LOS ANGELES (AP)—The game plan was to throw strikes. What Derek Lowe accomplished was far beyond that.
Lowe threw only 14 pitches out of the strike zone in seven innings, Ricky Ledee and Jason Phillips homered, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the visiting Angels 6-2 Sunday to salvage the finale of a three-game series.
“He (Lowe) threw the ball well,” Dodgers catcher Phillips said. “He wanted to get in and out. It was hot out there today.”
Lowe (4-4) allowed nine hits and two runs while walking none and striking out seven to match a season high. He threw 65 strikes to go with the 14 balls.
“Same old Lowe—a lot of movement, gets his groundballs and always keeps his team in the game,” Angels second baseman Adam Kennedy said.
“The name of the game is to throw strikes,” Lowe said. “They still got hits. They’ve got a pretty aggressive team. As good as the strike-ball ratio was, I had only one 1-2-3 inning—the seventh.”
The win was just the second in eight games for the Dodgers.
“Hopefully this is a momentum-builder and moves us forward to play like the way we were playing earlier this season,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “We got seven more great innings from our starter, we picked up some hits when we needed them, and we got some home runs.”
The game was played before a crowd of 53,839, raising the total for the three-game series to 162,013—the most for a Freeway Series in Dodger Stadium history.
Byrd was lifted for a pinch-hitter after allowing five hits and three runs in six innings. He walked two and struck out two.
“They put some balls in play that fell in and they made the most of it,” said Byrd, who threw 49 strikes and 28 balls. “I threw OK. I just kept our team in the game, but today we needed better. That’s just the way it is.”
The Dodgers made it 5-2 against Kevin Gregg in the seventh on Phillips’ second homer and the second RBI single of the game by slumping J.D. Drew, who was moved from third to second in the batting order.
“We’re just looking for little subtle ways to get J.D. Drew going like we know he’s capable of going,” Tracy said.
Drew is hitting .253 with five homers and 18 RBIs.
The Dodgers scored an unearned run in the eighth to complete the scoring on a two-out, run-scoring single by Oscar Robles—his first career RBI.
The Angels, who lost for just the second time in eight games, took the lead in the first when Chone Figgins bunted for a hit, stole second, took third on a single by Kennedy and scored while Darin Erstad was grounding out.
But that would be it for the Angels’ offense.
The Dodgers got a run in their half of the second when Ledee hit his second homer, and tied it in the third when Drew blooped a two-out, run-scoring single.
Erstad and Garret Anderson singled to open the Angels’ sixth, but Lowe retired the next six batters—three on strikeouts—before being lifted for a pinch-hitter.
Anderson went 1-for-4 in his return to the lineup after missing three games with a tight right hamstring.
“Garret looked like he moved well, but I think he got a little tired,” said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who removed Anderson for a defensive replacement in the eighth. “It was hot out there and he had to run down a couple of balls. His hamstring was fine.”
Erstad, the career leader in interleague hits, doubled and singled to raise his total to 180.
Izturis also had two hits, giving him a big league-leading 23 multihit games and an NL-leading 64 hits.
Guerrero expressed optimism concerning his partially dislocated left shoulder. “I feel that in two weeks, I’ll be fully recovered,” he said through an interpreter. The reigning AL MVP was injured Friday night while sliding headfirst into home plate, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday. … Tracy said LHP Wilson Alvarez will start Wednesday night in San Francisco in place of LHP Odalis Perez, who will almost surely go on the disabled list in the next couple days. Perez hasn’t pitched since May 14 because of soreness in his pitching shoulder. … Angels C Bengie Molina sat out his second game because of tightness in his right quadriceps. “We anticipate him being in there (Monday),” Scioscia said. Molina was on the disabled list from April 18-May 12 because on a strained right quad. … Dodgers RHP Scott Erickson, who has started eight games this season, is being moved to the bullpen, Tracy said. Erickson, 1-4 with a 7.22 ERA, has made 364 starts and five relief appearances in his career.