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Alex Guerrero, Howie Kendrick back Zack Greinke in Dodgers win over Angels

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- Home runs by Howie Kendrick and Alex Guerrero fueled the Dodgers to a 5-3 win over the Angels behind Zack Greinke in the opener of a three-game weekend series on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Dating back to 2014, the Dodgers have beaten the Angels four straight times. That hadn't happened since May 19-21 and June 30, 2006.

Kendrick got the Dodgers off to a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, in his first at-bat against his old team.

Guerrero, pressed into an increased role at third base with Justin Turner on the disabled list, started his second straight game on Friday, the first time he made consecutive starts since June 24-26.

He launched a two-run home run in the fourth inning over the left field wall, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 advantage. It was the first home run for Guerrero since his game-winning grand slam on June 2 in Colorado, snapping a streak of 67 plate appearances without.

"He's really in a tough spot because he hasn't been getting regular at-bats," manager Don Mattingly said. "He's in a spot now where he's going to start getting three or four, fairly consistent. I'm not going to say he's going to play everyday, but he'll get his at-bats."

The Dodgers followed a Scott Van Slyke double in the fifth inning with RBI singles by Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal to pad the lead.

Greinke cruised through eight innings, the fifth consecutive start he has lasted at least seven innings this season.

He allowed two runs, thanks to a few trips through the duo of Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout. Those two were a combined 5-for-7 against Greinke, with Trout driving home Calhoun with a triple in the fourth and a single in the sixth.

The rest of the Angels lineup was 0-for-21 against Greinke with eight strikeouts.

"It's tough," Mattingly said of facing the Angels' 2-3-4 hitters. "Every time you get through there it's like Boardwalk and Park Place with hotels."

Most notably and improbably, Albert Pujols was the escape valve for Greinke. After striking out to open the second inning, Pujols batted with Trout on third base with one out in the fourth inning of a game tied at 1-1. Greinke got Pujols to pop up to second base.

In the sixth, with Trout on first, Greinke struck out Pujols again.

"Trout's done incredible against me, always," Greinke said. "I had to really make really good pitches to Albert to limit the damage to just two runs."

Trout is 5-for-10 with two triples and a double lifetime against Greinke.

Greinke walked David Murphy in the fourth inning, the first walk issued by Greinke at Dodger Stadium since June 7. Greinke went 104 batters and 28 strikeouts in between home walks.

Greinke ends his July 4-0 in five starts with a 0.95 ERA, with 34 strikeouts and five walks in 38 innings.

We are four months into the season, and Greinke has allowed more than one run in a start just six times. He has allowed more than one run in an inning just four times all year.

Trout homered off Kenley Jansen in a nine-pitch at-bat to open the ninth inning to trim a three-run lead to two. Then Pujols nearly homered himself, with a shot of Lidge distance down the left field line but instead was Loged, just foul.

Jansen said after the game he has been battling a virus for the last three days.

Pujols would ultimately strike out, then a mound visit from pitching coach Rick Honeycutt helped settle Jansen down.

"We felt like he was pulling off the ball a little bit," Mattingly said.

Jansen induced two fly balls to end the inning for his 18th save.

Up next

Clayton Kershaw gets the call, for realsies this time, on Saturday, with an afternoon start. The Angels will counter with fellow southpaw Andrew Heaney, who was a Dodger for a brief minute in December.

Friday particulars

Home runs: Howie Kendrick (8), Alex Guerrero (11); Mike Trout (32)

WP - Zack Greinke (10-2): 8 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts

LP - Hector Santiago (7-5): 5+ IP, 9 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (18): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run, 1 strikeout