Dodgers-Angels Preview

Chad Billingsley won’t end the Los Angeles Dodgers’ drought in

winning the Freeway Series, but he will get the chance to continue

his sparkling run on the mound at the expense of their Southern

California rival.

He may also deny Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia a

milestone win.

Billingsley and the Dodgers will try to take two of three from

the Angels when they meet Sunday night in Anaheim.

With a 7-1 win Saturday, the Angels gained a 3-2 lead in the

annual six-game season series. The Dodgers haven’t taken a Freeway

Series from Scioscia’s club since 2006, when they won four of


A former Dodgers catcher, Scioscia is tied with Joe Torre for

most interleague wins with 131. Breaking the record in the final

matchup of the year against an NL club could be a problem as

Billingsley (7-6, 4.22 ERA) has buckled down in his last two


The right-hander allowed one run and six hits in 5 1-3 innings

to beat Detroit 6-1 on May 21. He came back with better numbers

Monday against Minnesota, giving up four hits in six innings of the

Dodgers’ 15-0 romp.

Billingsley had been 0-2 with a 13.50 ERA in his previous two

starts before turning things around, thanks also to better run

support. He’s been backed by 16 runs in the two most recent wins

after getting a total of one in the two losses.

Billingsley is 1-3 with a 4.70 ERA in five career starts against

the Angels, with one loss coming in Anaheim.

No current member of the Angels has ever homered off

Billingsley, although Erick Aybar (6 for 14) and Howie Kendrick (3

for 7) are each hitting .429 against him.

Aybar, Bobby Abreu and Vernon Wells each drove in two runs

Saturday to give Jered Weaver his 10th win and drop his AL-best ERA

to 1.92.

“The guys came out and did a heck of a job (Saturday) …

Anytime you get a six-run lead, it takes a lot of pressure off me,”

Weaver said after the Angels (43-41) improved to 12-5 against the

NL this season.

Clayton Kershaw fanned 10 over seven innings, but was lit up for

all seven runs – six earned – and nine hits as the Dodgers (37-47)

dropped to 6-8 in interleague play. They haven’t posted a winning

record versus AL opponents since 2004.

“Overall, I felt good. But I didn’t have my best stuff and I

have to limit it to three (runs) over six (innings), not six over

six,” Kershaw told the Dodgers’ official website.

Ervin Santana (3-8, 4.08) will try again for his first win in

nearly six weeks as he takes the ball for the Angels.

The right-hander is 0-4 in six starts since May 30. Facing

Washington on Monday, Santana went eight innings and allowed two

runs for the third straight start, but didn’t get a decision in the

Angels’ 10-inning, 4-3 victory.

Santana gave up two homers, raising his total to nine over his

last six outings. He’s fourth in the majors with 17 longballs


The Dodgers’ Casey Blake is 6 for 17 with two homers against the

Angels starter while Matt Kemp has gone deep once among two hits in

six at-bats off him.

Kemp, who leads the NL with 22 homers, has one in five games

against the Angels this year, but none in the last four.