Erick Aybar homered off Kenley Jansen to lead off the top of the ninth inning to give the Angels a 2-1 win over the Dodgers in the finale of a three-game series Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. It was the fifth straight series loss by the Dodgers to the Angels, and the fourth straight series loss to the Halos at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning against Ernesto Frieri, putting the first two runners on base, but Frieri rebounded to strikeout Tony Gwynn Jr. and got Bobby Abreu to ground out to end the game.
It was the second loss in three days for Jansen, who was pulled with two outs in the ninth inning after pitching on his third straight day. Jansen also pitched three days in a row last week.
The Angels immediately answered back with a solo home run by Alberto Callaspo to lead off the top of the second inning. It was the second home run allowed in four starts by Eovaldi this season, over 24 2/3 innings.
Wednesday provided the best combined effort by Aybar and Callaspo since Provo in 2002.
The Halos threatened again in the top of the fourth inning, when Callaspo walked following singles by Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick to load the bases with nobody out. But Eovaldi goosed the golden opportunity by inducing a 3-2-3 double play off the bat of Erick Aybar, followed by a strikeout of catcher John Hester.
Eovaldi also struck out Trumbo with two outs and two runners on to end the top of the fifth inning, one of four strikeouts on the night for Eovaldi, who suffered a no-decision despite allowing one run in his six innings of work. The Dodgers have scored two runs while Eovaldi was in the game in his four starts.
The Dodgers had a rally of their own in the bottom of the sixth inning. After Juan Rivera walked with one out, Andre Ethier lined to Aybar at shortstop, who intentionally dropped the ball, then stepped on second and threw to first for an apparent double play. However, thanks to MLB rule 6.05 (l) Rivera was allowed to stay at first base with only Ethier out:
A batter is out when... an infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases.
The Dodgers didn't get a hit after Rivera's single with one out in the third inning, until Loney's single in the ninth.
Home Runs: Alberto Callaspo (3), Erick Aybar (1)
WP - LaTroy Hawkins (1-1): 1 IP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout
LP - Kenley Jansen (4-2): 2/3 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout
Sv - Ernesto Frieri (6): 1 IP, 1 hits, 1 walk, 1 strikeout