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

Mark Trumbo.

”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

save.

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

title.

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

San Francisco.

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

Capuano.

Trout’s RBI single on an 0-2 pitch in the sixth tied the game at

2.

”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.