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Dodgers tie Freeway Series with 4-1 win over Angels

Aaron Harang is sharp over four innings and Matt Treanor drives in two runs. Rubber game is Wednesday at noon at Dodger Stadium.

April 03, 2012|By Jim Peltz

Before a new dawn breaks for the Dodgers under changed ownership, there was this year's first night of baseball at Dodger Stadium.

After all the news of a record sales price, investment groups, Magic Johnson and the Dodgers' uncertain future, the ballpark at Chavez Ravine — celebrating its 50th anniversary — reopened its doors for 2012.

With an announced 20,009 looking on, the Dodgers defeated the Angels, 4-1, in the second game of their three-game exhibition Freeway Series.

And as the game got under way, the owners' seats to the right of the Dodgers dugout were empty, perhaps a fitting symbol because the club's ownership literally is in flux.

Owner Frank McCourt has agreed to sell the Dodgers for $2.15 billion, a record for a baseball franchise, to a group that includes Johnson. But the deal isn't expected to be completed until later this month.

In the meantime, the Dodgers' newly acquired starting pitcher Aaron Harang had a final tune-up for the regular season by throwing four scoreless innings and holding the Angels to one hit, a double by Vernon Wells.

"I'm happy with how things were going," said Harang, who lowered his spring earned-run average to 2.63. "I was throwing pretty much everything. I was mixing in sliders . . . located my fastball and the changeup felt good."

The teams also play the Freeway Series' final game at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday afternoon and then the Dodgers open the regular season Thursday in San Diego against the Padres.

The Angels, who won the first Freeway Series game, 12-3, Monday at Angel Stadium, start the season Friday in Anaheim against the Kansas City Royals.

In the fifth inning, Angels right-handed starter Ervin Santana drilled catcher A.J. Ellis with a pitch on the upper left arm. Ellis walked to first base but Manager Don Mattingly immediately replaced him with pinch-runner Justin Sellers.

The Dodgers then loaded the bases and Matt Kemp, who had struck out twice against Santana, hit a sacrifice fly that brought Sellers home for the Dodgers' first run.

The Angels tied the score, 1-1, in the sixth inning when Albert Pujols hit a sacrifice fly, a deep shot to left field that took Tony Gwynn Jr. to the wall and that drove in Erick Aybar.

Gwynn started in place of Andre Ethier, who had a stomach bug, with Gwynn playing left field and Juan Rivera moving from his normal left-field position to Ethier's spot in right field.

The Dodgers took the lead with three runs in the sixth inning, which included a run-scoring single by Sellers and a two-run single by Matt Treanor, who took over for Ellis behind the plate.

Rivera, who had two hits Monday against his former teammates, collected three more Tuesday night, including a double.

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