LOS ANGELES -- Joel Pineiro knew his stuff was good when the ground balls kept coming. He was almost as good at the plate, becoming the first Angels pitcher to score three runs in a game since 1962.
Pineiro pitched a five-hitter for his second complete game win of the season and the rest of the Angels gave him a big offensive cushion in a 10-1 victory over the Dodgers on Friday night.
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"I felt good all the way. I was able to relax and (Mike) Napoli called a great game," Pineiro said. "I made sure to keep the ball down in the zone."Hideki Matsui and Torii Hunter had three-run doubles, helping the Angels win for the eighth time in 10 games and snapping the Dodgers' four-game winning streak."That's a great ballgame against a team scoring a lot of runs," Angels manager and former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia said.When he wasn't busy on the basepaths, Pineiro (5-6) was dictating from the mound in the Freeway Series opener between two surging teams. The right-hander struck out seven, walked one and retired his final 14 batters to earn his second straight win."It seemed like he had command of all of his pitches and he just kept us off-balance," Dodgers catcher Russell Martin said.
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Pineiro was especially effective against the heart of the Dodgers' lineup. Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Manny Ramirez and James Loney were a combined 1 for 15. Ethier walked once, while Loney's home run in the fourth was the lone Dodgers' run. Kemp is 0 for 11 in his last three games."He pitched that way against us last year," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He's that type of pitcher where if his stuff is working and stays down, you're going to have to be very patient with him."The three runs by Pineiro, who never bats in the AL and didn't get a hit Friday, were the most scored by an Angels pitcher since Ken McBride did so on June 10, 1962, against Kansas City. Before Friday, Pineiro had only scored 10 runs in his nine-year career."That's not something you expect, but he's been in the batter's box before," Scioiscia said. "He was definitely setting the table. He finished strong. His last 10 pitches were strong."Chad Billingsley (6-4) gave up seven runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked three in losing his second straight, while his seven earned runs were a career-high."I can't explain it. I mean, I felt good out there and felt like I had pretty good stuff," he said. "But they just found holes, and you can't do much about that. I did leave some balls up in the zone, but I thought I had pretty good command."Pineiro scored the Angels' first run on Bobby Abreu's two-out single in the second. Loney's homer tied it.Billingsley walked Pineiro in consecutive innings."When you get the pitcher up there, you just want to throw strikes and not worry about being too perfect," he said. "Sometimes you find yourself aiming the ball."Martin added, "I'm sure the last thing he wanted to do was walk the pitcher. You've got to make him earn his way on."Matsui doubled to right field with two outs in the fifth, giving the Angels a 4-1 lead. The ball deflected off Ethier's glove as he made a diving attempt, allowing Pineiro, Erick Aybar and Hunter to score.The Angels added four runs in the sixth. Reliever George Sherrill walked Abreu, the first batter he faced, with the bases loaded, bringing in Pineiro. Hunter's three-run double extended their lead to 8-1.Pineiro took a called third strike in his fourth at-bat.Howie Kendrick added a two-run homer in the ninth.
Hunter got hit on his left elbow by a pitch in the fifth. "It hurt so bad. It was a not-so-funny bone," he said. ... Pineiro became the first pitcher to throw a complete game against the Dodgers since Houston's Roy Oswalt last July 17. ... The Angels improved to 9-3 on their road trip, their most wins on a trip since April 12-26, 1984, when they went 9-5. ... Matsui turns 36 on Saturday. He's one homer away from 150 in his career. ... The Angels are 6-3 in their last nine games at Dodger Stadium. ... The Dodgers are 2-2 in interleague play this season.