Angels stop five-game slide by routing slumping Dodgers, who lose fourth in a row

Angels stop five-game slide by routing slumping Dodgers, who lose fourth in a row

We missed you, Tommy.

Dodger Stadium might have been Tommy Lasorda’s home, but Angel Stadium was his home ballpark.

For decades, Lasorda lived in a modest Fullerton house, seven miles from Angel Stadium. Whenever the Dodgers and Angels met here in the Freeway Series, Lasorda was a popular presence around the batting cage.

They played a Freeway Series game on Friday, in Anaheim, for the first time since Lasorda passed away in January. This game would have prompted someone to ask Lasorda his opinion of the Dodgers’ performance and, well, you bleeping know.

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It was not just that the Dodgers lost. It was how they lost.

The Angels — with Justin Upton and Taylor Ward hitting home runs, David Fletcher driving in three runs and Shohei Ohtani doubling twice — broke a five-game losing streak with a 9-2 victory over the Dodgers. The Angels matched their most lopsided victory this season and handed the Dodgers their most lopsided defeat this season.

Highlights from the Angels’ 9-2 win over the Dodgers at Angel Stadium on Friday.

The Dodgers lost for the fourth consecutive game and for the 14th time in 18 games.

They also lost left fielder A.J. Pollock to a hamstring strain, at a time when center fielder Cody Bellinger and utility man Zack McKinstry remain on the injured list. For now, the Dodgers listed Pollock as day to day, manager Dave Roberts said.

They had talked about the need to do the little things better.

Mookie Betts led off the game and started to walk away from the plate after what he thought was a called third strike. The pitch was called a ball. Betts returned to the plate, then flied out.

Corey Seager followed Betts and drew a walk. Justin Turner followed with a single, and the Dodgers had a runner in scoring position — or, at least, they did, until Seager was picked off second base.

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In the fourth inning, Julio Urias started to walk off the mound after what he thought was a called third strike. The pitch was called a ball.

In the sixth inning, Pollock charged a sinking line drive — a tough play, but Pollock reached down so he could at least stop the ball, if he could not catch it. He did neither, and the Angels scored a run on the play. He suffered the hamstring injury on another play later in that inning.

The Dodgers' AJ Pollock (11) leaves the game after he sustained an injury during the sixth inning May 7, 2021.

Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock — escorted by manager Dave Roberts, right, and assistant athletic trainer Yosuke Nakajima, left — leaves in the sixth inning after suffering a hamstring injury.

(Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

In 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Dodgers got one hit. They did not score a run on that hit, though, because it was an infield single that advanced a runner from second base to third.

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Before the game was over, the Dodgers extended an at-bat to Edwin Uceta, a pitcher wearing No. 92.

It was an odd evening all around. The Angels essentially fired Albert Pujols on Thursday, then played a tribute video in his honor Friday, in his absence. Their starting catcher was Drew Butera, who last played for the Angels in 2015 and who was listed Friday morning as a member of the Texas Rangers’ taxi squad.

Butera nonetheless guided Griffin Canning and Patrick Sandoval on a combined eight-hitter. Canning worked the first 5-2/3 innings for the victory, with Sandoval completing the final 3-1/3 innings for his first major league save.

Urias had been unbeaten in his previous 21 regular-season starts, dating to April 12, 2019. He gave up four runs in the second inning and fell behind for good, giving up five runs — including two home runs — in five innings.

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Upton led off the inning with a 436-foot home run. Ward, whom the Angels preferred to Pujols as an accompaniment to Jared Walsh in their lineup, homered later in the inning. Butera then doubled, in his first major league plate appearance in eight months.

The Angels poured across four more in the sixth, an inning that included doubles from Fletcher, Ohtani and Jose Rojas and a triple from Mike Trout. When Trout’s name is the last one in an account of a big Angels victory, the home team had a good night indeed.

Kershaw time

On Saturday, Clayton Kershaw will make his first career regular-season start on three days’ rest.

The quick turnaround was made possible by one of the three-time Cy Young Award winner’s worst-ever start, in which he gave up four runs and four hits in one inning of a 7-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs Tuesday. He made 39 pitches.

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“He didn’t exert himself too much in that start,” Roberts said. “So he feels good about [starting on three days’ rest] and we feel good about it.”

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.

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