Angels expose Dodgers' weakness, go for sweep

Field Level Media

The Los Angeles Angels cooled off the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of the Freeway Series.

Now they look to complete a two-game sweep of their Southern California rivals on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

Star center fielder Mike Trout hit a tying two-run homer in the seventh inning of the Angels' 5-3 victory Monday, and the Angels scored twice without recording a hit the following inning to win for just the third time in eight games.

The home run, Trout's 18th of the season, electrified a sellout crowd that featured plenty of fans rooting for both teams.

"Always fun playing the Dodgers," Trout said in a postgame television interview with Fox Sports West. "Obviously, the atmosphere was great. It was electric."

Trout's blast wasn't the decisive hit, but it might have been the most important with the streaking Dodgers playing so well. The loss was just the fourth in 17 games for the Dodgers.

"He's our best player. Our best player showed up in the biggest spot when we needed him the most," right fielder Kole Calhoun, who also homered, told Fox Sports West of Trout. "That was a huge home run to tie it up right there."

The blown lead once again exposed a problem area for the Dodgers -- getting the ball from the starting pitchers to standout closer Kenley Jansen.

Red-hot left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu departed with a 3-1 lead after 99 pitches over six innings.

Dylan Floro served up the homer to Trout, and fellow right-hander Joe Kelly experienced a nightmare eighth inning. Kelly walked three batters -- one intentional -- threw two wild pitches and tossed a wild pickoff throw to first.

Kelly is 1-3 with a bloated 7.59 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in 22 appearances. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after the contest that Kelly's troubles are mental.

"You can see it," Roberts said. "I still feel confident that Joe can go out there and execute pitches.

"We're going to need him. That's just plain and simple. So we got to figure out a way to -- mechanical, emotional, mental -- just kind of tap into something and get him on track."

Right-hander Kenta Maeda (7-2, 3.48 ERA), who has won four straight decisions, will be on the mound for the Dodgers on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old veteran hasn't lost since April 23 in Chicago against the Cubs. He has a 2.27 ERA over his past seven outings.

Maeda received a no-decision in his last turn when he gave up one run and two hits over five innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks last Wednesday.

Maeda is 2-1 with a 2.65 ERA in four career appearances (three starts) against the Angels.

Right-hander Felix Pena (3-1, 4.53 ERA) will be the Angels' primary pitcher, with the club expected to utilize an "opener" before his entrance.

The strategy didn't work last Wednesday as Pena followed Cam Bedrosian's scoreless inning by allowing seven runs and eight hits in 1 2/3 innings. He received a no-decision as the Angels recovered to post a 10-9 victory.

Pena has a 2.19 ERA in four appearances (two starts) against the Dodgers.

Dodgers infielder David Freese sat out Monday due to right knee soreness. He is expected to at least be available as a pinch hitter on Tuesday.

--Field Level Media

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