After giving the Angels several opportunities, Rubby De La Rosa finally surrendered a big inning, as a three-run fifth helped the Angels beat the Dodgers 8-3 in the opener of the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium. It was the fifth straight loss to the Angels at Dodger Stadium. De La Rosa allowed two home runs, a two-run tater by Erick Aybar and a solo shot by Howie Kendrick, and allowed a total of five runs in his six innings.
The damage could have been much worse off De La Rosa had the Angels not made several outs on the basepaths. The Angels had two runners picked off first base by Dioner Navarro, two runners caught stealing at second base by Navarro, one runner thrown out at third, and another out at home after a rundown in between first and second base. It wasn't just the Angels either; the Dodgers contributed as well, getting two runners thrown out at the plate on infield ground balls.
For good measure, just to stamp tonight as the weirdest baserunning game of the season, catcher Jeff Mathis threw down to first base to try to pick off Tony Gwynn Jr., only Gwynn was on his way to second base, which he stole easily. The play was captured by Sam Miller of the Orange County Register.
The Dodgers also had their chances to tack on some runs, but couldn't cash them in. Aside from getting runners thrown out at the plate in the second and fourth innings, the Dodgers loaded the bases with one out in the third inning. But the third inning threat was thwarted when Gwynn struck out and Dioner Navarro grounded out.
- Dan Haren threw 118 pitches in his six innings, then batted for himself in the top of the seventh inning. However, he did not pitch the bottom of the inning, the cost of having a bench with two backup catchers and an injured Torii Hunter (out a few days with a rib contusion) as three of the five members
- Matt Kemp homered in the first inning, his league-leading 21st of the season, and singled in the third, giving him a string of eight consecutive plate appearances reaching base, dating back to Tuesday
- Andre Ethier had two singles and a double tonight, and is hitting .356/.433/.593 during the last two homestands, a span of 16 games
- As a starter so far, De La Rosa has been absolutely Marmolian: 15 walks and 22 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings
Scott Elbert pitched tonight, his first appearance in 10 days, retiring both batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning
- During the Prime Ticket broadcast, Vin Scully said Navarro tonight was the first catcher since 1987 (when catcher pickoffs were first tracked) to have two catcher pickoffs and two runners caught stealing in the same game.
- Marcus Thames hit a double to left field in the second inning, but felt something immediately after running out of the batters box. Thames made it to second base, but was removed from the game and later diagnosed with a strained left calf. He is day-to-day. For what it's worth, for those thinking ahead, neither Jerry Sands nor Trayvon Robinson were removed early from their game in Albuquerque tonight.
Jonathan Broxton will pitch in back-to-back games Sunday and Monday on a rehab assignment with Class A Rancho Cucamonga, per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times.
Hiroki Kuroda takes the mound on Saturday against rookie Tyler Chatwood for the Angels.
WP - Dan Haren (7-5): 6 IP, 10 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Rubby De La Rosa (3-2): 6 IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts