The Dodgers eliminated the Angels from the postseason with a 9-5 win Friday night at Dodger Stadium. The ball was flying out. The two SoCal teams combined for eight home runs. The Dodgers slugged five including two Justin Turner dongs.
It was a frustrating night for Clayton Kershaw in his final tune-up before the postseason starts next Wednesday. His velocity was down from his previous nine starts, and his curve was attacked by the Angels. By the 3rd inning, the Angels were 3-for-3 against Kershaw’s curve including a three-run Mike Trout home run in the 3rd.
The Angels cornered the bases with nobody out in the 1st against Kershaw after Fletcher opened the game with a double. Kershaw escaped the inning unscathed when Mike Trout flied out and some nice defense behind him turned an inning-ending double play.
The Dodgers got runners on the corners as well with two outs in the home half of the first on Mookie Betts and Max Muncy singles. Mookie stole home without a throw on a delayed steal by Muncy at 2nd, 1-0 Dodgers.
Kershaw was in hot water again in the 3rd, throwing 34 pitches in the inning. Corey Seager‘s error and Fletcher’s single gave the Angels two baserunners with one out. Cody Bellinger made a nice catch in center field on a hard hit Jared Walsh fly ball for the second out.
There was another showdown between Kershaw and Trout with runners at the corners and two outs. Trout won the battle. He crushed a two-strike three-run home run off Kershaw’s curveball to give the Angels a 3-1 lead.
Turner’s third home run of the season and first since August 12, a solo dong in the bottom of the third, cut the Angels lead to one. He extended his on-base streak to 29 games.
The Angels got the run right back in the 4th on a leadoff Justin Upton homer.
Brusdar Graterol replaced Kershaw in the top of the 5th. Kershaw pitched four innings and allowed four runs (one earned) on eight hits with three strikeouts and no walks on 78 pitches (55 strikes).
Graterol served up a leadoff Walsh homer on the first pitch he made to make it 5-3 Angels.
Turner went deep for the second time on the night in the 5th to make it four straight half innings with leadoff home runs. It’s JT’s 10th career multi-home run game.
Jake McGee came out of the Dodgers’ bullpen for the 6th with a new lead to protect and pitched a scoreless frame.
Muncy winced in pain on a check swing, and Dave Roberts removed him from the game in the 7th.
With the tying run in scoring position and two outs in the 7th, Roberts called on Dylan Floro to face Trout with their season on the line. A nice play by Seager kept the Dodgers in front.
There was a delay in the top of the eighth when fire alarms started going off at Dodger Stadium.
Victor Gonzalez pitched impressively, striking out Pujols, Upton and Stassi to end the 8th.
Edwin Rios, who came in for Turner, hit a huge two-run homer off Mike Mayers with two outs to almost completely dash all postseason hopes for the Angels. Rios has 11 homers in 137 career plate appearances, one dong every 12.5 plate appearances.
Kenley Jansen shut down the Angels in the 9th, but he did make 27 pitches.
The Dodgers improve to 41-17 overall and 19-9 at home. They’ve won eight of their last 10 with two games remaining in the regular season.
Next up: Tony Gonsolin (1-2, 1.77 ERA, 2.45 FIP) starts Saturday looking to make one final push for a postseason start should a Game 3 if necessary. Dylan Bundy (6-3, 3.29 ERA, 2.94 FIP) toes the rubber for the Halos.
First pitch is at 6:10 PM PST on SNLA and Fox Sports West.