7 affiliates played 8 games in the busiest day of the 2012 season.
Dodgers Blow Lead, Lose Freeway Series
Everybody left Anaheim on Sunday with another confirmation of the current standings in Los Angeles baseball. Although the Dodgers are leading the NL, the Angels are firmly on top of this rivalry.
Mark Trumbo drove in Albert Pujols with the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, and the Angels won their series with the Dodgers for the third straight year with a 5-3 victory Sunday.
Peter Bourjos hit an early two-run homer and Howie Kendrick added another RBI single in the seventh for the Angels, who took four of six from the Dodgers in the past two weeks - including two of three this weekend in front of a combined 133,035 fans.
The Angels haven't lost the local derby since 2006, and they've won 13 of their last 18 games against the Dodgers, who have the NL's best record. Just don't ask former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia if it means anything.
''We've been a better ballclub as the season has gone on, and that has to continue,'' said the Angels manager, ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a call at third base. ''It doesn't matter who we're playing or where we're playing, but how we're playing. ... We certainly had some mistakes and some calls that didn't go our way, but we played at a high enough level and got enough clutch hits to absorb it.''
Scott Downs (1-0) pitched one hitless inning of relief, and Ernesto Frieri got four outs to earn his ninth save for the Angels, who have won 11 of 15 and 22 of 30 while surging up the standings over the last month. Frieri struck out Gordon with a runner on second base to end it.
The Angels also cemented their spot as the majors' best interleague team since the start of the 2007 season, improving to 74-34 after going 12-6 against NL clubs this season. The Angels have won 14 of their last 15 interleague series overall.
Pujols drove in Mike Trout with a go-ahead run in the fifth inning moments before Scioscia was ejected. Juan Rivera doubled and scored on Adam Kennedy's flyout to even it for the Dodgers in the sixth.
Trumbo and Kendrick then capped a two-out rally against Dodgers reliever Josh Lindblom (2-2) with singles, driving home Pujols and Kendrys Morales.
''Our chemistry has always been there, but it's always more fun when you're winning a lot of games,'' said Trumbo, who impressively connected with an inside fastball for his big hit.
Bobby Abreu and Dee Gordon drove in early runs for the slumping Dodgers, who have lost six of their last eight games. Both teams dropped playable popups and endured close umpiring calls, but the Dodgers couldn't match the Angels' late-game execution while losing their sixth straight series to the Angels.
''It seems like wherever I've been, to be honest, we've had trouble with those guys,'' said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, a coach with Joe Torre's Yankees when the Angels constantly gave trouble to New York. ''They're a good club, and they've had good clubs, and there's a reason why. They've got talent, they come after you and they're aggressive.''
Garrett Richards struggled through much of his seventh career start for the Angels after giving up just two earned runs in his previous four starts while ace Jered Weaver was on the disabled list. The rookie, who's still in the rotation with Jerome Williams on the DL with breathing problems, hung on into the seventh while yielding nine hits and two walks, striking out five.
Aaron Harang yielded eight hits and three runs in six innings for the Dodgers, walking just two Angels after issuing a career-high eight walks in his last start in Oakland.
All three former Angels in the Dodgers' starting lineup contributed. Abreu hurt the team that's still paying his exorbitant salary with a run-scoring single in the first, while Rivera and Kennedy teamed up for a run in the sixth.
Bourjos evened it in the second with a shot into the bullpen in left field, connecting a few pitches after his drive down the right-field line was mistakenly ruled foul. Bourjos has been struggling for consistent playing time and hadn't homered since his inside-the-park shot in Minnesota on April 11.
Pujols started the Angels' seventh-inning rally by drawing his 1,000th career walk, becoming the 12th active major leaguer to reach the milestone.
''I basically beat myself, getting two quick outs and then giving in to Pujols in that situation,'' Lindblom said. ''Then I hit Morales, and everything just kind of steamrolled from that point. They're a great lineup.''
NOTES: Scioscia was tossed for the second time this season and the 33rd time in his career. ... The Dodgers open a three-game rivalry series at San Francisco's waterfront ballpark Monday night with Nathan Eovaldi facing struggling Barry Zito. ... Bourjos hadn't hit a ball out of a park since last Sept. 21.
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