It took a little while for the Dodgers to solve the Jerome Williams puzzle, but the eighth inning provided a winning solution. Juan Rivera hit a three-run home run off Williams with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Dodgers a 5-2 win over the Angels on Tuesday night in the second game of a three-game set at Dodger Stadium.
Williams needed just 79 pitches to get through seven innings, and entered the eighth inning with a 2-1 lead. But after Dee Gordon was called safe on a disputed call on a stolen base with two outs by second base umpire Joe West, which led to the dejection of Angels manager Mike Scioscia on his bobblehead night.
After A.j. Ellis walked, Williams was left in the game to face Andre Ethier, rather than having the $85 million man face a left-hander. Ethier cashed in the gift with an RBI single to right field to tie the game, which was followed by Rivera's home run.
Aaron Harang played with fire most of the night, facing Albert Pujols with men on base three different times, but was only burned by unearned runs on a pair of ground balls to Adam Kennedy. In the third inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Kennedy booted a grounder by Kendrys Morales, giving the Halos a 1-0 lead.
In the sixth inning the Angels again had the bases loaded with two outs, and Jerome Williams hit a potential inning-ending grounder to second. But Kennedy's throw was dropped by Dee Gordon, who was late in covering second base on the play.
Those were the only two runs Harang allowed in his seven innings. He walked four and struck out five, and threw a season-high 118 pitches.
The Dodgers scored their lone run when they opened the bottom of the fourth inning with three consecutive singles by A.J. Ellis, Andre Ethier, and Juan Rivera. Bobby Abreu followed with a drive to the center field wall that died in the night air at Dodger Stadium and fell into the waiting glove of Mike Trout. Kennedy followed with an inning-ending double play to end the threat.
After Rivera's single, Williams retired 12 of the next 13 batters he faced until the fateful eighth inning.
- Dee Gordon stole three bases tonight for the third time in his career. Two of those games have come against the Angels.
- The Dodgers are the first team in baseball to 40 wins.
Home Runs: Juan Rivera (3)
WP - Jamey Wright (3-2): 1 IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Jerome Williams (6-7): 7 2/3 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs (4 earned runs), 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (10): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts