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New faces back Clayton Kershaw in 6-4 win over Angels

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ANAHEIM -- The Dodgers rotating cast of characters stuck to a similar formula on Tuesday night, breaking open a close game with a big inning to win their fifth straight game, this one a 6-4 victory over the Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

The 13th win in their last 15 games maintained the Dodgers' 8½-game lead over San Francisco in the National League West, and lowered their magic number to clinch the division down to 16.

The big inning on Tuesday for the Dodgers was the sixth, a four-run stanza that turned a one-run traffic jam into cruise control. It was the fourth time in the last six games the Dodgers have scored at least three runs in an inning.

That sixth inning began with a walk to Adrian Gonzalez and a single by Scott Van Slyke against Angels starter Andrew Heaney, then Corey Seager hit a ground rule double into the right field corner to bring home one run to end Heaney's night.

It was the fourth double in five starts for Seager, who was 2-for-3 with a walk.

The suddenly aggressive and opportunistic Dodgers then added runs in the inning on two ground balls and a sacrifice fly, giving a 6-1 cushion for Clayton Kershaw.

Kershaw allowed a leadoff home run in the first inning to Kole Calhoun, who continued his season-long tormenting of the Dodgers. Calhoun had two hits on Tuesday, and this season is 9-for-18 (.500) with three home runs, a double and two walks against Los Angeles.

Calhoun is the only player in baseball this season to homer off of both Kershaw and Zack Greinke, and he did it on consecutive nights.

But that home run was all Kershaw would allow until the seventh inning, when Seager's first two major league errors loaded the bases, followed by a balk by Kershaw for an unearned run. Calhoun came to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh as the tying run, but struck out swinging, at least in the opinion of third base umpire Tripp Gibson III, too end the inning.

Angels manager Mike Scioscia was none too happy with the call, and was ejected between frames for arguing the call.

The Calhoun strikeout was the eighth of the night for Kershaw, who has a major-league-best 259 strikeouts in a National -League-leading 201 innings.

Kershaw has lasted at least seven innings in each of his last six starts, and in 13 of his last 14 starts as well.

The Dodgers were fueled early, before their big inning, by Justin Ruggiano, getting the start in left field against the southpaw Heaney. Ruggiano homered to start the game, then doubled in the third, the key hit in the inning that saw the Dodgers score their second run.

That made five consecutive hits for Ruggiano, including four of the extra-base variety. He ended up 2-for-5 on the night and is now 5-for-11 since joining the Dodgers.

Ruggiano in 81 plate appearances with the Mariners this season had four doubles, two home runs and three RBI.

In 12 PA so far with the Dodgers, Ruggiano has two doubles, two home runs and six RBI.

That second run for the Dodgers was scored by Alex Guerrero, who walked to open the third. It was just his sixth walk of the season, and his first since June 3, snapping a span of 98 plate appearances, and 28 strikeouts, without.

Staked to a 6-2 lead in the ninth inning, Pedro Baez was in and out of the game after giving up double, double to his only two hitters, cutting the lead to 6-3. That meant Kenley Jansen entered for the fourth time in five games.

Jansen did issue his sixth walk of the season and the Angels pushed across an inherited run, but he got the final three outs for his 31st save of the year, striking out Calhoun to end it.

The Dodgers have beaten the Angels eight straight times, half of those in Anaheim.

Tuesday particulars

Home runs: Justin Ruggiano (4); Kole Calhoun (23)

WP - Clayton Kershaw (13-6): 7 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 2 walks, 8 strikeouts

LP - Andrew Heaney (6-3): 5+ IP, 6 hits, 5 runs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (31): 1 IP, 1 walk, 1 strikeout