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Andre Ethier home runs complete Dodgers sweep of Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Andre Ethier hit go-ahead home runs in both the eighth and 10th innings, the latter a walk-off two-run shot off Drew Rucinski, giving the Dodgers a 5-3 walk-off win over the Angels, and a three-game sweep.

Ethier was the only Dodger remaining from the last time the Dodgers swept the Angels in three games, in 2006, so it was only fitting he provided the game-winner on Sunday.

It was the seventh walk-off home run of Ethier's career, and his first since May 6, 2010.

"Not too many times in baseball do you get to take the last shot, but that was one of those opportunities," Ethier said. "It's fun when you do well."

What started as a bullpen game for the Angels ended as a bullpen game for the Dodgers, though not for reasons they intended, though not in a good way.

Jim Johnson was essentially the Dodgers closer on Sunday and as such faced the top of the Angels order in the eighth inning, trying to protect a 2-1 lead. But right fielder Kole Calhoun took him deep to left center field to tie the score. It was the first home run allowed since April 18, a span of 41 innings for Johnson, who recovered to strike out Mike Trout and get Albert Pujols to ground out to end the inning.

That lost lead was rectified in the bottom of the eighth, when Ethier took Joe Smith deep for a solo home run, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 advantage.

With relief ace Kenley Jansen unavailable on Sunday after throwing 50 pitches in the last two days, and Johnson having allowed the tying run in the eighth inning, the Dodgers turned to J.P. Howell with a lead in the ninth.

Shane Victorino opened with a single, then Howell got a ground ball back to the box but a wild throw to second meant only one out instead of the sure double play. He struck out Conor Gillaspie for the second out of the inning, then gave way to Pedro Baez, but that didn't work. Chris Iannetta doubled to center field to tie the game again.

Baez was able to stay in the game and pitch a scoreless 10th, including retiring Calhoun and Trout.

Baez got the win.

Howie Kendrick doubled off the right field wall in the first inning but was stranded. In the third inning, Jimmy Rollins singled with two outs, bringing up Kendrick against Halos starter Cory Rasmus.

This time, Kendrick hit a shot over the center field wall, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. It was the second home run in three days for Kendrick against his old team, and continued a red-hot homestand for the second baseman.

Kendrick in five games at Dodger Stadium this week was 8-for-21 (.381) with two home runs, a double and a walk.

"Howie was good all series," manager Don Mattingly said. "We've seen it all year."

Mat Latos was effective, allowing only one run on four hits in six innings in his Dodgers debut. He walked one and struck out just one, but mostly kept the ball on the ground, inducing 10 ground ball outs. Some of the balls were hit hard, but Latos was helped by his friends, especially up the middle.

Kendrick and Rollins shone on defense, and one of the few balls hit in the air was a drive by Erick Aybar tracked down by Joc Pederson in right center field to end the fourth inning.

The run came in Latos' final turn through the high-rent district of the Angels lineup. Calhoun opened the sixth with a double to left field, then scored on ground outs by Trout and Pujols, the latter of the bat-shattering variety.


Calhoun was 5-for-8 (.625) in the series with a home run, a double and two walks.

Yasmani Grandal was 1-for-2 as a right-handed batter on Sunday, and dating back to June 28 is 9-for-13 (.692) with a double and three walks batting from the right side.

Pederson for the third straight game was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. In his last four games combined, Pederson is 0-for-17 with 10 strikeouts. "He made a great play in center field. He's hitting eighth, he's fine," Mattingly said. "We know Joc can play, he's going to be fine."

Sunday particulars

Home runs: Howie Kendrick (9), Andre Ethier 2 (12); Kole Calhoun (14)

WP - Pedro Baez (4-2): 1⅓ IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout

LP - Drew Rucinski (0-2): ⅓ IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk, 1 strikeout