Mike Trout has wreaked havoc on the American League since rejoining the Angels on April 28, and he did his thing again Monday night at Dodger Stadium. Trout drove in the first two Angels runs, homered, stole two bases, then scored the winning run on an Albert Pujols single off Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning to beat the Dodgers 3-2 in the opener of a three-game series.
The Angels have won nine of their last 11 games at Dodger Stadium.
Chris Capuano opened the game by striking out the 20-year old sensation Trout, then proceeded to load the bases by allowing two singles and a walk. However the Angels weren't able to capitalize, as Howie Kendrick grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Dodgers opened their first inning with a rally of their own, as Dee Gordon walked and moved to third on Elian Herrera's bloop double over a drawn-in Alberto Callaspo at third base. Reportedly new $85 million man Andre Ethier grounded to shortstop for one run, then the Dodgers took advantage of a gift from the Angels.
After Bobby Abreu walked, Garrett Richards attempted to pick off Herrera at second base, but threw wildly into center field. Herrera advanced to third, then just kept running when Trout bobbled the ball in center, beating the throw home for a 2-0 lead.
Capuano walked a tightrope throughout his night, allowing a whopping 11 baserunners in the first four innings. But only one run scored in those first four innings, a solo home run by Trout, who blasted a pitch into the left field pavilion in the top of the fourth inning. That home run would have tied the game had Capuano not picked Richards off first base immediately prior to throwing the home run ball to Trout.
After retiring the side in order in the fifth, Capuano allowed a leadoff double to Erick Aybar in the sixth inning then was behind in the count 2-0 to John Hester. Manager Don Mattingly removed Capuano from the game in a double switch, bringing in Josh Lindblom to put out the fire. It was the earliest Lindblom has entered a game since April 15.
Lindblom induced a pair of popups in foul territory but then had to deal with Trout with two outs. The rookie came through with a hard single to right field for the tying run.
A battle of the bullpens ensued after that, which produced relatively spotless results until the ninth inning.
The Dodgers put the winning runs on base in the ninth inning in the form of A.J. Ellis, who walked a career-high four times on Monday, and Juan Uribe, but Gordon flew out to end the game, with the last out conveniently caught by Trout.
Home Runs: Mike Trout (6)
WP - Jason Isringhausen (2-0): 1 batter, 1 out
LP - Kenley Jansen (4-1): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Ernesto Frieri (5): 1 IP, 1 walk, 1 HBP