Anaheim, Calif.—The Angels bats finally woke up Friday night against the Dodgers. David Fletcher drove in three runs on three hits, Shohei Ohtani had two RBI doubles and the Los Angeles Angels snapped their five-game losing streak with a 9-2 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Anaheim.
Justin Upton and Taylor Ward homered in the Angels’ four-run second inning, and Mike Trout had a late RBI triple as Los Angeles opened the series with a jolt, it was only their fifth win in 16 games.
The Dodgers lost for the fourth consecutive game, and for the 14th time in 18 games. They dropped 21/2 games out of first place in the National League West, their biggest deficit since April 13, 2019.
“We got the mojo back on our side a little bit,” said Griffin Canning, who pitched six-hit ball into the sixth inning for the Angels. “Hopefully we can keep bringing that same energy. It was a really good atmosphere. It was a lot of fun. … Momentum is such a big thing in baseball, so any time you can keep the momentum on your side, it’s going to be beneficial.”
“We’re too good of hitters to do this for a whole year,” Dodgers catcher Will Smith said. “Eventually we’ll get the offense going.”
Griffin Canning (3-2) ended the Angels’ recent pitching issues despite throwing to new catcher Drew Butera about 90 minutes after they first met. Patrick Sandoval came in and pitched 3 1/3 innings of relief for his first career save.
“Between (Sandoval) and Griff, that was outstanding tonight,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “It’s almost like a complete game where your bullpen doesn’t move around that much. All these other guys benefit from that.”
Julio Urías (4-1) had a rough start for the Dodgers, giving eight hits and five runs over five innings in his Angel Stadium debut.
“We just need to be better,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I still know our players are very good and talented, but it’s about going up there and making productive outs, getting hits when you need to get them, and we just need to get better.”
The Dodgers got on the board first with Matt Beaty’s RBI groundout in the second, but Upton led off the Angels’ half with a 436-foot blast in his first game since returning from a two-day break with a bruised knee.
After Ward hit his first homer of the season, catcher Butera doubled in the first at-bat of his season debut before scoring on Fletcher’s two-run single.
The Dodgers are struggling this season due to their pitching injuries, and if they want to turn their season around, they have to get healthy quickly.
In 11 at-bats with runners in scoring position, the Dodgers got one hit. They did not score, because it was an infield single that advanced the runner from second base to third.
It was an crazy week for Anaheim. The Angels fired Albert Pujols on Thursday, then played a tribute video in his honor Friday, in his absence. Their starting catcher was Drew Butera, who last played for the Angels in 2015 and who was listed Friday morning as a member of the Texas Rangers’ taxi squad.
Butera, who had never met Angels starting pitcher Canning until game time, guided Canning and Patrick Sandoval on a combined eight-hitter.
Clayton Kershaw(4-3, 2.95 ERA) will start on three days’ rest for the first time since the 2016 playoffs against the Angels’ Dylan Bundy (0-3, 4.00 ERA).