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Angels win another series against Dodgers

Peter Bourjos hits a two-run home run to help the Angels prevail, 5-3, and secure their sixth consecutive series victory over the Dodgers.

June 25, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Garrett Richards gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Dodgers on Sunday.
Garrett Richards gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings against the Dodgers… (Chris Carlson / Associated…)

The names on the rosters have changed, but the results haven't.

The Angels of Mike Trout and Albert Pujols are as dominant against the Dodgers as were the Angels of Vladimir Guerrero and Chone Figgins.

The annual interleague showdown between the Dodgers and Angels ended the way it usually does, with the Angels taking four of six games of their season series, the last of them a 5-3 victory at Angel Stadium on Sunday.

"They're a good club," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said. "And they've had good clubs. They're tough. They come after you, they're aggressive, they have talent. We have to get better."

The Angels are 54-38 all-time against the Dodgers.

The Angels have won the last six series between the two teams, including the two they played this year. Of the last 18 games between the Angels and Dodgers, the Angels have won 13.

But the Angels' dominance in interleague play extends far beyond their dominance over the Dodgers. The Angels finished interleague play this season with a 12-6 record. They have an interleague record of 74-34 since 2007, best in the major leagues.

The Dodgers were 6-9 in interleague competition, as their designated hitters were a combined two for 33 in those games. The last time they had a winning record against American League clubs in a season was in 2004.

"It's always fun to play interleague and get a change, but it's nice to get back to playing in our own division," Dodgers starting pitcher Aaron Harang said.

The Dodgers, who have lost five of their last six games, will open a three-game series in San Francisco on Monday. The Dodgers have a three-game lead over the second-place Giants in the National League West.

Mattingly downplayed concerns about his Dodgers' form heading in what is the team's most important series to date. Though the Dodgers dropped two of three games in Anaheim, he said they weren't the same team that was swept before that in Oakland.

"Our at-bats were solid all series," Mattingly said. "This is what we basically do. We fight, we fight."

The Dodgers on Sunday played what Mattingly described as a typical game for them. With Harang holding the Angels to three runs and eight hits in six innings, the score was tied, 3-3, heading into the seventh inning.

But the Angels broke through at the stage where the Dodgers often have.

Pujols drew a two-out walk in the seventh inning, immediately after which Kendrys Morales was struck by a pitch by reliever Josh Lindblom. Mark Trumbo singled in Pujols for the go-ahead run. Another single, this one by Howie Kendrick, increased the Angels' lead to 5-3.

This was a rare game in which the Angels received contributions from the entire young trio of Trumbo, Trout and Peter Bourjos.

Trout was two for five with a run. Bourjos was two for three with a double and a two-run home run.

Bourjos was pushed out of the lineup when Trout replaced him as the starting center fielder in late April. With Trumbo hitting and forcing Manager Mike Scioscia to start him regularly in the outfield, returning to the lineup has been nearly impossible for Bourjos.

The Angels were trailing, 2-0, when Bourjos hit a ball down the right-field line in the second inning that was ruled foul.

But two pitches later, Bourjos slammed a ball over the left-field wall and tied the score, 2-2.

"I've accepted my role," Bourjos said. "I have to go out there when I get a chance and get as many hits as I can. It was fun to go out there and help the team after playing only once or twice a week, fun to be a part of this kind of game, team effort all the way around."

Said Trumbo: "I couldn't be happier for him. He's obviously fighting like crazy to contribute when he does get the opportunity. Today is a perfect example of all the hard work he's been putting in behind the scenes."

Ernesto Frieri recorded the final four outs to earn his ninth save. Scioscia wasn't around to see it, as he was ejected in the fifth inning for protesting a call on the bases.

The three-game series in Anaheim drew an announced 133,035, the most in Angel Stadium for a regular-season three-game series. The previous record of 133,023 was also set in a series against the Dodgers in 2007.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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