Back in California for the first time since mid-February, the Los Angeles Dodgers fell, 8-4, to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the opener of the exhibition Freeway Series.
Result of the game not withstanding, the Dodgers could point to multiple silver linings from their loss at Angel Stadium. Specifically with Corey Seager and Max Muncy.
The former lined a two-out single into center field in the first inning, then scored from first base on Muncy’s RBI double to left. Muncy doubled again in the third inning but was stranded.
Muncy, Seager and Justin Turner combined to reach in eight of their 11 plate appearances on the night.
While the Dodgers managed to take a 1-0 lead in the process, Angels starter Félix Peña struck out the side in the first and second innings. Peña finished with nine strikeouts over 3.1 innings.
Ross Stripling sailed through two innings before running into trouble. On the day the Angels held a press conference to recognize his record-setting contract, Mike Trout tied the game with a two-out RBI double.
The run was all Stripling allowed on three hits and one walk over three innings. The outing was Stripling’s final tuneup before starting in the second game of the Opening Series.
Stripling exiting the game immediately resulted in Anaheim taking a lead as Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run off Dylan Floro in the bottom of the fourth. They then loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth inning. Yimi Garcia managed to limit the damage by inducing a double play.
An Andrelton Simmons error allowed the Dodgers to rally for three runs in the top of the seventh. One scored when A.J. Pollock reached, and Cody Bellinger then tied the game with a looping two-run base hit into right field.
Gifted an opportunity by one of the game’s best shortstops, Matt Beaty returned the favor by letting a routine groundball roll under his glove. Rather than get Joe Kelly out of the seventh inning with the game still tied, Anaheim took a 5-4 lead on the play.
Kenley Jansen shook off a comebacker that hit him in the back of his left knee but couldn’t escape a bases-loaded jam. He gave way to Layne Somsen with two outs, and he uncorked a wild pitch and allowed a two-run single before getting out of the inning.