Los Angeles

Battle for Los Angeles: Dodgers Open Freeway Series With 7-5 Win Over Angels

Scott Van Slyke knocked in four runs, including the last three, and the Los Angeles Dodgers took game one of the Freeway Series 7-5 against the Angels on Monday night in Anaheim.

Like the waves of the ocean crashing onto the shore in nearby Newport Beach, the Dodgers and Angels took turns coming in and going out in a seesaw battle that featured 16 different pitchers.

Scott Van Slyke had a career-high four hits, and knocked in four runs, including the last three, and the Los Angeles Dodgers took game one of the Freeway Series 7-5 against the Angels on Monday night in Anaheim.

The Dodgers grabbed the early lead in the top of the second when Van Slyke hit a ground-rule double down the left field line that scored top prospect Corey Seager from second.

The Halos rallied in the bottom half of the inning when C.J. Cron hit a solo shot off Greinke to tie the game. It was the first home run allowed by Greinke in the state of California since Justin Upton sent one into the stands at Petco Park on June 13.

Three innings later, outfielder Justin Ruggiano, who was acquired by the Dodgers at the Aug. 31 waiver trade deadline, pinch-hit for Andre Ethier in a righty-on-righty matchup and drove a double to the gap, giving the Dodgers the 3-1 lead.

"It was definitely a September game," Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly joked. "It was just one of those crazy games."

Once again, the Angels would comeback in the bottom half of the inning. This time, it was Kole Calhoun who hit a rocket shot to right field off. The two-run bomb tied the game, and marked just the second time this season Greinke allowed two homers in one game.

"I wasn't that sharp throughout the game today," Greinke said of his start. "If I hadn't given up the homer to Calhoun I wouldn't be as mad."

Greinke (16-3) allowed three runs on seven hits, striking out five in six strong innings.


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"I picked a good time to not pitch well," Greinke said. "We scored a lot of runs and played good defense today."

Greinke's ERA rose to 1.68 ERA, still tops in the Majors, but a significant increase from 1.59 before the game.

"You never feel good this time of year," Greinke said of fatigue down the home stretch. "The last two months are usually a little tougher then the first few months. I guess I feel good enough right now."

Adrian Gonzalez gave the Dodgers the lead back with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the top half of the sixth inning.

The Dodgers would tack on two extra insurance runs in the top of the seventh after reliever Trevor Gott, hit Justin Ruggiano with a fastball, and then walked Corey Seager. Two batters later, Scott Van Slyke brought both runners home with a two-run double off the glove of Gott.

Luis Avilan allowed an RBI single to Albert Pujols in the bottom of the seventh inning, the two-out base knock was the first run allowed by Avilan in his last nine games.

Van Slyke was excellent, having the best day of his career at the plate, finishing 4-for-5 with two doubles, four RBIs and a run scored on the night.

"It's always nice to have a night like this and come out and get a victory," Van Slyke said.

Corey Seager started at shortstop in place of Jimmy Rollins, making it the fourth career start of the 21-year-old's career.

Kenley Jansen struck out Trout and Pujols in the bottom of the ninth inning to earn his 30th save of the season.

The Dodgers have won seven straight games against their inner-city rivals.

With the victory, and San Francisco's loss earlier in the day, the Dodgers lead in the NL West increased to 8.5 games.

Game Notes:
The teams combined to use 16 different pitchers in the nearly four-hour game. The nine pitchers used by the Angels sets a franchise record for most pitchers used in a nine-inning game.

"I think it's ridiculous to use this many pitchers," Greinke said after the game. "The league should look into it not happening any more because it's not exciting to watch."

The sellout crowd was mostly a 50-50 split of Dodgers and Angels fans, but the ones in blue out cheered the Halo fans throughout the night. 


Flashing lights, lights #FreewaySeries

A video posted by Michael J. Duarte (@michaeljduarte) on Sep 7, 2015 at 9:27pm PDT

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