LOS ANGELES (AP) -- J.D. Drew's day off didn't quite turn out
The Los Angeles Dodgers' leading home run and RBI man wound up
putting in a couple minutes of excellent work Saturday.
Drew's pinch-hit homer leading off the seventh drove in the
go-ahead run, and the streaking Dodgers rallied for an 8-4 victory
over the slumping Los Angeles Angels.
"I was enjoying it until I got a chance to contribute," Drew
said of his day off. "I just tried to keep it simple, put a nice
easy swing on the ball."
Drew, batting for winner Joe Beimel, hit a 1-2 pitch from Scot
Shields (1-3) into the right-field bullpen to snap a 4-4 tie. It
was Drew's eighth homer of the season and the 150th of his career.
"It was a slider that I left up," Shields said. "I don't know
if I could have thrown a worse pitch right there. I made a mistake
and he made me pay for it, so you've got to give him credit. That
was the difference in the game."
Pinch hitting isn't something Drew is called on to do very
often. But he has hit three homers in that role in his career.
"It takes a special guy to do that," he said. "Your heart's
going a little quicker, you've just got to settle down a little
The Dodgers won for the 11th time in 14 games by scoring seven
runs in their final three at-bats. They're a season-best three
games over .500.
"We like our club and we feel like we're going to like it even
more once we see it all together," manager Grady Little said.
"When that will be, I don't know."
The Dodgers have eight players on the disabled list.
The loss was the fourth straight and 16th in 21 games for the
Angels, who dropped a season-high nine games below .500.
"We're a better team than we've shown the past three weeks,"
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Pitching and defense have made
us contenders, but we've had some breakdowns in those areas for the
last couple of weeks. It's safe to say that the club we have right
now is not the club that we need out there."
Beimel (1-0) earned his first big league victory since 2003 by
striking out the side in the seventh. Juan Rivera reached first on
a wild pitch with two outs while swinging at strike three, but
Beimel picked him off first to end the inning.
The Angels led 4-1 before Willy Aybar tied it in the sixth by
hitting a three-run homer, golfing an 0-2 pitch from Kevin Gregg
into the lower right-field seats following leadoff singles by Nomar
Garciaparra and Jeff Kent.
"It was a good pitch. He went down and happened to put some
good wood on it," Gregg said. "I have nothing to complain about
the pitch at all."
Little smiled when asked about the improbable homer.
"They've got a guy over there playing right field who can hit
balls off the ground a long way," he said, referring to Angels
star Vladimir Guerrero. "We're just trying to even up the score."
The Angels, pummeled 16-3 by the Dodgers on Friday night, took a
3-0 lead off Brett Tomko in the first on doubles by Adam Kennedy
and Rivera and a two-run homer by Dallas McPherson -- his first RBI
of the season.
Kenny Lofton singled, took third on a double by Garciaparra and
scored on Kent's grounder in the bottom of the first.
The Angels made it 4-1 in the fourth on a two-out, RBI single by
Both starters gave up four runs in six innings. Gregg allowed
seven hits while walking one and striking out a career-high seven,
while Tomko gave up 10 hits with no walks and four strikeouts.
"It was a battle. I didn't have my best stuff," said Tomko,
who's 5-1 with a 3.21 ERA. "The job Aybar's done filling in for
Bill Mueller -- that's what it takes to win."
Mueller, the Dodgers' starting third baseman, had surgery on his
right knee Monday and is expected to be sidelined at least a
The Angels placed INF Edgardo Alfonzo on waivers for the
purpose of giving him his unconditional release, and recalled
Bulger from Triple-A Salt Lake. ... Little said OF Jason Repko,
sidelined since spraining his left ankle May 9, will probably be
out at least another four weeks. ... Angels INF Erick Aybar,
Willy's younger brother, made his first big league start and got
his first hits -- singles in the fourth and sixth innings. ... Willy
Aybar's homer was his first this year and the second of his career.
... Little faces a dilemma when C Dioner Navarro (injured right
wrist) is ready to come off the disabled list because Martin has
played so well in his absence, both offensively and defensively.
"As we sit here right now, I don't know how in the world you ever
could," Little replied when asked if the 23-year-old Martin would
return to the minors.