The first game of the Anaheim edition of the Freeway Series was a back-and-forth affair, with the Dodgers having just enough back for their fourth straight win, 7-5 over the Angels on Monday night at Angel Stadium.
The win pushes the Dodgers out to an 8½-game lead over San Francisco in the National League West, and a magic number to clinch the division of 17.
The Dodgers threatened in each of the first eight innings on Monday, putting together 16 hits, five walks and a hit by pitch against Nick Tropeano and eight Angels relievers.
Corey Seager hit his third double in four starts in the second inning and scored the Dodgers' first run. He also walked twice and scored a pair of runs.
Scott Van Slyke drove in Seager with a double, one of two doubles and four hits on the night, driving in four runs. Van Slyke hit a chopper off the glove of pitcher Trevor Gott into left field in the seventh inning for one of those doubles, then hit a Baltimore chop that might have touched a cloud before descending back to Earth for an RBI single in the eighth.
The four hits for Van Slyke were a career high, and the four RBI tied a career high, also accomplished on June 9, 2014 against Cincinnati.
Justin Ruggiano was used as a pinch hitter in the fifth inning against left-handed reliever Jose Alvarez and hit a two-run tiebreaking double, Ruggiano's third straight run-scoring hit as a pinch hitter.
Joc Pederson had three singles and a walk, his first three-hit game since July 25.
Zack Greinke has set the bar so high this season that his three runs allowed in six innings counts as one of his worst starts of the season. Greinke gave back a few leads, allowing a solo home run to C.J. Cron in the second inning, then a two-run shot to Kole Calhoun in the fifth.
He battled through a few innings, and his night was done after 89 pitcher and six innings, his outing ended after a long top of the seventh inning that saw the Dodgers add two runs to their lead in an inning with two Angels pitching changes.
The nine pitchers used by the Angels were a season high, for nine innings or otherwise. The Dodgers matched their season high for a nine-inning game with seven pitchers used, with Kenley Jansen closing it out in the ninth inning for his 30th save of the season.
This is the second consecutive season for Jansen with 30 or more saves, and the 12th such season in Dodgers history.
The Dodgers are now 1-7 in American League parks this season.
Clayton Kershaw gets the call for the Dodgers on Tuesday night in the middle game of the series, facing off with fellow southpaw and old friend Andrew Heaney for the Angels.
Home runs: C.J. Cron (11), Kole Calhoun (22)
WP - Zack Greinke (16-3): 6 IP, 7 hits, 3 runs, 5 strikeouts
LP - Fernando Salas (3-2): ⅔ IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (30): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts