Angels 9, Dodgers 2
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP)—Kelvim Escobar expressed relief after snapping a personal seven-game losing streak.
And Garret Anderson wasn’t in a celebratory mood despite getting his 2,000th career hit.
Both seemed happy just to be on the winning side Saturday—something that hasn’t happened nearly as often as expected so far this season for the two-time defending AL West champion Los Angeles Angels.
Escobar pitched seven shutout innings, Anderson had two hits including a two-run double, and the Angels beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2.
Mike Napoli hit two solo homers for the Angels, who snapped a three-game losing streak and beat the Dodgers for the first time this season following four losses in which they were outscored 37-8.
“We put a lot of good things together,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “The bottom line is how we play the game and how we go about our business.”
The Angels haven’t been playing the game very well lately.
“We are trying hard to get out of this slump,” Escobar said. “We played great today.”
Escobar (6-9) scattered eight hits while walking none and striking out six before being relieved by Brendan Donnelly to start the eighth. Escobar had seven losses and one no-decision in eight starts since winning five of his first seven outings.
“It’s been tough on me, the last six, seven weeks, pitching well at times,” the 30-year-old right-hander said. “I don’t believe in bad luck. I believe in good results and bad results. I’ve had bad results.”
Anderson, who turned 34 on Friday, is the Angels’ career leader in hits, doubles, total bases and RBIs.
“I’m just looking for 2,001,” he replied when asked about the possibility of getting to 3,000. “Personal milestones are always overshadowed by the way you’re playing.”
Anderson hasn’t been playing very well. Hampered by several nagging injuries, he’s hitting just .263 with seven homers and 46 RBIs.
“Garret’s one of the guys we definitely need to give us his normal year,” Scioscia said. “Hopefully, we’re going to see it.”
Angels shortstop Orlando Cabrera walked in the first to extend his streak of reaching base safely via a hit, walk or hit by pitch to 58 games, tying him with Barry Bonds for the longest such streak since 1960. The major league record is 84 games by Ted Williams.
The Dodgers played about as poorly as the Angels played well, committing three errors that led to five unearned runs and running into an out at the plate and another at third when the game was still competitive.
“It was a long day at the park, and we’re glad that one’s over,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said.
Napoli opened the second by hitting a 3-1 pitch from Hendrickson (0-1) into the lower left field seats. Juan Rivera and Robb Quinlan hit two-out singles later in the inning, with Rivera scoring on left fielder Andre Ethier’s error.
The Angels scored three more unearned runs in the third. Maicer Izturis reached base on Hendrickson’s throwing error, stole second and scored on a two-out single by Vladimir Guerrero. Napoli drew a walk before Anderson split the right-center field gap.
Hendrickson allowed seven hits and five runs—one earned—in five innings.
“My job is to keep the team in the game, but the pitches I made were not good pitches, and they made me pay,” Hendrickson said. “I left a lot of pitches up that got hit pretty hard. It just wasn’t our day.”
The Angels loaded the bases with one out in the sixth against Aaron Sele before Hong-Chih Kuo relieved and walked Chone Figgins to force in a run. Another scored when Izturis grounded into a force play, making it 7-0.
Napoli hit his second homer and 10th of the season off Kuo in the seventh.
Jeff Kent and Matt Kemp hit RBI singles for the Dodgers in the eighth, with both runs charged to Donnelly. The Angels got another unearned run in the bottom of the inning on a throwing error by center fielder Kemp.
Bonds reached base safely in 58 straight games in 2003. … Cabrera has reached base safely in 73 of 77 games this season. … Toby Hall singled in his first at-bat for the Dodgers. Hall, a catcher, came to Los Angeles with Hendrickson for right-hander Jae Seo and catcher Dioner Navarro. … Hendrickson was 4-8 with a 3.81 ERA in 13 starts for the Devil Rays before the trade. This was his shortest outing of the season. … Dodgers 1B Nomar Garciaparra, the NL batting leader, singled in the fourth to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. .. Anderson was mired in an 8-for-56 slump before getting his two hits. … Escobar struck out the side in the second, fanning J.D. Drew, Kent and Ethier on 12 pitches. … The game was played before a crowd of 43,891—the 17th sellout at Angel Stadium this season.