Los Angeles Dodgers

AJ Pollock Hits 2 Homers, Playoff-bound Dodgers Blank Angels 5-0

AJ Pollock homered twice and the Los Angeles Dodgers completed a sweep of the Angels with a 5-0 victory to close out the pandemic-shortened regular season.

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AJ Pollock homered twice and the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers completed a three-game sweep of the Angels with a 5-0 victory on Sunday to end the pandemic-shortened regular season.

Pollock’s drive gave the Dodgers a major league-leading 118 homers. It was their fifth shutout victory; they went 15-1-4 in series this season.

The Dodgers won their eighth consecutive division title and finished 43-17 for the best record in the majors over the 60-game schedule. They were 106-56 last year playing a full 162 games. They’ll open the postseason on Wednesday against the NL’s No. 8 seed.

The Angels stumbled to a 26-34 mark in Joe Maddon’s first season in Anaheim as manager. They were 72-90 last year, finishing fourth in the AL West, the same result as this season. They were 0-6 against the Dodgers, losing every game for the first time since 1997.

Pollock started at leadoff in place of Mookie Betts, who is nursing a sore hip after getting plunked on Saturday.

Joc Pederson singled leading off the seventh and Pollock followed with a two-run shot over the wall in center.

The Dodgers added two more runs in the third to make it 3-0. Austin Barnes walked and scored on Corey Seager's RBI groundout to second as part of a double play. Justin Turner popped up to right fielder Jared Walsh, who lost the ball in the sun for an error, scoring Pederson, who walked. Turner was safe at first.

The Angels were limited to three hits without slugger Mike Trout in the lineup. He took the last two days off.

Victor González started for the Dodgers, tossing a scoreless inning with one strikeout before turning the ball over to Dustin May (3-1). The red-headed right-hander allowed two hits in four innings, struck out five and walked two.

Angels starter Patrick Sandoval (1-5) left the game with an apparent injury after giving up three straight walks that led to two runs with two outs in the third. The left-hander gave up three runs and one hit. He struck out three and walked three.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Dodgers: RF Betts will take at-bats in a simulated game Tuesday.

CAN HE DRIVE 55?

Maddon will soon head East in his RV, returning to his home state of Pennsylvania to help his granddaughter prepare to attend college. He plans on driving up to 7 1/2 hours a day during the 30-hour trip. “It's a great way to reflect, take your time and really there’s a lot of solitude involved,” Maddon said. “RVing has become more popular this year with the pandemic and I really look forward to it.”

TROUT, AGAIN

Trout was voted by his teammates as the Angels' MVP for the ninth straight year, extending his franchise record. Trout hit .281, with 17 homers and 46 RBI in 53 games. Right-hander Dylan Bundy was voted the Nick Adenhart pitcher of the year. Bundy, scratched from his final start Saturday, finished 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 11 starts.

THANKS, CUTOUTS

The Dodgers posted a message on the video boards thanking all the cardboard cutouts for their support. The team sold the cutouts with photos of fans on them and donated the proceeds to the club's foundation. Each of the cutouts was authenticated with a tiny sticker on the back.

UP NEXT

Angels: Visit the San Francisco Giants for their spring training opener on Feb. 27.

Dodgers: Host the best-of-three NL wild-card series starting Wednesday. Walker Buehler will start Game 1 and Clayton Kershaw goes in Game 2. A potential third starter hasn't been announced yet.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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