LOS ANGELES -- Things didn't go the Los Angeles Angels' way early, especially on the basepaths.
They ran for the cycle in the first two innings, getting thrown out at each base in the opposite of the fundamentals stressed by manager Mike Scioscia.
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But their offense came alive later, with Erick Aybar hitting a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning and Howie Kendrick adding a solo shot to rally the Angels to an 8-3 victory over the Dodgers on Friday night in the Freeway Series opener."This is the most bizarre baserunning game we've seen," Scioscia said. "Those early outs -- that was not good. Sometimes we were too aggressive and sometimes we weren't aggressive enough."Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro picked off two baserunners and threw out two runners attempting to steal."That's my game -- throwing guys out, keeping guys close to the base and keeping them honest," he said. "That's going to help our pitchers and the team overall."Dan Haren (7-5) bounced back from his worst loss of the season in his previous start, allowing three runs and 10 hits, which tied his season high. He struck out three and walked one. Last weekend, the right-hander allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings against the Mets."It was a circus out there. I wore my pants up to try to change my luck," Haren said. "The offense picked me up and I was able to pitch out of some jams. It definitely wasn't pretty. I was struggling to put guys away. I'll get back to where I need to be."Haren's RBI single with two outs in the second was the Angels' first run.The Angels notched their fourth win in five games. They have won six of their past seven games at Dodger Stadium.
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Matt Kemp was 2-for-4 with a homer and Andre Ethier went 3-for-4, but the Dodgers got no production from their top two hitters, Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe, who were a combined 0-for-10.Rubby De La Rosa (3-2) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings, struck out six and walked four in his fourth career start."I felt good and I felt really comfortable, but the balls I was throwing weren't going into the strike zone," he said. "I had too much movement on my fastball."The Angels scored three runs with two outs in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Maicer Izturis' RBI single scored Jeff Mathis, who walked and was sacrificed to second. Aybar followed with his two-run homer on a 3-2 pitch from De La Rosa. Aybar was 3-for-4.Kendrick homered in the sixth to make it 5-3.The Angels extended their lead to 7-3 in the eighth. Aybar singled and Peter Bourjos reached on a bunt single past pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, who dived for the ball. First baseman James Loney raced over to pick it up and fired to Jamey Carroll, who was covering the bag. The ball skipped through Carroll's legs, allowing Aybar to score. Alberto Callaspo added an RBI single.The Dodgers closed to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI grounder by Tony Gwynn Jr., who came on as a pinch runner in the second after Marcus Thames left the game with a strained left calf injured while legging out his leadoff double.Kemp gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead with his 21st homer with two outs in the first. He hit Haren's first pitch into the pavilion in right.
Angels RF Torii Hunter missed his first game of the season with sore ribs after colliding with the wall during a catch in Florida on Wednesday. Scioscia hopes he can return for Sunday's series finale. ... Haren needs two wins to reach 100 for his career. ... The Angels have won 13 straight games when scoring four or more runs. ... The Dodgers fell to 5-2 in games in which De La Rosa has appeared.