Dodgers Waste Rich Hill’s Best Start Of Season, Angels’ Ricky Nolasco Shines In Freeway Series Opener
Dodgers Waste Rich Hill’s Best Start Of Season, Angels’ Ricky Nolasco Shines In Freeway Series Opener
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Nolasco went into Monday’s start tied for the Major League lead this season with 23 home runs allowed. The Los Angeles Dodgers entered play having hit at least one home run in 17 consecutive games, matching a Los Angeles record.

What on the surface appeared to be a nightmare matchup for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim turned into a gem for Nolasco. He not only contributed to snapping the Dodgers’ home run and winning streaks, but a personal one as well.

Nolasco allowed five hits, issued two walks, and finished with five strikeouts over 6.1 scoreless frames. It marked the first time the Dodgers were shut out through five innings since Stephen Strasburg did so at Dodger Stadium on June 7.

Though, the Dodgers squeaked out a win against the Washington Nationals that afternoon. There was no such luck in the opener of the Freeway Series, as the Angels ended the Dodgers’ 10-game winning streak.

The loss was their first at Dodger Stadium since June 6 — a span of 11 consecutive victories.

Although he finished on the losing end, Rich Hill’s outing was nonetheless encouraging. He went xx innings, allowing three runs on four hits. It was the first time this season Hill so much as reached the sixth inning, and his longest outing since going seven perfect innings against the Miami Marlins last September.

After a successful double steal with two outs in the third inning, Yunel Escobar’s sinking line drive to right field dropped in front of Yasiel Puig and bounced off his chest. The Angels took a 2-0 lead on the hit.

Andrelton Simmons’ leadoff triple in the fourth was cashed in two batters later on a Danny Espinosa sacrifice fly. Meanwhile, through six innings, the Dodgers only had two baserunners reach scoring position when Chase Utley doubled in the first inning, and Chris Taylor hit a hustle double in the third.

That changed in the seventh as Puig lined an infield single off Nolasco, and Kiké Hernandez struck the Angels pitcher with another line drive that resulted in a double. Nolasco at that point was removed due to injury.

Cam Bedrosian struck out pinch-hitter Mike Freeman and Utley to end the inning and preserve the lead. That was the Dodgers’ best look at the game, as they didn’t muster much offense in the eighth or ninth.

Martin Maldonado tacked on a solo home run off Sergio Romo in the ninth for good measure, and with a 4-0 victory the Angels ended a streak of 10 consecutive losses in Nolasco starts. He’d suffered the decision in the past seven.