ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Dodgers are leading the National League, but the Angels still rule the Freeway Series.
Mark Trumbo drove in Albert Pujols with the tiebreaking run in the seventh inning, and the Angels won their series with the Dodgers for the third straight year with a 5-3 victory Sunday.
Peter Bourjos hit an early two-run homer and Howie Kendrick added another RBI single in the seventh for the Angels, who took four of six from the Dodgers in the past two weeks – including two of three this weekend in front of a combined 133,035 fans.
The Angels have won 13 of their last 18 games against the Dodgers, who have the NL’s best record. Just don’t ask former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia if it means anything.
“We’ve been a better ballclub as the season has gone on, and that has to continue,” said the Angels manager, ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a call at third base. “We certainly had some mistakes and some calls that didn’t go our way, but we played at a high enough level and got enough clutch hits to absorb it.”
Scott Downs (1-0) pitched one hitless inning of relief, and Ernesto Frieri got four outs to earn his ninth save for the Angels, who have won 11 of 15 and 22 of 30. Frieri struck out Dee Gordon with a runner on second base to end the game.
The Angels went 12-6 during interleague play this season and have won 14 of their last 15 interleague series overall.
Pujols drove in Mike Trout with a go-ahead run in the fifth inning moments before Scioscia was ejected. Juan Rivera doubled and scored on Adam Kennedy’s flyout to even it for the Dodgers in the sixth.
Trumbo and Kendrick then capped a two-out rally against reliever Josh Lindblom (2-2) with singles, driving home Pujols and Kendrys Morales.
“Our chemistry has always been there, but it’s always more fun when you’re winning a lot of games,” Trumbo said.
Bobby Abreu and Gordon drove in runs for the Dodgers, who have lost six of their last eight games. Both teams dropped playable popups and endured close umpiring calls, but the Dodgers couldn’t match the Angels’ late-game execution while losing their sixth straight series to the Angels.
“It seems like wherever I’ve been, to be honest, we’ve had trouble with those guys,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, a coach with Joe Torre’s Yankees when the Angels constantly gave trouble to New York. “They’re a good club, and they’ve had good clubs, and there’s a reason why. They’ve got talent, they come after you and they’re aggressive.”