Park returns to mound for Dodgers, limits Angels in no-decision

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' patchwork pitching added to the Angels' frustration on offense and helped deal Ervin Santana his first loss of the year.

Chan Ho Park came out the bullpen for his first start in more than a year, Hong-Chih Kuo (3-1) pitched an impressive four innings, then Takashi Saito finished things off for the Dodgers in a 6-3 win on Saturday.

Park, in his first start for the Dodgers in almost seven years, gave up two runs -- one earned -- over four innings. Kuo (3-1) shut the Angels out on two hits and struck out four, and Saito gave up one run in the ninth.

"They ended up pitching well," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the Angels went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

Dodgers manager Joe Torre said, "Park did a great job, but that one inning [the Angels' two-run fourth], he had to get too many outs and we gave them too many opportunities. I'm just glad we were able to hold it together from that point on, because the momentum certainly had switched in that inning."

Kuo was sharp.

"That was the second time he's done that. We had a game against the Mets that he came in and just dominated, and this was certainly a big lift," Torre said. "You don't have to go down to that bullpen and keep guys warming up all the time when you know he's got the length. Once we got that extra run, we sent him out for the eighth inning."

Blake DeWitt hit a two-run homer in the second to put the Dodgers ahead to stay as they won for just the second time in their last 11 games against the Angels.

Santana (6-1), coming off his worst outing of the season, gave up four runs on five hits in six innings. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out five.

The Angels' right-hander was tagged for nine hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings at Tampa Bay last Sunday, but didn't get a decision in the 8-5 loss.

Santana wasn't discouraged by his latest outing.

"If they had scored seven runs against me, I'd worry about it," he said. "But I'm perfectly fine. I'll just go and get it next time."

The Dodgers took advantage of his control problems to score twice in the second inning and added two more runs in the third.

He walked Andruw Jones with two outs in the second, then DeWitt hit his fourth homer of the season. In the third, Santana walked No. 9 hitter Chin-lung Hu leading off, then hit Pierre with a pitch before Andre Ethier and Russell Martin each singled in a run.

"His [Santana's] stuff was good. His command wasn't as sharp," Scioscia said. "His control wavered just enough for those guys to take advantage. We're not concerned."

He is concerned, though, about the Angels' struggles at the plate, a major reason they've lost three of the last four, seven of 10 and are 7-9 this month after going 18-11 in April.

"We need to right the ship offensively," Scioscia said. "We're in a lull right now. This is going to turn around."

Park's most recent start in the majors was April 30 of last year with the New York Mets. His last with the Dodgers was on Oct. 5, 2001, when he gave up Barry Bonds' 71st and 72nd homers of the season.

Park, who began his major league career with the Dodgers in 1994, averaged 15 victories for them between 1997 and 2001 before signing with the Texas Rangers as a free agent for the 2002 season. He rejoined the Dodgers after stints with the Padres and Mets.

He has been effective out of the bullpen this season, going 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in 12 appearances.

The Dodgers padded their lead to 6-2 with one run each in the seventh and eighth innings. Juan Pierre was able to score from third in the seventh when Martin tried to steal second and was tagged out in a rundown.

The Angels scored their final run in the ninth when pinch-hitter Juan Rivera led off with a double against Saito and came home on Erick Aybar's infield single.

After falling behind 4-0, the Angels scratched out two runs in the fourth, thanks in part to a throwing error by first baseman James Loney.

With one out in the bottom of the third, Park plunked Vladimir Guerrero after Santana hit Pierre in the top of the inning. Garret Anderson followed Guerrero with a single to right, putting runners at the corners. Maicer Izturis then grounded to first, but Loney's throw to second for an attempted force play sailed into the outfield. Guerrero scored on the play, then Robb Quinlan followed with an RBI single.

Game notes
Dodgers RHP Brad Penny was scratched from Sunday's start in Anaheim because of arm stiffness. RHP Derek Lowe will move up a spot in the rotation to replace him. Penny first felt the stiffness when he warmed up Friday in his normal bullpen session between starts. "He saw a doctor and there was nothing more than that, so that sort of put the concern away, and we just decided to give him an extra day," Torre said. ... The loss was only the Angels' fourth in their last 19 games against the Dodgers in Anaheim.