ANAHEIM — The Angels scored five runs in the first inning, keyed by a solo shot from Shohei Ohtani and a three-run blast from Justin Bour, and held on from there in a 5-3 win over the Dodgers to mark a two-game sweep in the Freeway Series in front of
ANAHEIM — The Angels scored five runs in the first inning, keyed by a solo shot from
It gave the Angels some positive momentum to end their homestand with a 4-4 record while proving they could hang with the rival Dodgers, who were knocked off their perch of previously having the best record in the Majors.
“It’s a good way to end the homestand,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “Two wins against a very good ballclub. but I’m a big-picture guy and the homestand overall wasn’t great. Let’s take this momentum and carry it to Tampa where we are playing another very good team.”
Early outburst proves to be just enough
The Angels jumped on right-hander Kenta Maeda early with Ohtani opening the scoring on a homer to right on a 3-2 slider from Maeda. It was his second homer off a fellow countryman in the last four days, as he also went deep off Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi on Saturday.
It set the tone for the rest of the frame, as Maeda couldn’t settle down, plunking Kole Calhoun and walking Jonathan Lucroy before Brian Goodwin plated a run with a single. Bour, called up from Triple-A Salt Lake before the game, then crushed a three-run homer to center on an 0-1 changeup. Bour was noticeably fired up after the homer, as he had been in the Minors since May 14 after struggling early in the season.
“It felt good,” Bour said. “A situation came up in the first inning where I was able to put some runs on the board. Honestly, it felt really good. It’s been a long month, but the hard work paid off.”
The offense didn’t do much from there, as the Angels didn’t get a hit again until the sixth, so it was up to a parade of pitchers to keep the potent Dodgers offense at bay.
“The first inning was pretty much our offense,” Ausmus said. “Fortunately, it was enough to win the game. In my gut I was hoping we’d tack on a few runs.”
Pena, Anderson helped by defense
Cam Bedrosian opened with a scoreless first before handing it over to right-hander Felix Pena, serving as the primary pitcher. Pena worked his way in and out of trouble and gave up two solo homers to Max Muncy, with the first coming in the third inning and his second coming in the fifth. Pena went just 3 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk.
Reliever Justin Anderson survived scares in both the fifth and sixth innings, as he was helped by a great defensive play by second baseman Luis Rengifo to end the fifth with two runners on and saw Muncy hit a deep drive to the warning track with a runner on to end the sixth.
“It was a nice play,” Ausmus said of Rengifo’s effort to end the fifth. “He had a couple plays out there tonight that looked a little tricky and he seemed to handle all of them.”
Buttrey, Robles shut the door
Ty Buttrey had a similar experience, loading the bases with one out in the seventh, only to escape the jam by striking out Chris Taylor and getting Enrique Hernandez to ground out.
“Once the bases got loaded, I felt like I got more aggressive and that’s usually kind of been the thing I like to do,” Buttrey said. “I just narrowed in, and instead of trying to maybe be a little too fine like I was with previous guys.”
He came back out for the eighth and was promptly greeted with a solo shot from David Freese. He walked Muncy with one out on his 34th pitch of the night, so the Angels turned to closer Hansel Robles for a five-out save.
Robles induced a flyout from Justin Turner before striking out Cody Bellinger to end the eighth. In the ninth, he allowed two singles to open the inning, but bounced back with a couple of key strikeouts looking on fastballs on the outer edge to throw a scoreless final frame and pick up his first multi-inning save of the year.
“Unbelievable,” Buttrey said. “I wish I was painting 99 whenever I wanted to tonight. That was nice, and he picked me up coming in the eighth. I hate that he had to do that, but I’m sure there’s situations I’ll be doing it to him.”