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Max Muncy leads the way as Dodgers take the opener over Angels

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MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Los Angeles Dodgers Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Max Muncy added to his incredible 2018 campaign Friday night, slugging another homer and having his hand in all three runs as the Dodgers took the opener with a 3-2 win over the Angels.

The Dodgers needed a late rally in the seventh inning, started by a Logan Forsythe leadoff single. After Joc Pederson doubled to put runners at second and third, Muncy lined a ball in the gap in right field.

The game would’ve been tied had right fielder Kole Calhoun not thrown it over everybody to the backstop. Instead, Pederson came home with the eventual winning run.

With his 22nd homer, Muncy is now 17-for-51 (.333) with six homers over his last 15 games.

“He’s a winning player, whether it be with the bat or on defense. He’s sort of in the middle of everything,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s nice to be able to rise to the occasion, get the big hit when you need it.”

Walker Buehler struck out five and allowed six hits over five innings in his first start since June 8, working around traffic on the base paths early on. The Angels had runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings but came away 0-for-6.

Both runs for the Halos came on two solo homers off the bat of Calhoun, one in the third and one in the fifth. The second long ball was the only hit over the last nine batters Buehler would face.

The Dodgers got two more solid innings out of the bullpen from Caleb Ferguson. The lefty pitched two scoreless innings to give his team a chance at the comeback and has opened some eyes as a reliever.

Ferguson has allowed only two earned runs over 13 innings (1.38 ERA) since going to the pen in late June. The 22-year-old has also struck out 16 while walking only one in those five appearances.

With Kenley Jansen unavailable after pitching the last two nights, left-hander Scott Alexander came out of the bullpen to try and nail down his first save in a Dodger uniform.

A Shohei Ohtani pinch-hit double and an infield hit for Jose Briceno put runners at the corners with only one out, but Alexander — ground-ball artist — induced a double play to end the game.

Up Next

Alex Wood (5-5, 3.88) — not Clayton Kershaw — will make the start Saturday for the Dodgers as they face former Dodger Andrew Heaney (5-6, 3.84).

Friday particulars

Home runs: Max Muncy (22), Kole Calhoun 2 (8)

WP - Caleb Ferguson (2-1): 2 IP, 3 strikeouts

LP - Cam Bedrosian (3-2): 1⁄3 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs

SV - Scott Alexander (1): 1 IP, 2 hits