Although the biggest crowd in 21 years at Angel Stadium had plenty of blue in it, the red-clad home fans left the Freeway Series opener more exhilarated and probably more exhausted.
The Los Angeles Angels’ tiebreaking, two-run, no-hit rally in the eighth inning was a bizarre baseball marvel — and it was all made possible by an earlier moment of brilliance from Mike Trout in a dramatic comeback victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Trout hit a tying two-run homer in the seventh, and Shohei Ohtani slid home from third with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the Angels’ 5-3 win Monday night.
Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched the Dodgers to a 3-1 lead through six innings and put himself in position for his seventh consecutive victory, but the Angels emphatically rallied against the Dodgers’ bullpen at a sold-out Big A.
By the time the Angels turned a 3-6-1 double play to end it, a typical week’s worth of excitement had been crammed into three innings in Anaheim, where there hasn’t been much to cheer.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable,” Trout said. “It’s the best the crowd has been all year. The atmosphere is great every time we play the Dodgers, here or in LA. The competition is great to be a part of.”
The Halos’ success was tied to another disappointing night for the Dodgers’ bullpen, perhaps the only area of significant concern for the powerhouse two-time defending NL champions.
After Trout tied it with a two-out, two-strike homer off Dylan Floro, the Angels scored two runs without a hit off beleaguered Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly (1-3) in the eighth.
Ohtani drew a leadoff walk as a pinch-hitter, advancing to second on Kelly’s throwing error and getting to third on a wild pitch. Wilfredo Tovar hit a short grounder to third with the bases loaded, but Ohtani sped home as Max Muncy’s high throw pulled Russell Martin’s foot off the plate.
Brian Goodwin then scored on the second wild pitch of the inning by Kelly, whose rough debut season in the Dodgers’ bullpen got even worse. Kelly, who got a three-year, $27 million deal in the offseason to return to his native Southern California after winning a ring in Boston, hadn’t pitched in a high-leverage situation in a few weeks after his rocky start to his Dodgers tenure.
“We’re going to need him,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Kelly. “That’s just plain and simple. So we’ve got to figure out a way to — mechanical, emotional, mental — just tap into something and get him on track.”
Chris Taylor had an early two-run double for the Dodgers, who went scoreless in the final seven innings and lost for only the fourth time in 17 games.
Ty Buttrey (4-2) escaped a two-on, nobody out jam of his own making in the eighth for the Angels, who had lost five of seven heading into their interleague rivalry series. The major league-leading Dodgers had won 13 of 16.
Hansel Robles gave up two leadoff singles in the ninth, but covered first to finish that double play and his eighth save.
Trout went 0 for 3 with two inning-ending strikeouts against Ryu, but the superstar evened the game with his 18th homer off Floro.
Angels rookie Griffin Canning yielded just five hits over six innings in his first taste of this rivalry, retiring 10 of 11 at one point and pitching out of a jam in the sixth.
“They’re a really good-hitting team,” Canning said. “I just stayed aggressive and didn’t back off.”
Canning still left trailing 3-1 after the Dodgers’ three-run rally in the second. After Taylor drove in Corey Seager and Martin in the second, Enrique Hernandez followed with another double to score Taylor.
Calhoun hit his 14th homer later in the second, but Ryu stranded six runners over the next five innings.
Ryu yielded seven hits and one run over six resilient innings, but the Dodgers’ dominant lefty was denied 10th victory of the season when his bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Ryu hadn’t failed to win a start since May 1, and he still hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start this season.
Ryu gave up his first homer since April 26 when Kole Calhoun connected in the second inning, ending his streak of 19 2/3 scoreless innings. Ryu hadn’t even allowed a run in five of his six previous starts.
“It just comes down to command and executing pitches and staying with the game plan,” Ryu said through a translator.
Dodgers: David Freese didn’t play because of nagging right knee tendinitis. Hernandez played first base instead, with Muncy playing third.
Angels: Matt Harvey had a setback in his return from a back injury, and his rehab assignment at Triple-A Salt Lake will be interrupted. He hasn’t pitched for Los Angeles since May 23.
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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