3 up, 3 down: Angels 2, Dodgers 1

June, 13, 2012
6/13/12
10:32
PM PT
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers (40-24) tried to rally against Angels closer Ernesto Frieri in the bottom of the ninth, getting runners to the corners with nobody out. But A.J. Ellis tried to come home on Juan Uribe's grounder to short and got caught in a rundown for the first out. Then, with runners on second and third, Tony Gwynn took a called third strike before pinch hitter Bobby Abreu, batting for Dee Gordon, bounced back to the mound to end it.

The good

Stopping a bullet. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the top of the fourth, James Loney, the Dodgers' Gold Glove first baseman, took a colossal but calculated risk. Fielding a grounder by Aybar not more than two steps from the bag, Loney opted not to take the automatic out but instead to throw home. By doing so, he managed not only to get the force at home but also get back to the bag in time to take the return throw from catcher A.J. Ellis to get Aybar at first. Nathan Eovaldi then struck out John Hester to complete his escape from what had been a dangerous jam.

Still stingy. Eovaldi turned in his fourth impressive start in a row since being recalled from Double-A Chattanooga on May 29 to take Ted Lilly's rotation spot, scattering seven hits over six innings but more importantly giving up just one run as the Angels stranded seven runners, five of them in scoring position. That left Eovaldi with a 1.82 ERA. It also left him still looking for his first win, as he remained 0-2 with two no-decisions.

Daring escape. Although he got himself into trouble by issuing a four-pitch leadoff walk to Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson upon entering the game to begin the seventh inning and then a five-pitch, one-out walk to Torii Hunter to set up a first-and-second, one-out situation for Albert Pujols, Ronald Belisario was able to escape his own jam. He got Pujols to ground into a tailor-made, 5-4-3 double play, ending the inning.

The bad

Double trouble. The Dodgers began the day as the National League's runaway leaders in grounding into double plays, and the trend continued. Andre Ethier hit into one to end the third, and A.J. Ellis hit into another one with nobody out in the fourth. They were the 61st and 62nd double plays grounded into by a Dodgers hitter this year.

Butter fingers. Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon, who has played stellar defense at times this year and not-so-stellar defense at others, committed his 14th error of the season at the start of the game, charging a tough, slow roller by Angels leadoff man Mike Trout and bobbling it twice, by which time it was too late to get the speedy Trout. In fact, Gordon might not have gotten Trout even if he had fielded it cleanly, but he still was charged with an error. Alas, Eovaldi picked Trout off first base before he even threw a pitch to the next batter, Hunter, negating Gordon's miscue.

Regressing. Although it has appeared of late that the embattled Gordon is finally emerging from his long hitting slump -- he had hit safely in 10 of his previous 11 games, posting a .360 on-base percentage in the process, to reclaim the leadoff spot that had once been taken away from him -- he had another bad game, going hitless in four at-bats with two strikeouts and no balls hit out of the infield.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Yasiel Puig
BA HR RBI R
.294 13 60 78
OTHER LEADERS
HRA. Gonzalez 23
RBIA. Gonzalez 106
RD. Gordon 86
OPSY. Puig .856
WC. Kershaw 19
ERAC. Kershaw 1.70
SOC. Kershaw 219