BOSTON -- The Angels tempted the Fenway Park fates yet again as Wednesday night turned into Thursday morning, hours after Ervin Santana had one of his finest performances short-circuited by Mother Nature's intervention.
After watching the Red Sox storm from behind with two outs in the ninth to force extra innings, the Angels prevailed, 5-3, in the 13th when Bobby Abreu stroked a two-out, two-run single to right to score Howard Kendrick and Peter Bourjos.
"We really needed this game -- no matter what time it ended," said Santana, who held the Red Sox hitless for four innings before steady rains forced a two-hour, 35-minute delay. "Everybody contributed, and Trevor Bell really came through for us at the end."
Daisuke Matsuzaka made his first career relief appearance as the eighth Red Sox pitcher. He fell to 2-3 with the loss as Bell (1-0) claimed the win with four innings of scoreless relief.
Vernon Wells had his best night in an Angels uniform with a two-run homer, a single and a succession of key plays defensively.
"When I showed up today," Boston manager Terry Francona said, "I didn't think I'd be talking to you guys at three in the morning. And if I did, I wish we'd have won."
Kendrick opened the 13th with a single and took third on Bourjos' two-out single to right. Erick Aybar walked, bringing Abreu to the plate. His hit was the first in 14 at-bats with the bases loaded by an Angels hitter this season.
"Bobby's been hitting the ball really well without a lot to show for it," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He finally found a hole [through the right side] with that base hit.
"The rain delay was a shame, because Ervin was really pitching well. He had great command and location, a great breaking ball. On the back side, what Trevor Bell did, that was sensational to go through those guys and give us a chance to win that game. A heck of an effort."
The Red Sox, one strike away from defeat with Jordan Walden throwing 100-mph heat, drew even with two runs in the bottom of the ninth.
"A lot of ups and downs tonight," Scioscia said. "You have two strikes on a hitter [Jacoby Ellsbury] with a chance to close it out, and they tie it. But there wasn't a letdown in the dugout."
The Angels ended a six-game losing streak against Boston, which has taken 15 of 17 over the past two seasons.
With Bell working his third inning, Marco Scutaro singled with one out in the Boston 12th, but he was erased at home on a relay throw from Wells to Aybar to Jeff Mathis on Kevin Youkilis' double off the wall in left-center.
"That relay was as clean as you're going to see," Scioscia said. "Vernon played it as clean as you can, and Erick Aybar threw a bullet. And Mathis blocked the plate."
Santana was dominating the Red Sox with seven strikeouts in a scoreless duel with Josh Beckett when the game was halted by rain with one out in the top of the fifth. After the delay, Santana and Beckett turned it over to Rich Thompson and Matt Albers, respectively, in what became a battle of bullpens.
"My focus tonight was amazing," Santana said. "Everything felt great. But I couldn't go back out there after a two-hour delay."
Wells, coming alive with the bat, crushed a two-run homer in the seventh inning to give the Angels the lead, but Boston would not concede.
Jason Varitek doubled to lead off the eighth and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's slow two-out roller that Angels pitcher Fernando Rodney turned into an error with a flip toward an uncovered home plate, allowing Gonzalez to take second. But Boston's run in the eighth was matched by the Angels in the ninth.
Wells hit a one-out single and then raced to third on catcher Hank Conger's single before Aybar lifted a sacrifice fly. Conger had three hits and a walk and was robbed of a fourth hit by Mike Cameron in right.
Walden, absorbing his first blown save, opened the ninth by walking Jed Lowrie, who moved up on Cameron's single. A wild pitch and a throwing error by Conger brought home Lowrie, but Cameron was out at third. After Carl Crawford doubled and Varitek struck out, Ellsbury lashed a full-count single to right to deliver Crawford with the tying run.
Pinch-runner Scutaro stopped at third when Wells quickly fielded Youkilis' single to left and delivered a strong, accurate throw to the plate. Center fielder Bourjos ran down David Ortiz's fly ball to end the inning.
"Vernon had a great night, in the field and at the plate," Scioscia said.
Kendrick doubled leading off the seventh against Dan Wheeler, the third Boston pitcher. Wells, who homered in Monday night's series opener, promptly banged his third of the season off the tower supporting the light standard above the Green Monster.
A brilliant catch in right center by Torii Hunter behind Thompson robbed Dustin Pedroia of extra bases and deprived Boston of a run with Ellsbury on second in the sixth. The Red Sox didn't pick up a hit until Lowrie stroked a one-out single to right in the seventh against Scott Downs, who quelled a two-on threat.
The Angels let a golden opportunity slip away in the first inning. A walk by Aybar, leading off for the sixth time this season with Maicer Izturis placed in the No. 3 spot, opened the game against Beckett. Aybar stole second but was held at third when Izturis' line-drive single to right was handled quickly by Cameron, who unleashed a strong throw to home.
Hunter worked a walk after falling behind, 0-2, loading the bases for Alberto Callaspo. Beckett escaped when Callaspo stroked a grounder that Pedroia easily turned into a double play.
Having dodged a bullet, Beckett started throwing them -- and the Angels' offense fell as silent as Boston's, which was muted from the outset by Santana.
A two-out walk by Gonzalez in the first inning and a hit batsman (Youkilis, No. 71 of his career to share the Red Sox record with Mo Vaughn) were all the Sox could manage against Santana.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.