Interleague Play Continues to Trouble Dodgers in Angel “Freeway Series” Win
Dodgers 1 5 1
Angels 2 8 0
WP- Hawkins (1-1)
LP- Jansen (4-2)
S- Frieri (6)
HR- Callaspo (3), Aybar (1)
The silver brilliance of the Stanley cup was on hand at Dodger Stadium before the game tonight. The Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings threw out the ceremonial first pitch. It’s nice to see any Los Angeles professional sports team win a championship, but none can compare to a World Series victory. We’ve waited a long time, Dodger fans. Will this finally be our year?
The Dodgers would only end up mustering five hits over nine innings against C.J. Wilson and the Angels tonight. Nathan Eovaldi just cannot get that first win of the season, but it’s not due to his pitching performances. Nate has pitched excellently, and other than a fluke Callaspo homerun, he kept the Angels to one run through 6 innings. It was the lack of offense once again that did the Dodgers in coupled with another fluke homerun by Aybar in the ninth inning off Kenley Jansen.
We begin the game with a bumble by Dee on a groundball by Mike Trout. Just lovely. That’s Dee’s 12th error on the year. Then Nathan Eovaldi spins around and picks off Trout! Mike is confused and muttering at the umpire. Torii Hunter grounds out. Albert Pujols slaps the ball down the right field line for a two-out single. Mark Trumbo doubles on a line drive to left field, and Pujols advances to third. Howard Kendrick strikes out, and the third out is recorded at first.
C.J. Wilson goes to work in the bottom of the first. Dee Gordon strikes out, and Elian Herrera draws a walk. Juan Rivera flies out to deep right field as Torii Hunter catches up to the ball to make the play. Andre Ethier then doubles to the gap, and he collects yet another RBI as Herrera scores! Dre takes third on the throw home. That’s Dre’s 20th double of the season and 55th RBI. 1-0 Dodgers. Jerry Hairston Jr. grounds out, but the Dodgers are the first to strike tonight.
We aren’t able to enjoy the lead for very long, because Eovaldi serves up a lead-off solo homerun to Alberto Callaspo to tie the game up 1-1. Erick Aybar pops out, Hester strikes out, and Wilson grounds out to end the inning.
James Loney singles to left with one out in the bottom of the second inning. Juan Uribe follows suit with a single as well. Eovaldi isn’t able to lay down the sacrifice bunt, and he ends up striking out. Dee Gordon hits a comebacker for the final out, and the Dodgers strand two.
Eovaldi has a nice easy inning, and he sends down the Halos in order in the third.
Rivera singles in the bottom of the third, but Ethier grounds into a double play.
Moving on to the fourth, Trumbo and Kendrick get back-to-back singles. Callaspo walks to load the bases with nobody out, and it looks like a meltdown here. Rick Honeycutt goes out to the mound to settle Nate down. Miraculously Eovaldi escapes the jam. The Dodgers turn a 3-2-3 double play on a groundball by Aybar. Trumbo is out at home. Nate then strikes out Hester. Phew!
The Dodgers can’t do anything in the bottom of the fourth even though Hairston leads off with a walk. Ellis grounds into another double play, and Loney flies out.
Trout continues to annoy us as he singles with one out in the fifth inning. Hunter breaks hit bat, and he is out at first on the groundball. Finally the Dodgers make the smart move by intentionally walking Pujols. Eovaldi wins the battle when he strikes out Trumbo swinging to end the frame! Eovaldi has been pitching so well, can we please get him some run support?
The Dodgers go down 1-2-3 again in the bottom of the fifth. Dee strikes out for the second time.
Callaspo singles in the bottom of the sixth, but that’s all the Angels are able to get off Eovaldi.
Rivera draws a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth. Ethier hits into what looks like a double play, but Aybar catches the soft line drive then purposely drops the ball before throwing it to first base. The umpire calls the Angels back, and Mike Scioscia comes out to argue to no avail. That was shady. Rivera remains at first with two out. Jerry Hairston and Ellis draw back-to-back walks to load the bases up for Loney. Of course James can’t seem to do anything right, and he flies out to center field to strand all three runners. The cross-town rivals remain locked in a 1-1 tie.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched 6 solid innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts on 98 pitches.
Ronald Belisario takes over for Nate the Great in the seventh inning. Belly walks the lead-off batter which is C.J. Wilson whom is staying in the game. Trout hits into a force play. Hairston barely gets his foot on the bag to get Wilson out on the lousy Uribe throw. Scioscia comes out to argue again. Trout then steals second with Hunter at the plate. Hunter walks, and now the Angels have two on with one out for Pujols. Another miracle occurs as Jerry Hairston makes another fabulous defensive play on the Pujols grounder. 5-4-3 double play!
Wilson sends the Dodgers down in order again in the bottom of the seventh.
Josh Lindblom comes in to pitch the eighth for the Dodgers to try to preserve the tie. Josh makes nine pitches to retire the Angels in order.
LaTroy Hawkins will pitch the bottom of the eighth. C.J. Wilson pitched 7 strong innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 run, 5 walks, and 3 strikeouts on 112 pitches. Hawkins Herrera whiffs. Rivera flies out. Ethier draws a two-out walk. Hairston grounds out. The Dodgers have not had a hit since the third inning.
Kenley Jansen is in for the top of the ninth inning. Erick Aybar proceeds to take Kenley deep for his first homerun of the year, and the Angels take the lead 2-1. Kenley gets the next two outs, but then Mattingly decides to bring in Todd Coffey to pitch to Trout. Coffey strikes out Trout to end the inning.
Ernesto Frieri comes into try to close the door on the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth. A.J. Ellis draws a lead-off walk. James Loney comes up with a single to right field, and A.J. goes to third after Hunter can’t come up with the ball right away. Uribe hits a groundball to short, and A.J. is out at home. The runners end up at second and third on the play. Tony Gwynn Jr. looks like a statue as he looks at strike three, and the Dodgers are down to their final out. Bobby Abreu hits a comebacker back to Frieri, and that’s that.
The Dodgers lose the first part of the 6-game “Freeway Series,” and they still have another three games to play in Anaheim.
While the Dodger/Angel game was underway, up north Matt Cain of the Giants threw the 22nd perfect game in MLB history against the Astros in a 10-0 win. He had 14 strikeouts which ties him with Sandy Koufax for the most strikeouts in a perfect game. The Giants pick up a game in the standings, and they are now 4 back of the Dodgers.
Tomorrow is a much-needed off day, but Friday begins a three-game series with Adam Dunn (Ogre) and the Chicago White Sox. Join us as we try to get through these Interleague games. Clayton Kershaw will start on Friday night, so perhaps we can squeak out a win.