Angels 3, Dodgers 1
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—After surviving a different kind of scare an inning earlier, Kevin Appier wasn’t particularly worried about a bases-loaded threat in the sixth.
The Anaheim right-hander, who had to hit the deck to avoid a surprise throw from his catcher to second in the fifth inning, escaped the bases-loaded jam and pitched six solid innings Saturday night in the Angels’ 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
With the Dodgers’ Adrian Beltre on second base in the fifth, catcher Bengie Molina briefly bobbled a pitch, then tried to catch Beltre off the base. His hard throw over the mound startled Appier, who dove to the dirt to avoid being hit.
“He was throwing at me. He was trying to kill me,” Appier joked later in the clubhouse.
Appier had to move again in the sixth, rushing to cover first when first baseman Scott Spiezio fielded a grounder and threw home.
“That one I was expecting,” Appier said, grinning.
The Dodgers’ Paul Lo Duca singled with one out, Shawn Green doubled and Mike Kinkade was intentionally walked. Beltre grounded to first, and Spiezio threw wide to the plate trying for the force on Lo Duca. Molina managed to stretch and stop the ball, bobbling it before swinging his leg back to touch the plate just before Lo Duca got there.
Ron Coomer then grounded into a forceout to end the threat.
“We had the bases loaded with one out and a chance to open it up, but we didn’t cash in and the momentum swung the other way,” Los Angeles manager Jim Tracy said. “They hit two solo home runs in the bottom of the inning, and that was the difference in the game.”
The win before a sellout crowd of 43,726 was the Angels’ third straight over their National League opponent from some 35 miles up the freeway, including Appier’s 6-3 win against Kevin Brown last Sunday at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers won the first two games of that series, and the Angels have taken the first two of this weekend’s three-game set in Anaheim.
Appier (6-4) held the Dodgers to one run on six hits. He struck out three and issued just one walk, which was intentional.
“I thought he pitched a terrific game,” Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia said. “He got in the zone early and stayed there.”
Troy Percival pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save in 16 opportunities.
Salmon led off the sixth with his 10th homer, hitting a Kazuhisa Ishii pitch into the Angels bullpen in left field. One out later, Wooten drove an Ishii fastball into the seats just inside the left-field foul pole for his fourth homer.
Ishii (7-3) gave up three runs on six hits in 5 1-3 innings, with three strikeouts and one walk.
The Dodgers had tied it 1-1 in the fifth when David Ross looped a two-out single over second base.
Molina’s RBI double to right-center in the second inning, one of his threehits, drove in Anaheim’s first run.
Unlike past years of the Freeway Series, when the crowds at Anaheim seemed evenly split between Dodgers and Angels fans, the Angels fans greatly outnumbered those for the visitors from Los Angeles. Fans sporting Angel red seemed to make up about 80 percent of the crowd for Saturday’s game. The Angels added many fans during their drive to the World Series title last year. … After being shut out 3-0 by the Angels on Friday night, the Dodgers held a team meeting for about an hour before Saturday’s game. Asked what the session was about, manager Jim Tracy said, “Nothing special.” After the game, CF Dave Roberts said, “Apparently nothing productive came out of it, because we scored one run. But it’s definitely not from lack of effort. Guys are in here early, late, getting their work in.” The Dodgers are hitting only .245 as a team andhave scored fewer than three runs in four of their last five games.
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