Los Angeles

Andre The Giant: Ethier Hits Two Homers, Dodgers Defeat Angels 5-3 in Freeway Series Finale

Andre Ethier played two positions and hit two home runs, including a two-run walk-off blast into the visitor's bullpen and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Angels 5-3 in the finale of the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

Don't forget about Dre'.

After four days off, Andre Ethier played two positions and hit two home runs, including a two-run walk-off blast into the visitor's bullpen and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Angels 5-3 in the finale of the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium on Sunday.

Straight outta Phoenix, Ethier homered in his last two at-bats of the game, giving the Dodgers their seventh walk-off victory of the year and the sixth of Ethier's career.

"After three at-bats, I finally got the barrel on the ball," said Ethier, who went 0-for-3 in his first at-bats. "But it doesn't matter where they put me in the lineup. I just go out there and try to figure out a way to contribute."

The Dodgers swept the Angels for the first time since May 19-21 2006, and have now won six games overall against the Halos in the series.

Los Angeles brought the welcome mat out for new Dodger pitcher Mat Latos who made his debut with the team. Latos was acquired from the Miami Marlins on Thursday in a 13 player, three-team trade. The 27-year-old Virginia native allowed one run on four hits over six innings in a no-decision.

"I was tired, jet-lagged, nervous as could be too," Latos said of his first start in Dodger blue. "I just tried to make every pitch count from the first pitch on."

Latos was (1-6) lifetime at Dodger Stadium entering the game, and had only faced the Angels once in his career (April 3, 2013) previously before today. Ironically, Latos also got a no decision that day, giving up home runs to current Dodger teammates Howie Kendrick and Alberto Callaspo.

"I was on edge," Latos said of the Angels lineup. "They have great hitters in the lineup. I'm excited to be here in LA, they have a great group of guys in the clubhouse, but I'm gonna have to go talk to them [referring to Kendrick and Callaspo]."

Latos, wearing the No. 55 made famous by Orel Hershiser in the 1980s, also recorded his first hit in a Dodger uniform with a one-out single off Jose Alvarez in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Kendrick continued to be a thorn in his former team's side on Sunday. Kendrick spent the first nine seasons of his big league career with the Halos before being traded to the Dodgers last winter.

Like a Ronda Rousey combination, Kendrick knocked out Rasmus with a two-run blast to dead center in the third inning. Kendrick went 2-for-5 with a double and two RBIs, finishing with two homers, a double, three RBIs, and multiple web gems over the course of the three-game Freeway Series.

Cory Rasmus made his first Major League start in what was essentially a bullpen game for the Halos as they look for replacements for Jared Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

Rasmus was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake City on Friday, before the Freeway series began, and made his 2015 Angels debut later that night, striking out the side in one inning of relief. Rasmus allowed two runs on three hits in just three short innings of work.

Carl Crawford made a rare spot start in left field, moving Andre Either to right field as Yasiel Puig got a rest day. Crawford missed 75 games for Los Angeles from May to July, after suffering a right oblique strain.

Ethier moved back to left field in the top half of the eighth and hit the go-ahead homer in the bottom half off Angels' reliever Joe Smith. Ethier's moon shot traveled over 420 feet to dead center to give LA the short-lived 3-2 lead.

Jim Johnson had a rough go of it in his Dodgers debut. Johnson served up a game-tying homer to Kole Calhoun, but was able to strike out reigning AL MVP Mike Trout a batter later.

Pedro Baez (4-2) picked up the win, but blew the save giving up a two-out, two-run double to Chris Iannetta in the top of the ninth inning.

With a runner on first and two-outs in the bottom of the 10th, Ethier smacked a line drive into the Angels bullpen off Drew Rucinski (0-2) capping off his 12th mult-home run game of his career.

"I guess I did it at the tight time today and put us over the top," Ethier said. "In baseball, there aren't too many times where you get to take the last shot, and that was one of those opportunities right there."

Ethier now ranks second for walk-off hits in franchise history with 14, two behind Dusty Baker for most all-time.

Game Notes:
The No.4 ranked female tennis player in the world, Caroline Wozniacki, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.

52,166 were in attendance for the finale of the Freeway Series, and the first 40,000 fans received a free Dodgers cap, presented by Security Benefit. The Dodgers averaged 52,089 fans over the five-game homestand, the most since 2008.

Joc Pederson struck out three times, earing the "silver sombrero" for the third consecutive game. Pederson has just one home run, two walks, and 22 strikeouts over his last 15 games.

The Dodgers increased their lead in the NL West to 2.5 games over the San Francisco Giants and are a season-high 15 games over .500.
 

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