LOS ANGELES -- Scott Kazmir gave up two runs in the fifth inning, then turned things over to the Los Angeles Angels' bullpen. The relievers didn't let him down.
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Four pitchers combined to shut out the Dodgers over the final four innings, Juan Rivera hit a two-run homer and the surging Angels won 4-2 Saturday night for their ninth win in 11 games."To get four zeros up is important to us, especially when Kazmir didn't get quite as deep in the game as we'd like," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He battled and he set a tone early that he was going to challenge guys."The Angels improved to 11-3 since losing leading hitter Kendry Morales to a season-ending broken left leg on May 29. They can complete a Freeway Series sweep with a victory in Sunday's finale.The Angels are 10-3 on their road trip, the first time they've posted 10 wins on a trip since July 17-26, 1964, at Minnesota, Chicago and Kansas City."It's a two-week stretch, but we felt we were starting to click so it was our objective to win every game," Kazmir said. "We knew it was going to turn around for us sooner or later. We believe in ourselves and it's starting to show."
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Kazmir (6-5) allowed two runs and three hits in five innings, struck out five and walked four in winning for the fourth time in his last five games.Brian Fuentes pitched the ninth to earn his ninth save in 12 chances. The Dodgers had the tying run at the plate with two outs, but Russell Martin struck out swinging to end the game.John Ely (3-3) gave up four runs and six hits in five innings, struck out two and walked three to end his two-game winning streak."I've got to do a better job than I did," he said. "Four runs in five innings isn't cutting it. We're capable of beating that team, and I think everybody knows that."Ely has a 7.20 ERA in his last two starts after going 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA in his previous six starts."He's just been a little off. When he's going to be successful, his control has to be perfect," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He's either on the edges [of the plate] or off the edges, because that's what he's all about. He can't challenge people over the middle because he's not overpowering."For the second straight game, the Angels' rotation kept the Dodgers' big hitters in check. Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp and James Loney were a combined 0 for 11. That trio, along with Manny Ramirez, went 1 for 15 on Friday night, when the Dodgers lost 10-1. Ramirez popped up to short as a pinch-hitter in the ninth."He's fighting it right now," Torre said about Kemp. "It looks like he's jumping a little at the plate, and he certainly is frustrated."The Dodgers are hitting .159 and are 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position in the first two games against the Angels.Trailing 4-2, the Dodgers loaded the bases in the seventh when Jamey Carroll walked, pinch-hitter Garret Anderson singled against his former team and Martin walked with one out. But Kevin Jepsen struck out the struggling Ethier, then Kemp ended the inning on a forceout."We had an opportunity with the middle of the batting order. I mean, that's all you can ask for," Torre said. "Sure you want them to knock them in, but that's not always the case. We had our opportunity to do some stuff and we weren't able to."The Angels took a 3-0 lead in the fourth on Torii Hunter's RBI double and Rivera's 10th homer, which landed in the Dodgers' bullpen with two outs. They've scored 12 of their 14 runs so far in the series with two outs."It was off the plate at least a half a foot, but you've got a good hitter up there that notices patterns, and he got all of it," Ely said about Rivera's homer. "He's a smart hitter and he was just sitting on a pitch he thought might be there."The Angels added a run in the fifth on Howie Kendrick's RBI double that dropped inside the right-field line.The Dodgers made it 4-2 in the bottom of the inning with Martin's two-run double.
The Dodgers fell to 8-4 on their season-long, 13-game homestand. ... Angels slugger Hideki Matsui, who turned 36 on Saturday, pinch-hit in the ninth. Matsui had homered on each of his previous two birthdays. When informed of that by a Japanese writer before the game, Torre said he'd intentionally walk Matsui, and he did. ... The Angels placed RHP Jason Bulger on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder and recalled RHP Rafael Rodriguez from Triple-A Salt Lake.