The Freeway Series between the Dodgers and the Angels has been filled with rivalry-like action even though the two teams play in different leagues. The Dodgers tied up the series before heading over to Orange County to resume the battle on Wednesday thanks to some vintage Matt Kemp action, some hard-nosed Clayton Kershaw competiveness, a Juan Uribe bomb, and even a sort-of Andre Ethier Captain Clutch moment in the bottom of the ninth inning.
The Dodgers walked off with the win on Tuesday night in front of an electric crowd, but the win didn’t come easy against the hard-
hitting Halos. Albert Pujols showed the Dodgers that there is plenty left in his old tank as he crushed a huge game-tying homerun off Brian Wilson in the eighth inning. That was after Juan Uribe’s three-run blast put the Dodgers ahead in the second inning.
Clayton Kershaw started off shaky similar to how Zack Greinke began his game the night prior versus the aggressive Angel hitters. Kershaw allowed two runs in the second off four consecutive base hits to the Angels, and he allowed a third run in the third.
Matt Kemp helped manufacture a run in the sixth with a little help from David Freese, whose two costly errors in the game gave the Dodgers the edge ultimately. Matt Kemp stole second, and advanced on an error by catcher Chris Iannetta. Kemp tested Trout’s arm twice in the inning, and even Vin Scully likened his performance to the Matt Kemp of yesteryear.
Dodgers 5 7 0
Angels 4 8 3
WP- Jansen (2-3)
LP- Jepsen (0-1)
HR- Uribe (6), Pujols (21)
The first match-up between Clayton Kershaw and Mike Trout in the top of the first does not disappoint. Juan Uribe makes a fantastic diving stop at third, but the speedy Trout just beats out his throw at first. The Dodgers challenge the call, but it is upheld as the video replay shows that Trout was just barely safe. Dee Gordon erases any potential rally with a great play from his knees to initiate a double play on a Albert Pujols grounder! That first inning was SO much better than last night’s debacle.
In the home half of the first, Gordon lights up the crowd with a lead-off double to the corner in left field! Yasiel Puig flies out to
Trout in shallow center field for the first out. Gordon tags up and advances to third on a deep fly ball to the warning track in center field by Adrian Gonzalez. Hanley Ramirez flies out to right, and the Dodgers once again fail to score with a perfect opportunity with Dee at third base.
Josh Hamilton is Kershaw’s first strikeout victim to begin the second inning, but the Angels get to Kershaw for two runs thereafter. Howie Kendrick singles to center, and David Freese doubles to left field. Chris Iannetta also doubles, this one to right field, and two runs come home. Collin Cowgill follows suit with a single, and Kersh has now allowed four consecutive base hits. Hector Santiago sacrifice bunts Cowgill over to second. Erick Aybar grounds out to short to end the inning.
Kershaw can’t be expected to be perfect. The Dodgers offense needs to show up tonight.
Juan Uribe gives the Dodgers the lead on one swing in the bottom of the second. Matt Kemp singles to lead-off. Scott Van Slyke draws a walk. Then Juan Uribe smashes a three-run homerun to left field! The Dodgers take a 3-2 lead. Hector Santiago seems flustered, and he walks A.J. Ellis after the homer. Clayton Kershaw fails to get the bunt down, and he pops out to third. Dee Gordon singles to left. Puig pops out to Pujols at first on the first pitch he sees. With Gonzo at-bat, A.J. Ellis is picked off second base by a good throw from Iannetta.
The hits keep a comin’. Mike Trout doubles to lead off the third. Pujols then proceeds to hits another double to left field, and Trout easily scores to tie the game up 3-3. Pujols takes third on a Hamilton grounder to first. The Dodgers prevent Pujols from scoring on a Kendrick grounder to third as Uribe guns down the old man at home on the fielder’s choice. David Freese grounds into a force out.
Hanley singles and SVS walks in the bottom of the third, but Uribe goes down swinging this time around to end the frame.
Kershaw sends the Angels down 1-2-3 in the fourth.
Santiago also pitches a perfect frame in the bottom of the fourth.
Other than a walk to Pujols, Kershaw pitches another scoreless inning in the fifth.
The game has slowed down now, and the Dodgers go down in order in the bottom of the fifth.
Kershaw is settled into a groove now. He strikes out Howie Kendrick and Freese in the sixth. He’s struck out four of the last five batters. Iannetta lines out to Puig in center, and the Halos go down in order.
Matt Kemp reaches safely on a throwing error by third baseman Freese to begin the bottom of the sixth. Kemp tests Trout’s arm after Iannetta throws the ball away into center field for an error. Kemp takes off to third, and beats out Trout’s throw! Kemp then scores on a sacrifice fly by Scott Van Slyke, and the Dodgers break the tie and now lead 4-3! That’s going to be all for Hector Santiago. Mike Scioscia will bring in Jason Grilli out of his bullpen to take over with one out. Grilli knocks down Uribe’s soft line drive for the second out. A.J. Ellis flies out to Trout to end the inning.
Hector Santiago pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits with 2 strikeouts and 3 walks on 94 pitches.
Kershaw walks the lead-off batter, Cowgill, in the seventh. C.J. Cron grounds into a double play, and Kersh strikes out Aybar to end the inning.
Fernando Salas will pitch the bottom of the seventh for the Halos. Carl Crawford will pinch-hit for Kershaw, but he flies out to right. Gordon grounds out. Puig, first-pitch swinging, flies out to Trout. Puig is chomping at the bit, and he has only seen five pitches throughout the night.
Brian Wilson will take over for Kershaw in the eighth. Trout flies out to Kemp in right. With one swing from Albert Pujols, the Angels tie it up. Pujols hits his 21st homerun into the Dodgers’ bullpen, and just like that it’s 4-4 and Kershaw’s win is evaporated.
Clayton Kershaw pitched 7 innings and allowed 3 runs on 7 hits with 7 strikeouts and 2 walks on 104 pitches.
Joe Smith retires Adrian Gonzalez, Hanley Ramirez and Matt Kemp in order in the bottom of the eighth. Kemp strikes out looking on what look like balls to me, and he is visibly upset with the horrendous umpiring. After all, Kershaw wasn’t getting those calls on the corner earlier.
Kenley Jansen strikes out Freese to open the ninth inning. Iannetta strikes out. Cowgill strikes out. Jansen is so underrated.
Kevin Jepsen comes in for the bottom of the ninth for the Angels. SVS is blown away. Uribe singles to right, and that’s the Dodgers’ first hit since Hanley’s base hit in the third inning. Uribe raises his average to an even .300 with his second hit of the evening. A.J. Ellis comes up with a clutch base hit this time, a single up the middle just past a diving Kendrick. The tying run is at third with Uribe. Andre Ethier will be asked to pinch-hit.
“The lost man, the seldom used, is now asked to win the game.”- Vin Scully
Dre hits a little dribbler in front of the mound, and Uribe comes down the line to home. Freese throws to Iannetta who can’t hold on to the ball, and Uribe comes back to touch home plate for the win on the error! It wasn’t exactly the prettiest ending, but a win is a win!
The Dodgers improve to 64-50 and tie up the series with the Angels. The Giants lost earlier in the day, so the Dodgers are now 2 1/2 games ahead. Wednesday night the Dodgers head on over to the Big A to continue the series over in Orange County. Dan Haren is scheduled to start. Right-hander Matt Shoemaker will go to the mound for the Angels.