Timely hitting and a really good starting pitcher is all the Dodgers would need to take down the Angels 6-4 on Tuesday night in Anaheim.
Justin Ruggiano, all-time Dodger great, got things started in the first inning with a solo home run to center field. He hit it 446 feet, which is Joc Pederson good. He also hit a ground-rule double later in the game that helped the Dodgers score their second run.
They broke things open in the sixth inning. Adrian Gonzalez walked, which was followed by a Scott Van Slyke single. With Andrew Heaney clearly laboring, Mike Scioscia decided to stick with the young southpaw against Corey Seager, who hits lefties rather well — and he did here.
Oh yes. That RBI double was nice. He is clearly the best player to ever play the game and promoting to the majors was absolutely the right decision, no matter what a certain blogger who is also handsome would say. A.J. Ellis followed with an RBI ground out, Carl Crawford reached on an error and Chris Heisey played another run with a sacrifice fly to cap the 4-run sixth.
Oh, and Clayton Kershaw pitched. He allowed a leadoff home run to Kole Calhoun on a poorly located fastball. He was through six innings having allowed just one run and having thrown 82 pitches. After throwing a career-high-tying 132 his last time out, some wondered if pulling him with a 5-run lead would be the call. Don Mattingly stuck with his ace. Despite getting into a little trouble behind some shoddy defense by best player ever Seager, Kershaw allowed a run on an obvious balk with the bases loaded. He would then proceed to walk Taylor Featherston, who is real, to face Calhoun, who had two hits against him coming into the at-bat. Naturally, Kershaw got him to strike out on a half-swing on a nasty slider.
Kershaw’s final line: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 HR, 106 pitches, 66 strikes, 7/3 GO/AO. A decent line, but we’ve come to expect more from him (how ridiculous is that?!).
Juan Nicasio pitched a scoreless eighth inning before giving way to Pedro Baez. After back-to-back doubles to Erick Aybar and David Freese, Baez was lifted in favor of Kenley Jansen. He got two ground outs and a strike out (with a walk mixed in) to minimize the damage and close out the game.
The Dodgers improve to 80-58 with the win and remain 8 1/2 games ahead of the Giants in the NL West. Their magic number is now 16. Mat Latos (4-9, 4.92 ERA) gets what might be his final start as a Dodger (if he pitches poorly) opposes the Angels’ ace in Garrett Richards (13-10, 3.77). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. Pacific. This whole “beating the Angels” thing is pretty cool.