Monday night at Dodger Stadium was easily the wildest game of the year for the Dodgers, a game about which a quick, at-the-moment recap doesn't do anything close to justice. Dodger Stadium on Memorial Day felt as crazy and electric as the 4+1 game nearly seven years ago, and after the highs and lows settled the Dodgers beat the Angels 8-7 in the opener of the Freeway Series.
The first inning was easily the sloppiest baseball played by the Dodgers in one of their messiest of seasons. After a Mike Trout single, Albert Pujols lined a ball to deep center field. Matt Kemp went back on the ball, tracked it and had in his glove before it bounced out, and Pujols was generously given a double. But Kemp's true error on the play was immediately throwing to third base, with no chance to get Trout, which allowed Pujols to amble into second base easily.
With runners on second and third with out out, Greinke struck out Mark Trumbo, but a passed ball by Ramon Hernandez allowed Trout to score. When Hernandez threw wildly to first, not only was Trumbo safe but Pujols scored from second base for a quick 2-0 lead.
Back-to-back doubles by Adrian Gonzalez and Scott Van Slyke got the Dodgers on the board in the second inning, but the Angels bludgeoned Zack Greinke with a seemingly endless supply of extra-base hits for a 6-1 lead in the fourth inning.
It looked like the same old script for another disappointing Dodgers loss, one they have seen many times this season.
But after scraping a run across in the fourth inning, the Dodgers turned on the power themselves in the fifth. The inning started with a single from Luis Cruz, his eighth hit of the year and third at home. Juan Uribe followed with a single, then one out later Mark Ellis doubled home two to cut the lead in half at 6-4.
Then Gonzalez and Van Slyke struck again, the former with an RBI single and the latter with a double to score Gonzalez and tie the game.
The sixth inning started with Cruz, making his first start in 10 days, drawing a walk, which snapped a string of 199 consecutive plate appearances without an unintentional free pass. His last unintentional walk came on Aug. 29, 2012. The Dodgers didn't waste that opportunity, as Uribe doubled and A.J. Ellis hit a sacrifice fly to take their first lead at 7-6.
- Gonzalez is 9-for-11 with three doubles and two home runs in his last three games.
- Gonzalez scored four runs Monday, the third time in his career he has scored four times in one game.
- Uribe doubled for the fourth straight game, the longest streak of games with an extra-base hit by a Dodger since Hanley Ramirez last Aug. 14-18.
- Uribe was also 3-for-3, his first three-hit game since Apr. 23, 2012, when he was 4-for-4 against Atlanta.
- Both starting pitchers allowed five extra base hits. Greinke allowed a triple and four doubles; C.J. Wilson allowed five doubles.
- Matt Kemp was 0-for-5 with four strikeouts.
Home runs: none
WP - Ronald Belisario (3-4): 2 up, 2 down
LP - Robert Coello (1-1): 2 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Brandon League (11): 1 IP, 1 hit