Dodgers 5, Angels 0

BY foxsports • July 2, 2011

Hiroki Kuroda didn't have his best stuff. This time, he didn't need it because the Los Angeles Dodgers finally got him some runs.

Kuroda scattered three hits over seven innings, Tony Gwynn Jr. reached base a career-high six times and Aaron Miles had four hits, including an RBI single, leading the Dodgers past the Angels 5-0 on Friday night in the opener of the second Freeway Series.

Dee Gordon stole home on the front end of a double steal for the Dodgers, who lost two of three against the Angels last weekend at Chavez Ravine. Gwynn went 3 for 3 with three walks.

It was the Dodgers' second shutout win this week, having beaten Minnesota 15-0 on Monday.

''We've had so many games like this and follow it up with not enough run support or pitching,'' said Gwynn, whose uniform was dirty from top to bottom. ''It's really a matter of putting it together consistently.''

Kuroda (6-9) struck out four and walked one to end a career-worst six-game losing skid. The right-hander won for the first time since May 17. He made seven starts and received just six runs of support despite a solid 3.54 ERA since May 22.

''He was changing speeds with his fastball and his breaking ball, just kind of living down in the zone,'' said Vernon Wells, who was hitless in four at-bats. ''That's the recipe for a good pitching performance.''

Asked if he recalled the last time he worked with a lead, Kuroda smiled and shook his head no.

''I didn't think I had all my pitches, but because I had run support I was able to go out there relaxed,'' he said through a translator. ''I think I can sleep well tonight.''

The Angels lost Torii Hunter after two innings with a contusion on top of his left hand after being hit by Kuroda in the first. X-rays were negative and he had a CT scan. The results weren't available after the game. Hunter was to be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Kuroda had hit just one batter in 101 2-3 innings coming into the game. He also hit Mark Trumbo in the seventh.

''You'd like to give guys the benefit of the doubt, but he almost hit Mark with his first pitch. He got out of the way of it, and Mark was way off the plate,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''The second time, it was a laser right at him. So I think the intent was obvious there.''

Asked about hitting two batters, Kuroda replied, ''They're all accidents.''

The Dodgers backed Kuroda with a run in each of the first four innings, including two with two outs, on their way to ending a two-game losing streak.

Rookie Tyler Chatwood (5-5) gave up 12 hits and four runs in five-plus innings. The right-hander struck out one and walked two to lose for the first time in four career interleague starts. He beat the Dodgers 6-1 last Saturday in his previous start, when Kuroda was the losing pitcher.

''I don't think he was as crisp as we saw him last week, and he definitely was not putting guys away the way he can,'' Scioscia said. ''He was behind in a lot of counts, and it didn't look like his curveball was as sharp as it's been either. But he battled and kept us in the game. We just couldn't pressure them on the offensive side to get back into the game.''

Andre Ethier's sacrifice fly scored Gwynn, who doubled to open the game. Gwynn's RBI single in the second and Miles' run-scoring hit in the third - both with two outs - made it 3-0. Matt Kemp's sacrifice fly scored Gwynn with the bases loaded in the fourth.

The Dodgers extended their lead to 5-0 in the seventh when Gordon became the first player to steal home for them since Paul Lo Duca on June 24, 2004. Gwynn stole second on the play after evading the tag by Maicer Izturis on a rundown.

The Angels advanced just three runners to third base, only one against Kuroda.

NOTES: The Dodgers stranded a season-high 16 runners. ... Plate umpire Dale Scott warned both benches after a fourth batter was hit by a pitch in the seventh. Two players from each team were hit. ... The Angels were shut out for the 10th time this season, one more than last year. ... Fernando Valenzuela threw out the first pitch to Scioscia, who got into a semi-crouch. Valenzuela made 239 starts with Scioscia as his starting catcher when both starred for the Dodgers, going 104-87 with a 3.31 ERA in that stretch. Valenzuela spent 11 seasons with the Dodgers and one with the Angels in 1991.

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