame coverage.

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Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images