Ramon Hernandez did his best, but he couldn't quite lift the Dodgers to a victory in the Freeway Series finale against the Angels. The backup catcher, starting at designated hitter on Thursday night, homered, doubled and walked, but the Halos prevailed 3-2 at Angel Stadium.
The four-game series saw the home team win every contest, including three one-run games.
Hernandez, who suffered through an 0-for-17 slump earlier in the season and has rarely played, has home runs in two of his last three games. During that span he is 4-for-7 with three walks and a sacrifice fly.
Outside of Hernandez, the only damage done by the Dodgers offense against Angels starter Jason Vargas as a leadoff triple by Carl Crawford in the first inning, followed one out later by a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez for a quick 1-0 lead.
Ted Lilly was able to keep pace with Vargas for a while, pitching into the sixth inning. But he left with runners at first and third with two outs. Ronald Belisario entered and got what he wanted, a ground ball. But Belisario deflected the grounder, which slowed it down and allowed Chris Nelson to reach, extending the inning and giving the Angels the lead.
The inning could have been much worse given what happened next on another slow ground ball to Belisario...
but luckily for the Dodgers, the Angels were unable to capitalize.
The Dodgers got a leadoff single off closer Ernesto Frieri in the ninth inning, but were unable to recapture any of Wednesday's success off of him. Frieri got the final three outs, ending with a strikeout of Hernandez, to finish off the game.
After dropping to 16-32 all-time in Anaheim, having starting catcher A.J. Ellis nursing an oblique injury, with Josh Beckett headed to Dallas to see a nerve specialist, and with God know who coming up to play center field, the Dodgers could use some wins this weekend.
The Dodgers head to Coors Field, getting back to National League play, sending their best three starting pitchers against the Rockies. Clayton Kershaw starts the opener, against old friend Jon Garland for Colorado.
Home run: Ramon Hernandez (2)
WP - Jason Vargas (5-3): 7 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP - Ted Lilly (0-2): 5⅔ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Ernesto Frieri (12): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts