Angels Cool off Dodgers in LA
Taking advantage of a rare poor start by Chad Billingsley and poor clutch hitting, the Angels became the first visiting team to win a series at Dodger Stadium by capturing two games of the three-game Freeway Series concluding Sunday. The Angels won 3-1 and 10-7 sandwiched around a 5-4 Dodger win on Saturday.
They’re a scrappy team, and we’re a good team,” Dodger Catcher Russell Martin said on Dodgers.com following Sunday’s loss. Billingsley allowed four earned runs and nine hits in six innings in, by far, his worst start of the season in falling to 6-2. He struck out six and walked one. “They chipped away and got the big hit when they needed it,” the pitcher said on the Dodgers’ website. “They’re a very good-hitting ball club. I couldn’t get my curve ball over to put guys away. They make things happen and put a lot of pressure on you. They just found ways to push runs across. They hit good pitches. I don’t know how to explain it. They just found holes.”
The Angels, 23-20 and in second place in the American League West, collected 16 hits off six Dodger hurlers in rallying from a 4-0 deficit to take a 7-4 lead into the bottom of the eighth. They added three runs in the ninth to stave off a late Dodger comeback. Corey Wade and Ramon Troncoso each yielded two runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning of relief, and Brent Leach gave up a run and a hit in a third of an inning. Only Will Ohman (third of an inning) and Guillermo Mota (one inning) emerged unscathed.
The loss took some of the luster off Rookie Jamie Hoffman’s first major league home run. Starting in right field in place of injured Andre Ethier (right big toe), Hoffman hit a three-run shot to left off Angel Starter Matt Palmer to highlight a four-run second inning. The rookie also doubled and had four RBI. Other Dodger standouts included Corey Blake, who singled twice and doubled to drive in three and raise his average to .305, and Red Hot Juan Pierre and Orlando Hudson, who each doubled and singled. Seven Angels amassed more than one hit lead by Juan Rivera, with three singles and two RBI.
On Friday, the Dodgers collected 10 hits but went one-for-14 with runners in scoring position to settle for the two-run setback. Both teams left 10 on base. On Saturday, the Dodgers tied the score in the eighth on a double by James Loney and single by Blake and win in the 10 th on a bases-loaded walk to Juan Pierre. Despite the win, the Dodgers left 14 on base.
Dodger Chatter: According to Dodgers.com, the Dodgers are 22-35 against the Angels since 2000 for a .379 winning percentage. The only team LA has a worst winning percentage against is St. Louis (.356). Troncoso pitched better on Sunday than his stats indicated. He got the groundballs the Dodgers were looking for but was let down by the infield. After struggling all season, Mota has not allowed a run in last two relief outings (1 inning each) in dropping his ERA to 7.94. No rest for the weary……the Dodgers begin a three-game series against the Rockies in Denver on Memorial Day. Manager Joe Tore hopes Ethier can return to the lineup for the series opener. Pierre (.388) and Hudson (.342) continue to lead the Dodgers at the plate. Dodgers.com says Hiroki Kuroda, the injured opening-day starter, was pleased with his first rehab outing at Class A Inland Empire. Also on Dodgers.com, Xavier Paul is expected to be hospitalized through Wednesday with a knee staph infection. He was placed on the disabled list last week and is expected to be out at least a month.
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