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|L.A. Angels (39-32) «||0||3||0||3||0||2||0||0||x||8||12||0|
Trout hit a go-ahead homer and scored from first base on a single as the Angels rallied from an early five-run deficit against Chad Billingsley to beat the Dodgers 8-5 Friday night in the opener of the season's second Freeway Series.
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"I wouldn't say we've come to expect it, but I'm definitely not surprised by it, personally," teammate Mark Trumbo said. "He's the total package. I've never seen anything like it. I've never played with anybody who's anywhere near as advanced as he is at this age. He's a big part of the reason why we've been playing a lot better."
Dan Haren (5-7) allowed five runs, nine hits and three walks over five innings with five strikeouts. Ernesto Frieri, the fifth Angels pitcher, worked a hitless ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
"I left some balls up and out over the plate, and there's just no excuse for it," Haren said. "I've done it a couple of times now, and I've got to get better than that. Obviously, I think everyone knows I can throw the ball better than I have. But it was nice for the team to pick me up, and hopefully I can pick them up next time."
Bobby Abreu hit a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw in his return to Angel Stadium with the Dodgers. But it wasn't enough for Billingsley (4-6), who gave up six runs and 10 hits in five innings.
The right-hander is 1-5 with a 5.36 ERA in seven career starts against the Angels, who had hit only two homers off him in 42 1/3 career innings prior to Trout's clout. This was the fourth time in the last five regular-season meetings between the Dodgers and Angels that the game turned on a tiebreaking home run.
The Dodgers totaled four runs over their previous four games, including a three-game sweep by Oakland. But Abreu gave Billingsley a great head start in the first inning with a towering drive far back into the elevated seats in right field after singles by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Andre Ethier.
The emergence of Trout, Trumbo (26) and Peter Bourjos (25) made the Angels' outfield too crowded for the 38-year-old Abreu to play a regular role, despite Vernon Wells' long-term thumb injury. He was released on April 30, and the Dodgers signed him as a free agent four days later. Since then, he is hitting .297 with 13 RBI in 41 games. But his slow home run trot wasn't aimed at the Angels.
"Not really. It's nothing personal," Abreu said. "To me it was just another team that we face and another team that we have to beat. I was just happy to hit a homer right there. It felt good that I did something to help the team and give us a few runs in the first inning."
The Dodgers extended the margin to 5-0 in the second with RBI singles from Hairston and Juan Rivera. But Billingsley couldn't hold it, and the Angels fought back with three runs in the bottom half on Alberto Callaspo's RBI double, Howie Kendrick's sacrifice fly and Erick Aybar's RBI groundout.
"I think our recent success has given us more confidence to come back," Trumbo said. "I mean, when you're down early like that, it's not the end of the world. There are still nine chances to come back and get the job done. It was fortunate that we were able to answer them quickly and get some of the momentum back on our side."
Callaspo led off the fourth with a single and scored on Aybar's triple. Bobby Wilson followed with a suicide squeeze that eventually scored Aybar, who slid past the plate while catcher A.J. Ellis missed the tag. Umpire Dale Scott remained an interested spectator until Aybar casually walked back and stepped on the dish, then gave the "safe" sign.
Trout, who entered second in the AL with a .338 average, drove Billingsley's next pitch to left-center for his seventh homer and a 6-5 Angels lead.
"I was just trying to be aggressive," Trout said. "I got a pitch I could hit and I put a good swing on it. We were all having big at-bats. Bobby coming up with that squeeze was big, and Aybar getting that triple. Dan had a rough first two innings, but after that he settled in and gave us a chance. So getting those runs for him was big."
It could have been worse for Billingsley, but Ethier displayed his Gold Glove form in the fifth by robbing Kendrick of a two-run double with a leaping catch against the 18-foot wall for the third out. Torii Hunter drove in the Angels' final two runs against Jamey Wright, with Trout winging it all the way from first behind Wilson after Hunter singled to right field on a 3-2 pitch with two outs.
"Trout is like my little brother. He's my best friend, so I'm really excited that he did that for me -- giving me that extra RBI -- and I'm going to take him to McDonald's," Hunter said.
|Mike Trout's solo HR comes as part of a three-run fourth inning, helping the Angels rally from an early five-run deficit. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Dee Gordon, SS||5||0||0||0||0||1||3||.220|
|Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B||5||2||2||1||0||0||0||.308|
|Andre Ethier, RF||4||1||3||0||1||0||0||.290|
|Bobby Abreu, DH||5||1||1||3||0||1||4||.281|
|Juan Rivera, LF-1B||5||0||3||1||0||1||1||.264|
|James Loney, 1B||2||0||0||0||1||1||3||.255|
|a- Elian Herrera, PH-LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.288|
|Adam Kennedy, 3B||2||0||0||0||1||1||1||.219|
|b- Juan Uribe, PH-3B||1||0||0||0||0||0||2||.231|
|A.J. Ellis, C||4||0||1||0||0||1||3||.291|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., CF||3||1||1||0||1||0||1||.254|
|a-singled for Loney in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for Kennedy in the 7th|
|HR - Bobby Abreu (2, Haren)|
|RBI - Jerry Hairston Jr. (17), Bobby Abreu 3 (18), Juan Rivera (23)|
|2-OUT RBI - Juan Rivera (10)|
|SB - Tony Gwynn Jr. (10, 2nd base off Haren/Wilson)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Gordon-Hairston-Loney|
|E - Jamey Wright (1, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Chad Billingsley (L,4-6)||5||10||6||6||1||5||1||4.15|
|WP - Chad Billingsley (3)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 90-56, Jamey Wright 24-16, Todd Coffey 14-9, Ronald Belisario 18-11, Shawn Tolleson 3-2|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 6-3, Jamey Wright 2-0, Todd Coffey 1-0, Ronald Belisario 2-0, Shawn Tolleson 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 25, Jamey Wright 6, Todd Coffey 3, Ronald Belisario 3, Shawn Tolleson 1|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Mike Trout, CF-LF||3||2||1||1||2||1||1||.338|
|Torii Hunter, RF||5||0||2||2||0||1||1||.273|
|Albert Pujols, 1B||4||0||1||0||0||0||2||.255|
|Kendrys Morales, DH||4||1||2||0||0||2||2||.274|
|Mark Trumbo, LF||4||1||1||0||0||2||2||.323|
|Peter Bourjos, CF||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.216|
|Alberto Callaspo, 3B||3||2||2||1||1||1||0||.253|
|Howard Kendrick, 2B||3||0||0||1||0||1||3||.266|
|Erick Aybar, SS||4||1||2||2||0||0||0||.249|
|Bobby Wilson, C||3||1||1||1||0||0||0||.181|
|2B - Kendrys Morales (7, Billingsley), Alberto Callaspo (6, Billingsley), Erick Aybar (14, Wright)|
|3B - Erick Aybar (3, Billingsley)|
|HR - Mike Trout (7, Billingsley)|
|SF - Howard Kendrick (5)|
|SH - Bobby Wilson (6)|
|RBI - Mike Trout (29), Torii Hunter 2 (28), Alberto Callaspo (19), Howard Kendrick (26), Erick Aybar 2 (18), Bobby Wilson (4)|
|2-OUT RBI - Mike Trout (14)|
|Team LOB - 6|
|DP - Pujols-Aybar, Kendrick-Aybar-Pujols|
|Los Angeles Angels|
|Dan Haren (W,5-7)||5||9||5||5||3||5||1||4.24|
|Hisanori Takahashi (H,3)||1||1||0||0||0||0||0||4.32|
|Scott Downs (H,13)||1||2||0||0||0||0||0||0.37|
|Jason Isringhausen (H,3)||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1.73|
|Ernesto Frieri (S,8)||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||0.84|
|Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 102-66, Hisanori Takahashi 13-9, Scott Downs 18-10, Jason Isringhausen 15-10, Ernesto Frieri 17-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 3-6, Hisanori Takahashi 1-1, Scott Downs 3-0, Jason Isringhausen 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Dan Haren 26, Hisanori Takahashi 3, Scott Downs 5, Jason Isringhausen 3, Ernesto Frieri 4|
|Attendance - 44548|
|Game Time - 3:20|
|Temperature - 71|
|Umpires - Home - Dale Scott, First Base - Dan Iassogna, Second Base - C.B. Bucknor, Third Base - Bill Miller|