Dodgers rally to snap Angels’ winning streak

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comeback wins haven’t come easily to the Dodgers, who had dropped four one-run games in a row.

They staged their biggest rally of the
season Monday night, overcoming a five-run deficit to beat the Los
Angeles Angels 8-7 in the Freeway Series opener.

“It can definitely be a momentum
builder, but you can’t have momentum unless you come out tomorrow and
play hard,” said Adrian Gonzalez, who had a season-high four hits and
tied his career high with four runs scored.

Jerry Hairston Jr.’s RBI single scored
the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to help the Dodgers snap the
Angels’ season-high eight-game winning streak in the first of two games
at Dodger Stadium before the series shifts to Anaheim for two more.

“It seemed like all over the place guys were getting big hits,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Scott Van Slyke went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Juan Uribe finished 3 for 3 after entering as a pinch hitter in the fifth.

Gonzalez continued his tear with his
third multihit game in a row. He is 9 for 11 with six runs, three
doubles and seven RBIs since Saturday.

The Dodgers probably wish Gonzalez’s
hitting could rub off on slugger Matt Kemp, who continued struggling a
day after he was left out of the starting lineup in a 5-3 loss to St.
Louis. He was booed heavily as he went hitless in five at-bats with four
strikeouts.

“When things aren’t going your way you try harder,” Gonzalez said. “He’s trying too hard for the team and the fans.”

Hairston was reinstated from the 15-day
disabled list earlier in the day. He was 0 for 2 with a strikeout
before he singled off Robert Coello (1-1) with two outs. After Kemp
struck out for the third time, Gonzalez singled and Van Slyke struck out
before pinch-hitter Andre Ethier walked to set up Hairston.

Ronald Belisario (3-4) faced one batter
in the seventh and got an inning-ending, double-play grounder from Hank
Conger to earn the victory.

Brandon League pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.

Trailing 8-7, the Angels had the
potential tying run at first base with two outs in the eighth. Mike
Trout flied out to right field and Erick Aybar raced back to first.
Gonzalez caught Ethier’s throw wide of the bag and lunged to tag Aybar
as he ran past, doubling him off first.

Aybar slammed his helmet into the dirt
after first base umpire Paul Emmel signaled out, believing Gonzalez had
missed the tag. Aybar and first base coach Alfredo Griffin began arguing
with Emmel as Angels manager Mike Scioscia rushed out to join them.

Scioscia pushed Aybar out of the way
and engaged in an animated debate with Emmel. Scioscia retreated to the
dugout, and the replay was inconclusive.

“From our angle — and we had a pretty
good angle on it — it looked like there was a lot of daylight,”
Scioscia said. “Erick got a great jump, but the timing wasn’t right
where he could peek to see where the ball was hit. He made too big of a
turn, but he got back to first base. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the
call.”

The Angels tied the game 7-all in the seventh on Howie Kendrick’s RBI single.

Van Slyke’s tying RBI double capped a
four-run fifth for the Dodgers before A.J. Ellis’ sacrifice fly put them
ahead 7-6 in the sixth.

The Angels took a 6-1 lead with three
runs in the fourth on Aybar’s RBI double, Trout’s RBI triple into the
left-field corner and Albert Pujols’ sacrifice fly to deep center.

“We’re swinging the bats well, but if I
had to point out one thing about the streak, it had to be the starting
pitching,” Trout said. “I think the ERA was like under 2.00. But they
came out swinging the bats. They kept battling and putting great at-bats
together.”

The anticipated pitching duel between
Angels lefty C.J. Wilson and Zack Greinke against his old team for the
first time fizzled, with neither figuring in the decision.

Wilson gave up six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked none.

“I just made bad pitches,” he said. “I
was trying to make a good pitch and I made a hitter’s pitch instead of a
pitcher’s pitch. It’s unfortunate because the offense obviously
supported the pitching. I just let them down.”

Greinke allowed six runs — four earned
— and 10 hits in four-plus innings. He struck out two and walked one.
Considered the top arm on the free-agent market last winter, the
right-hander signed a $147 million, six-year deal to switch Los Angeles
teams.

“I made some mistakes, obviously, but
overall I did about as well as I could,” he said. “It felt like I was
going to get them out and they were hitting the ball hard.”

NOTES:
The Dodgers improved to 5-6 in one-run games this season. … Kendrick
notched his 400th career RBI with a run-scoring double in the third. …
The clubs combined for 11 doubles (six by the Dodgers), a Dodger
Stadium record. … The Angels fell to 20-31 on Memorial Day. … The
Angels are 13-6 in the last 19 games against the Dodgers and 9-4 in the
last 13 in Los Angeles. … The Dodgers optioned SS Dee Gordon to
Triple-A Albuquerque. He batted .175 with five steals, a homer and eight
RBIs in 19 games with the Dodgers.