Apparently, an early five-run cushion wasn’t enough for Chad Billingsley.
Despite digging themselves a 5-0 hole by the time the bottom of the second inning rolled around, the Los Angeles Angels were able to storm back and win the first of three against their LA-area bunkmates 8-5 Friday night at Angel Stadium.
Billingsley (4-6) was touched up for 10 hits and six earned runs in five innings of work, and fell to just 1-5 with a 5.36 ERA in his career against the Angels.
He hasn’t gone more than seven innings in any start since his season debut in San Diego, when he went 8.1.
20-year-old AL Rookie of the Year frontrunner Mike Trout shined once again for the Halos, going 1-3 with a pair of runs, including a solo homer off Billingsley in the 4th.
The homer was his seventh of the season, and he’s now hitting an astounding .338 with a .402 on-base percentage since being called up to the big leagues in late April.
Former Angel Bobby Abreu, the man whom Trout eventually replaced on the roster earlier this season, helped kick-start the Dodgers with a massive three-run home run in the top of the first off of Dan Haren.
Haren’s struggles continued, as he allowed five runs on nine hits in five innings. He’s now allowed 14 runs over his last three starts.
However, after the Angels were able to post a pair of three-run frames in the second and fourth innings, it was enough to earn Haren his fifth win of the season.
Jerry Hairston and Juan Rivera each hit RBI singles off Haren in the second to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 5-0.
The Angels countered with three in the bottom of the frame on an RBI double from Alberto Callaspo, a sac fly from Howie Kendrick and an RBI groundout from Erick Aybar. Aybar then tripled in Callaspo for the Angels’ first of three runs in the fourth inning.
Trout’s solo shot in the fourth ultimately proved to be the game-winner, putting the Angels up 6-5.
The Dodger offense finally showed signs of life following their miserable three-game sweep at the hands of the Athletics earlier in the week. However, six of their 12 hits Friday evening came in the first two innings. They had scored just four total runs over the course of their previous four games.
Ernesto Frieri worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save of the season for the Angels. He has allowed just eight hits and three earned runs in 11.2 innings since being acquired from San Diego on May 1.
Jamey Wright allowed the final pair of Angels runs on a two-run single by Torii Hunter that scored Trout and Bobby Wilson in the sixth.
The Dodgers (42-29) have now dropped five of their last six games overall, including four straight. Their lead in the NL West has dwindled to just three games over the San Francisco Giants, who beat Oakland 5-4 Friday.
Game two of the series gets underway Saturday afternoon at 4:15, when Chris Capuano (8-2, 2.71 ERA) takes the mound for the Dodgers opposite Ervin Santana (4-7, 5.16 ERA).
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers, and covers the Los Angeles Dodgers for ProSportsBlogging.com.