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Dodgers and Angels on Double Duty for One Memorable Memorial Day


Dodgers 8 13 3

Angels 7 14 0

WP- Belisario (3-4)

LP- Coello (1-1)

S- League (11)

Earlier on Memorial Day afternoon, the Dodgers announced that they had optioned Dee Gordon back to AAA-Albuquerque in order to open up a spot for activating Jerry Hairston Jr. from the disabled list. This means that Nick Punto will be Don Mattingly‘s every day starting shortstop in the interim until Hanley Ramirez returns. Which by the way, Hanley has yet to play in any rehab game. Just the other day Mattingly said that he was afraid of overusing Punto, but alas here we are with Punto as the starting shortstop for the time being. Luis Cruz, who is for some reason still with the team, will also find some time at short. Either way, the Dodgers refuse to part with any of the players who have been absolutely atrocious with the bat this season in fear that they may lose them. Would anyone really claim Luis Cruz on waivers anyway?

Zack Greinke got hammered by the Angels and only lasted 4 innings. Photo: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Zack Greinke tried to bounce back against one of his former teams in the Angels after he was ineffective against his other former team the Brewers in his last outing. Unfortunately Greinke was hammered by the Angels, and he was not involved in the decision. Either was C.J. Wilson who was roughed up by Adrian Gonzalez and friends.

The Dodgers, adorned in camouflage caps and jerseys, beat their cross-town rivals in the first game of a short two-game series at Dodger Stadium. The Angels are hot of late, and they are riding an eight-game winning streak. Buzz Aldrin threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Gonzalez had a monster night with four hits, four runs, and a RBI. The Dodgers and Angels combined for 11 doubles, which is good for a Dodger Stadium record. Juan Uribe, who is all of a sudden useful, had three hits. Scott Van Slyke had two key hits as well.

Erick Aybar flies a ball to Scott Van Slyke in right field off Greinke’s very first pitch in the top of the first inning. Mike Trout, welcomed with a chorus of boos, promptly singles to left. Albert Pujols doubles to center field after Matt Kemp is unable to hold on to the ball and drops it. Trout moves to third on the misplay. The Angels then cash in two runs when Ramon Hernandez is unable to hold on to the ball after Greinke strikes out Mark Trumbo for a passed ball, and then Hernandez makes a throwing error when trying to throw the ball to Gonzalez at first. Josh Hamilton flies out to Kemp in center. Nick Punto makes a nice diving stop to rob Howie Kendrick of a base hit which mercifully ends the inning.

C.J. Wilson retires the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the first.

Like Greinke, Wilson is not involved in the decision. Photo: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Alberto Callaspo singles to lead-off the second on what looked like another borderline error on second baseman Mark Ellis. The Dodgers defense has already looked downright awful and it’s only the second inning. Hank Conger strikes out. Then another error is recorded on the Dodgers after Adrian Gonzalez bobbles the bunted ball by C.J. Wilson. Aybar grounds into a force out. Mike Trout grounds into another force, and Nick Punto and Aybar are shaken up after Punto does a full somersault, landing on his back, over the sliding Aybar. The inning is over, but Punto and Aybar are both hurting.

In the bottom of the second, the Dodgers plate a run on back-to-back doubles by Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke. Ramon Hernandez strikes out on a foul tip, and Jerry Hairston Jr. grounds out to third. Luis Cruz flies out to end the inning.

Albert Pujols doubles to begin the top of the third for the Angels. Trumbo and Hamilton make two outs, but Kendrick doubles past JHair, and Pujols scores the third run of the game for the Halos. With Callaspo at bat, a wild pitch by Greinke allows Kendrick to advance to third. Greinke induces a groundout from Callaspo to end the inning and the damage to one run.

Zack Greinke takes matters into his own hands in the bottom of the third with a lead-off single. Punto goes down on strikes. MEllis flies out, and Matt Kemp strikes out to end the frame and waste the hit by Greinke. You can hear the boos directed toward Kemp by the frustrated fans at Chavez Ravine.

Matt Kemp is unable to catch a fly ball hit by Albert Pujols in the first inning. Photo: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

There’s another lead-off single, this time by Hank Conger in the fourth inning. Wilson successfully sacrifices Conger over to second. Aybar doubles to right field which scores Conger.  Trout triples to left field, and the Angels score their fifth run of the night. Trout easily trots home on a deep fly ball by Pujols which is caught on the warning track by Kemp, and it’s 6-1 Angels. The hit barrage off Greinke continues as Trumbo singles. Finally the final out is made by JHair on a fly ball by Hamilton.

In the bottom of the fourth, Adrian Gonzalez picks up his second double of the game to lead-off. With Hernandez in the box, a wild pitch by Wilson allows Gonzo to advance to third. Gonzalez scores for the second time of the game on a sacrifice fly by Hernandez. The Angels still lead 6-2.

The Angels get another lead-off single in the top of the fifth. Kendrick’s hit is the tenth of the game against Greinke. Callaspo draws a walk. Don Mattingly is going to hook Greinke, and he’ll bring in Matt Guerrier with two on and nobody out. Conger hits into a double play. Wilson strikes out, and Guerrier surprisingly is effective that inning.

Zack Greinke pitched 4 innings, allowing 6 runs (4 earned) on 10 hits with 2 strikeouts and 1 walk on 72 pitches.

Scott Van Slyke uses his moustache power to double in the first inning. Photo: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In the bottom of the fifth we witness a true rarity. A Luis Cruz base hit. His batting average soars to .107. Juan Uribe gets himself a pinch-hit single. Cruz advances to third on a force out by Punto, and Uribe is out at second. Mark Ellis comes up big with a clutch double to left field, and two runs score! The Angel lead is cut to just two now, 6-4. Kemp strikes out for the second time of the game. Gonzalez continues to terrorize, and his single is deflected off the glove of Aybar and into center field as Ellis scores the Dodgers fifth run! Scott Van Slyke continues to impress and fight for his place on this team as he doubles over the head of Trumbo to bring in the tying run! That’s going to be all for C.J. Wilson. Mike Scioscia brings in Michael Kohn, a right-hander, from the Angels bullpen. Hernandez flies out to end the frame, but not before the Dodgers score four big runs.

C.J. Wilson pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed 6 runs on 9 hits with 4 strikeouts and no walks on 92 pitches.

The Dodgers update their battery in the top of the sixth as Javy Guerra and A.J. Ellis come into the game. Luis Cruz, who is now at short, lobs a throw to first on a groundball by Aybar for an error. Trout strikes out on a foul tip. Pujols flies out to deep left field, but JHair picks it off for the second out. Guerra strikes out Trumbo for the scoreless frame!

In the bottom of the sixth, Luis Cruz draws a one-out walk which is his first walk of the year. Juan Uribe proceeds to double to the left field gap, and Cruz moves to third! Juan Uribe is now hitting .269. Scioscia will go to the pen again. Dane De La Rosa, a righty, will come in to pitch to A.J. Ellis with one out and runners at second and third. The Dodgers take the lead 7-6 as Cruz comes in to score on a sacrifice fly by A.J. Josh Hamilton makes a diving catch in right field to rob Mark Ellis of a double which ends the inning. There has been 10 doubles and a triple in this game thus far.

Hamilton, fresh off that fine defensive play, flashes his offensive skills in the top of the seventh with a lead-off double. That’s the 11th double of the game. Kendrick brings in the tying run with a single to right field, but he is mowed down at second by a throw from Van Slyke to Gonzalez to Cruz. Callaspo walks, and that’s going to be it for Guerra. Ronald Belisario will come in from the Dodgers pen. Conger grounds into an inning ending double play.

Adrian Gonzalez is on fire and collects four hits on the night. Photo: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

In the bottom of the seventh, Robert Coello will pitch for the Angels. Matt Kemp strikes out for the third time. Gonzalez singles, and that’s Gonzo’s fourth hit of the game. Van Slyke strikes out. Andre Ethier will pinch-hit for Belisario. Ethier draws a walk. The Dodgers take the lead again on a single by JHair! Gonzalez comes home without a play. Cruz strikes out, and Coello ends up striking out the side and giving up the go-ahead run.

Kenley Jansen is the fifth Dodger pitcher and will handle the eighth inning. Can the bullpen hold on to this one-run lead? Aybar singles with one out. Mike Trout flies out to Andre Ethier who bombs a throw back into the infield where Aybar is trying to get back to first. Gonzalez makes a diving tag to get Aybar, who is furious. Scioscia comes out to argue, but this play goes the Dodgers way and Andre gets the assist.

Juan Uribe comes up with his third hit of the game, a lead-off single in the bottom of the eighth. Mattingly claps approvingly as A.J. bunts Uribe over to second base. Mark Ellis’s fly ball advances Uribe to third. Matt Kemp sadly strikes out for the fourth time, and Uribe is left stranded at third.

In comes Brandon League for the top of the ninth. Albert Pujols promptly singles to left to lead off the inning. Trumbo grounds into a double play! That was beautiful! Hamilton grounds out to second, and the Dodgers win! The Dodgers win!

What a great game! The Dodgers and Angels made it fun today, and of course it’s always enjoyable to watch the Dodgers beat the Angels. The Dodgers improve to 21-28 on the year.

Tuesday the Dodgers will have no excuses as former Dodger Joe Blanton goes to the mound against Hyun-jin Ryu for game two.

Thank you to all our men and women who serve or have served in our military!