Angels 3, Dodgers 2
Albert Pujols made the best of a bad pitch.
Pujols muscled a broken-bat single into left field with two outs
in the top of the ninth inning off Kenley Jansen, lifting the Los
Angeles Angels to 3-2 victory over the Dodgers on Monday night.
The Angels had Mike Trout on second base representing the
go-ahead run with Pujols at the plate and first base open, but the
Dodgers decided against walking him and pitching to cleanup hitter
”I never think like that,” Pujols said when asked if he was
surprised the Dodgers didn’t walk him. ”I go up with the mind that
they’re going to pitch to me and I look for a good pitch to hit. He
pitched me tough; the pitch was not a good pitch to hit.”
The Angels rallied from an early 2-0 deficit. Trout homered in
the fourth inning off Dodgers starter Chris Capuano and added an
RBI single in the sixth to tie it. He then scored the go-ahead run
from second base on Pujols’ hit in the ninth.
Jason Isringhausen (2-0), one of four Angels relievers, got one
out for the win. Ernesto Frieri pitched the ninth for his fifth
Jansen (4-1) pitched one inning for the Dodgers.
The attendance was announced at 50,559 at Dodger Stadium, but it
appeared many fans stayed home to watch the Los Angeles Kings beat
the New Jersey Devils in Game 6 of the Stanley Cup for their first
Trout began the rally in the ninth with a one-out walk and stole
second easily, but Torii Hunter struck out. With Pujols due up,
Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and the Dodgers infield
joined Jansen on the mound.
”It’s not a great choice either way,” Dodgers manager Don
Mattingly said of the option of pitching to Pujols or Trumbo.
”It’s a situation where you pick your poison. We feel like Kenley
can go after anyone.”
Trumbo is hitting .325 with a team-leading 14 homers and 39
RBIs, so the Dodgers decided to pitch to Pujols.
”If we want to be a good team, we want to go deep with our
lineup,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ”The way Mark’s
swinging the bat, it’s going to give Albert more looks. We’ve got
to keep that going.”
The Angels moved within 2 1/2 games of Texas in the American
League West, the closest they’ve been since April 12. The Dodgers’
lead in the National League West was reduced to 4 1/2 games over
Dee Gordon had two hits and a stolen base, and A.J. Ellis walked
four times for the Dodgers.
Capuano gave up two runs and eight hits in five-plus innings,
missing a chance to join the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn and the Mets’
R.A. Dickey with a major league-leading nine wins.
Angels starter Garrett Richards was coming off his first career
major league victory last Tuesday against Seattle, but struggled to
throw strikes. He walked five in five innings, but gave up only two
runs – one earned – and five hits to keep the Angels close.
The Angels missed several chances to score off Capuano early,
stranding seven baserunners in the first three innings. They had
five hits and three walks through three innings, but were 0 for 4
with runners in scoring position and trailed, 2-0.
The Angels finally broke through against Capuano in the fourth
inning on Trout’s home run, cutting the Dodgers’ lead to 2-1, but
missed a chance for more. Just before Trout hit Capuano’s 1-1 pitch
into the left-field seats, Richards was picked off first base by
Trout’s RBI single on an 0-2 pitch in the sixth tied the game at
”I just tried to shorten up my swing,” said Trout, who raised
his average to .354. ”It’s that two-strike approach; you’re in
battle-mode. Sometimes is helps me. With no strikes I know I start
to get big (with his swing).”
The Dodgers also missed scoring opportunities, particularly in
the fifth inning when Bobby Abreu’s grounder hit Gordon, who was
attempting to steal third on the pitch, and he was automatically
out, ending the inning.
The Dodgers took a 2-0 lead in the first, getting plenty of help
from the Angels in the process. Richards walked two batters and had
a throwing error on a pickoff attempt at second base.
Trout was unable to pick up Richards’ throw cleanly in center
field for another error, allowing Elian Herrera to score from
second base with the second run of the inning.
Andre Ethier drove in the first run with a groundout, scoring
Gordon from third.
NOTES: Angels outfielders Torii Hunter and Trout were named the
American League co-players of the week for the week ending Sunday.
Hunter hit .500 (11 for 22) with four homers, 10 RBIs and 10 runs
scored, and Trout hit .520 (13 for 25) with 10 runs scored and four
stolen bases. . Dodgers OF Matt Kemp (hamstring) took batting
practice before Monday’s game but Dodgers manager Don Mattingly
said there is no timetable for Kemp’s return. . Angels pitcher
Jered Weaver (back) threw off the slope of the mound Monday and
could progress to a full bullpen workout in a couple days. If there
are no setbacks, Weaver could return to the active roster sometime
next week. . The Dodgers will give away Mike Scioscia bobblehead
dolls to fans who attend Tuesday’s game between the Dodgers and
Angels. Scioscia, in his 13th season as the Angels manager, played
13 seasons for the Dodgers. . Dodgers infielder Juan Uribe (wrist)
was activated from the disabled list Monday.