ANAHEIM, Calif. – Welcome back to the big leagues, Bolsinger.
Dodgers right-hander, Mike Bolsinger, had a rough outing in his 2016 season debut and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim defeated their neighbors to the north, 8-1, on Wednesday night to take a stranglehold over the four-game Freeway Series.
Mike Trout welcomed Bolsinger back to the big leagues just 10 pitches into the game when he crushed a cutter into the left field seats for his ninth homer of the season.
"I think it woke me up a little bit," Bolsinger said of the first inning homer. "Once something like that happens you start to dial in. It's a home run, it's one run."
Trout hit his 39th career first inning home run on the long ball, the most in the Majors since 2012 (second Jose Bautista 31).
The Dodgers tied the game in the top half of the fourth on an RBI single by Joc Pederson that scored Corey Seager.
Two batters earlier, Seager thought he had an RBI double down the right field line, but Dodgers' third base coach, Chris Woodward, held Turner at third when it appeared he would have been safe at home.
"We had runners on base all night, but we left them stranded," Pederson said. "There's no panic in here, and things will turn around."
C.J. Cron and Rafael Ortega each had two RBIs as the Angels put up a five-spot on the boys in blue in the fifth inning.
Bolsinger allowed a single to leadoff hitter Yunel Escobar, and wanted no part of Trout whom he walked on six pitches.
"Pitchers pick and choose their battles," Bolsinger said. "I think everyone in the ballpark could guess I wasn't going to give him something to hit."
After Bolsinger exited stage left, Louis Coleman inherited two runners with 600-homer hitter Albert Pujols at the plate. Coleman issued a free pass before the Angels bled the Dodgers with a handful of weak hits breaking open the game.
"I was in jams the whole game and was comfortable getting out of them," Bolsinger said. "I was confident I would get out of that one too, but unforutnately I didn't get a chance to do it."
When the dust settled, the Dodgers were behind 6-1 and before you could say "heavy traffic on the 5 freeway," the boys in blue trailed 8-1 heading into the seventh inning.
Bolsinger (0-1) suffered his first loss of 2016 in his debut, allowing three runs on seven hits with two strikeouts in just 4 and 1/3 innings.
"Every time I pitch my expectations are to go out there and keep the team in the game," Bolsinger said of his start. "I didn't go the five innings I wanted to, but I think I kept the ballclub in the game and that's the most important."
Coleman and left-hander Adam Liberatore, each allowed two earned runs in an inning of relief each, snapping their consecutive scoreless innings streak at 10 apiece.
Nick "Nitro" Tropeano earned his second victory of the season, allowing two runs or less for the sixth time this season. Tropeano (2-2) surrendered just one run on seven hits with four strikeouts in seven strong innings. Opponents are 0-for-19 with runners in scoring position and two outs against Tropeano this season.
The Angels snapped a six-game home losing streak with the victory over their city rivals.
Players of the Game:
Mike Trout: 3-for-4 with a HR and three runs scored.
C.J. Cron: 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Nick Tropeano: 1 run on 7 hits with 4 strikeouts in 7 IP.
1. Power Outage: The Dodgers streak of 11 consecutive games with a home run was snapped, as they fell short of reaching the mark of 12, last set in 2002.
2. 27 (Hundred) Club: Albert Pujols recorded his 2,700th career hit on an RBI single in the seventh inning.
Albert Pujols has his 2,700th hit, an RBI single to center. 7-1. — Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) May 19, 2016
3. Falling Behind the Pack: The Dodgers fell to 21-20 on the season and by virtue of the San Francisco Giants seventh win in a row, Los Angeles falls two games behind first place and are now tied with the Colorado Rockies for second place in the National League West.
Dodgers (21-20): Rookie Ross Stripling looks to even the Freeway Series as he takes the ball on Thursday.
Angels (18-22): Former-Brave Jhoulys Chacin gets the call on Thursday as first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM PST.
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