Angels shortstop Erick Aybar celebrates after hitting a home run during… (Patrick T. Fallon / Los Angeles…)
Maybe the Dodgers had better use Kenley Jansen only in save situations, because this pitching in the ninth of a tie game just isn’t working out.
For the second time in three nights, Manager Don Mattingly brought Jansen in to start the ninth inning with the game tied and he gave up the winning run.
This time Erick Aybar, who at first tried to bunt his way on, drilled a leadoff home run to propel the Angels to a 2-1 victory Wednesday over the Dodgers before an announced crowd of 43,494.
For Aybar, who is hitting just .222, it was his first home run of the season.
With Matt Cain’s perfect game leading the Giants to a 10-0 victory over the Astros, the Dodgers’ lead in the National League West was cut to 3½ games.
Jansen saved Tuesday’s game, but on Monday gave up a ninth-inning, game-winning hit to Albert Pujols in a 3-2 defeat.
On Wednesday the Dodgers started in a hurry against the Angels' C.J. Wilson, and then started to fade.
They took a 1-0 lead in the first when Elian Herrera walked and scored on a double by Andre Ethier. That pushed Ethier’s National League-leading RBI mark to 55.
But after that, the Dodgers specialized in leaving runners in scoring position. Ethier took third on the throw home but was left stranded.
The Dodgers got a pair of one-out singles from James Loney and Juan Uribe in the second, and could not push a run across. They got a one-out single from Juan Rivera in the third, and Ethier bounced into a double play. They got a leadoff walk from Jerry Hairston Jr. in the fourth, and A.J. Ellis hit into a double play. They loaded the bases on three walks in the sixth, and Loney flied out to center.
After Rivera’s single in the third, they never got another hit against Wilson. The left-hander went seven innings, allowing the one run on four hits and five walks, with three strikeouts.
The Angels, meanwhile, weren’t having any better luck with Nathan Eovaldi, leaving even more runners on base.
The Angels had runners at second and third in the first, and Eovaldi struck out Howie Kendrick. They loaded the bases in the third with no outs, and Aybar hit into a 3-2-3 double play and John Hester struck out. They had runners at first and second with two outs in the fifth, and Mark Trumbo struck out. They had two on with one out in the seventh and Albert Pujols bounced into a double play.
The only run the Angels did score off Eovaldi came without a rally at all, just a swing from Alberto Callaspo, who hit a solo homer to lead off the second.
Eovaldi went six innings, allowing one run, seven hits and two walks, striking out four.
The Dodgers had one last futile scoring chance against Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth when Ellis led off with a walk and Loney singled him to third. Ellis was caught in a rundown on a Uribe bouncer, but Loney made it to third and Uribe to second before Ellis was tagged out.