The Los Angeles Dodgers squandered a lead but benefited from bases-loaded walks in the seventh inning to defeat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 8-7, in the penultimate game of Spring Training and the Freeway Series.
Kenta Maeda’s final tuneup left plenty to be desired as he allowed one run in each of his three innings of work. Maeda’s first pitch was ambushed by Kole Calhoun for a home run to left-center field.
Kevan Smith’s one-out double in the second inning was followed by an RBI single by David Fletcher that pulled the Angels even. They then took the lead on Mike Trout’s RBI base hit in the third.
The Dodgers’ only offense on the night came when Cody Bellinger walked, then scored on Chris Taylor’s RBI double, and he came across on David Freese’s base hit. Taylor later drew a walk and went inside-out for a single to reach safely in all three plate appearances.
While Maeda was knocked around, several Dodgers relief pitchers had encouraging showings. Pedro Baez stranded a pair of walks in the fourth inning, and Scott Alexander (one out) and Kenley Jansen (two outs) combined for a scoreless fifth. For Alexander and Jansen, the appearances marked the completion of a planned back-to-back.
Justin Grimm’s Dodgers debut began with a four-pitch walk of Albert Pujols, but he benefitted from a challenge on a safe call at third base ending the inning when it appeared the Angels would have two runners in scoring position after a single.
That loomed large as multiple Angels relievers lost command in the seventh, as three walks with the bases loaded allowed the Dodgers to reclaim the lead. Connor Wong’s two-run single with two outs punctuated the five-run inning and comeback win.
For good measure, Alex Verdugo, who’s set to make his first Opening Day roster, added an RBI double in the ninth.
That wound up proving key as the Angels scored three runs in the bottom half of the inning and left the tying run in scoring position.