ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Adrian Beltre is hitting like never before, and that’s a good thing.
Bartolo Colon is pitching like never before, and that’s definitely not good.
Eric Gagne, the fifth Dodgers pitcher, pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts to extend his major league record for consecutive saves to 84, including 21 this season.
Beltre has hit five of his 21 homers in four games against the Angels since June 26, and is two shy of the career high he established last year.
“I made good contact, the ball went out,” Beltre said. “I’m seeing the ball good lately.”
Colon (5-8) allowed eight hits and seven runs in four innings. He gave up eight hits and eight runs in 3 2-3 innings at Dodger Stadium last Sunday.
Beltre has homered in three straight at-bats against Colon—a three-run shot last weekend and in his first two at-bats of this game.
“He’s putting some good swings on bad pitches that I’m making,” Colon said through a translator.
“He’s a tough pitcher to hit—he throws 94, 97 (mph),” Beltre said. “He might be struggling right now.”
That’s an understatement. Colon, who signed a four-year, $51 million contract with the Angels last winter, is 2-7 in his last 13 starts, 0-4 in interleague play and has allowed six or more earned runs in six of his 17 starts.
He has given up a big league-leading 26 homers and his ERA is 6.57.
“Bart’s going to get the opportunity to pitch through this,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.
Scioscia, pitching coach Bud Black and the Angels’ catchers will meet with Colon before Sunday night’s game to try and figure out a way to get the 31-year-old right-hander back on track.
“I have no idea what the meeting is going to be about,” Colon said. “But Mike is the manager, so whatever recommendation he makes, I will make sure that I follow it.”
The Dodgers, who moved within 2 1/2 games of the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, have won four of six since losing six straight. The Angels lost for the fifth time in six games.
Rookie right-hander Edwin Jackson, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas to start the game, lasted only 1 2-3 innings before leaving because of what the Dodgers called a mild strain of his pitching elbow. He is day-to-day.
“It didn’t hurt—it was like something was loose,” Jackson said. “Hopefully, it’s nothing. We’ll come out tomorrow and see how it feels.”
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said an MRI will be performed within the next few days on Jackson’s elbow. But if Jackson feels OK on Sunday, he might have a bullpen session the following day.
Duaner Sanchez relieved Jackson and allowed four hits and three runs in 3 1-3 innings.
The Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the first on an RBI double by Izturis and a two-run homer by Beltre. Dave Roberts started the rally by singling to end a nine-pitch at-bat off Colon.
Vladimir Guerrero hit his 20th homer, a two-run shot off Jackson in the bottom half, but Ventura’s first home run since Sept. 21 in the second and Beltre’s second of the game in the third made it 5-2.
The Angels got a run in their half on Jose Guillen’s two-out RBI single before Ortiz retired the Dodgers in order in the sixth for their firstscoreless inning.
The game was played before a crowd of 43,686, the Angels franchise-record 26th sellout this season. … The Angels honored the College World Series-winning Cal State-Fullerton baseball team in a pre-game ceremony. … Colon has allowed three homers in four starts and at least one in nine others. He allowed a career-high 30 homers while pitching for the Chicago White Sox last year. … To make room for Jackson, the Dodgers placed LHP Odalis Perez on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 27 because of an inflamed rotator cuff. They hope Perez, 4-3 with a 2.96 ERA in 16 starts, will return tothe rotation after the All-Star break.