Angels beat Dodgers 7-5 in Freeway Series opener
LOS ANGELES (AP) Howie Kendrick singled home two runs in a four-run seventh inning, offsetting a pair of solo homers by Hanley Ramirez and leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 7-5 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night in the opener of their Freeway Series.
The Dodgers resumed their exhibition schedule after last week’s two-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia, which began the regular season for both clubs. Following these three games against their Southern California rivals, the defending NL West champions go back to playing games that count beginning Sunday in San Diego.
Kole Calhoun also hit a two-run single for the Angels.
”We have a lot of guys who are having terrific springs, and everybody is really putting their best foot forward,” manager Mike Scioscia said. ”Our club is proving to be a little deeper on the pitching side than a lot of people perceived.”
Hector Santiago threw 104 pitches through six innings, allowing four runs and six hits for the victory. The left-hander, who came to the Angels in a multiplayer trade that sent slugger Mark Trumbo to the Diamondbacks in December, was 2-1 in five spring starts.
”As the game went along, he made some adjustments and finished strong,” Scioscia said.
Nick Maronde gave up a run in the ninth before Cam Bedrosian got the final out for a save. Bedrosian is the son of former closer Steve Bedrosian, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 1987 with Philadelphia.
Losing pitcher Jose Dominguez was charged with four runs – two earned – and four hits in two-thirds of an inning after inheriting a 4-3 lead from Zack Greinke.
The right-hander allowed three runs – two earned – and five hits on 78 pitches in six innings. Greinke missed the Australia trip because of a strained calf muscle, which occurred four pitches into his first start of spring training and sidelined him for three weeks.
He is scheduled to make his regular-season debut next Tuesday in San Diego.
”I felt good. I felt like I could go another inning, but the plan coming in was 85, tops,” Greinke said. ”We already had that mapped out. So I guess that’s good – that I still felt strong enough that I could go another one.”
Ramirez homered to right-center in the third after Santiago struck out Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford. Santiago hit his next batter, Adrian Gonzalez, on the right elbow with a pitch before retiring Juan Uribe.
Gonzalez left the game for precautionary reasons and was replaced at first base by Scott Van Slyke.
Ramirez regained the lead for Dodgers in the fifth with a leadoff drive deep into the left-field pavilion, his fourth homer of the spring and only his fifth RBI. Gonzalez’s run-scoring single in the first and Puig’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the fourth accounted for the Dodgers’ first two runs.
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said before the game that Cuban second baseman Alex Guerrero, who did not make the opening day roster, won’t be able to play in any of the games against the Angels because of a strained intercostal muscle. He will begin the season at Triple-A Albuquerque.
BIG SHOES TO FILL
Mattingly has yet to announce a starter for Sunday’s game to replace two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, who has a swollen muscle in his left upper back.
One of the feel-good stories on the local baseball landscape this spring has been former Angels infielder Chone Figgins making the Dodgers’ opening day roster at age 36 after signing a minor league contract.
The visitors’ clubhouse at Dodger Stadium has been relocated to a lower level closer to the first base dugout, and the accommodations are even smaller than before.
The width of the dressing quarters from one wall of lockers to the other is less than 20 feet, and the players are practically shoulder to shoulder when they are sitting in front of them. The Angels only have to put up with it twice a season. Just wait until the Giants, Padres, Diamondbacks and Rockies see it. They will think the old setup that had remained unchanged since 1962 was palatial by comparison.
Angels relievers Dane De La Rosa and Sean Burnett will begin the season on the disabled list. De La Rosa was removed from a March 6 game with right forearm stiffness, and Burnett is working his way back from forearm surgery last August.
”Dane threw one inning today and felt really good,” Scioscia said. ”It’s an important first step. We’ll see how he responds and how he feels next time he gets out there. A.J. threw a bullpen today and he feels much better, so at least we’ve taken a step forward.”