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Dodgers 8, Angels 7

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels are setting their fans up for a wild ride this week if the next three Freeway Series games are anything like Monday's opener.

To expect as many twists and turns in another nine-inning game might be pushing it, but after watching the two regional rivals trade haymakers Monday in a wildly entertaining contest, anything is possible.

When the dust finally settled, the Dodgers claimed an 8-7 win after erasing a 6-1 deficit.

The Dodgers produced six extra-base hits off Angels starter C.J. Wilson and three relievers, overcoming an embarrassingly bad first two innings in which they couldn't get out of their own way defensively.

All is well that ends well, though, and for the Dodgers that meant an impactful win in which they halted the Angels' eight-game winning streak and showed as much fight as they have all year.

The Angels, on the other hand, were kicking themselves after blowing the big advantage and wasting 14 hits -- including six extra-base hits -- and sabotaging a chance to pick up ground on the first-place Texas Rangers.

All because they couldn't contain Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke in the middle of the Dodgers order. Gonzalez finished with four hits, including two doubles, while Van Slyke had two doubles and two RBIs in four at-bats.

"People were hitting the balls down the line, driving the ball in the gap. It was a good night to be hitting," Van Slyke said.

In the process, the Dodgers chased Wilson after just 4 2/3 innings. He was charged with six runs on nine hits.

"I just made bad pitches," Wilson said. "I got ahead of a lot of guys, it wasn't like I got behind in the count and I was like, 'Oh man, I have to throw something over the plate.' I was trying to make a good pitch, and I made a hitter's pitch rather than a pitcher's pitch."

The game-winning RBI went to Jerry Hairston Jr., whose seventh-inning single scored Gonzalez to break a 7-7 tie.

"It feels good for sure. The way that one started, it wasn't very pretty," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It just wasn't very pretty, the start. It was a good one for us to come back and win."

Said Angels manager Mike Scioscia: "They swung their way back into the game, there's no doubt about that."

The Angels built their 6-1 lead with some major help from the Dodgers, who played giveaway over the first four innings -- when they weren't surrendering extra-base hits into the gap, that is.

The defensive absurdity included two runs scoring on a strikeout when Zack Greinke got Mark Trumbo to fan on a fastball, only to have the ball flick off catcher Ramon Hernandez's glove. Hernandez chased down the ball, but his throw to first bounced off the glove of Gonzalez and rolled into left field.

That allowed Mike Trout to score from third and Albert Pujols to score from second.

"That's definitely a first for me," Trout said.

On a crazy night, the Dodgers scored eight runs despite Matt Kemp striking out four times.

Gonzalez, not the fleetest runner, added to the mayhem scoring all the way from first base when Van Slyke doubled off the left field wall.

Meanwhile, light-hitting Dodgers reserve Juan Uribe had three hits after entering the game in the fifth inning, and neither starting pitcher could make it through five innings.

The Dodgers overcame three errors.

"It definitely bothers me. I don't like seeing it," Mattingly said of the sloppy play. "One of the things we want to do is play good defense."

Thanks to their relentless bats, they got past the miscues.

"They just kept battling, putting great at-bats together," Trout said of the Dodgers.

NOTES: RHP Josh Beckett is experiencing numbness and tingling in the fingers on his right hand, forcing the Dodgers to shut down his throwing program as he rehabs from a strained left groin. "The groin has been good, but the arm has been bad," Mattingly said. "He's still feeling numbness and tenderness in his fingers." Beckett, who will undergo an MRI, injured the groin covering first base May 13, at which point he went on the disabled list, but his 0-5 record and 5.19 ERA were red flags something else was going on as well. On Monday, the club said Beckett has been dealing with the numbness and tingling for an extended period and his work will be curtailed. ... Angels RHP Jered Weaver, out since April 8 with a fractured left elbow, was officially named the starter for Wednesday's game against the Dodgers, pushing LHP Jason Vargas back to Thursday. ... Hairston came off the disabled list Monday and was back in the lineup in left field. To make room for Hairston, the Dodgers optioned INF Dee Gordon to Triple-A. The Dodgers contemplated sending down INF Luis Cruz rather than Gordon, but Cruz's ability to backup at shortstop and third made him the more versatile option. Hairston originally went on the disabled list with a groin strain, but knee tendinitis prolonged his stay. ... The 11 combined doubles by the Angels and Dodgers broke the Dodger Stadium record.
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