- Associated Press - Friday, May 20, 2016

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - The Dodgers blew a two-run lead, starter Ross Stripling couldn’t make it to the fifth inning, and now they’re back to .500 after four losses in five games.

The Los Angeles Angels rallied for a 7-4 win Thursday night to close out the Freeway Series by taking three out of four games.

The Dodgers’ lone win came with Clayton Kershaw on the mound in a 5-1 victory Tuesday. They got outscored 23-16 in the series.

“We can’t sustain any traction, any momentum, so it’s frustrating,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “There’s some plays defensively, but the pitching, the timely hitting, when you don’t do those things, it’s tough to win.”

Stripling (1-3) gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings, struck out three and walked three. He also had a wild pitch in the first, when the Angels tied it at 1 on Trout’s RBI single.

“Just another frustrating game,” Stripling said. “It seems like I’m always battling. I couldn’t get a first guy out to lead off an inning. It’s just another outing where I felt like I was one pitch away and just couldn’t get it done.”

Howie Kendrick tripled in two runs to put the Dodgers ahead 3-1 in the third. Joc Pederson’s fielder’s choice grounder added a run in the fifth.

Johnny Giavotella singled in the tying and go-ahead runs with two outs in the fifth for the Angels, who have won six of seven.

Mike Trout homered for the second straight game and Carlos Perez added a solo shot for the Angels, who have scored 52 runs in the last eight games after just eight in their previous five.

Trout was 2 for 3 with a walk, drove in three runs and scored twice in front of 45,007, the largest crowd for a regular-season game since Angel Stadium was renovated in 1998. Trout has raised his average to .327 after being at .220 a month ago.

“Another outing where the best player beat me,” Stripling said. “Anywhere I go. Matt Kemp got me with the Padres, (Giancarlo) Stanton with the Marlins, and Trout. I’ve just got to find a way to get through the lineup more than twice and get the big guys when it counts.”

Jose Alvarez (1-1) worked 1 2/3 innings for the win. Joe Smith pitched the ninth for his fifth save.

Perez homered leading off the sixth, extending the Angels’ lead to 6-4.

The Angels scored three runs in the fifth for their first lead of the game. Stripling gave up a leadoff single to Gregorio Petit before issuing consecutive walks to Kole Calhoun and Trout that loaded the bases. Stripling hit C.J. Cron in the left arm, forcing in one run. Chris Hatcher came on and gave up Giavotella’s single that made it 5-4.

Trout homered on a 3-2 pitch with two outs in the third and the Angels trailing 3-2.

Angels starter Jhoulys Chacin allowed four runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out two and walked three. He had two wild pitches in the first inning, one of which led to the Dodgers’ first run.


Dodgers: 1B Adrian Gonzalez (low back tightness) missed his fourth straight game. He is expected to return to the lineup Saturday. … LF Scott Van Slyke (low back irritation) is working out with players at extended spring training in Arizona and is expected to begin a rehab assignment next week.

Angels: C Geovany Soto had surgery Thursday to repair a right meniscus tear and is expected to miss 4-to-6 weeks.


Pedro Baez’s inconsistent tempo continues to concern the Dodgers. The game moves more slowly when the reliever is on the mound since he often takes 45 seconds or more to throw. Roberts cited being comfortable with pitch selection and throwing specific pitches with conviction as reasons for Baez’s lack of flow.

“When he sees a guy take a good swing at his high fastball that hitters don’t have success against, he might take it as they’re on the pitch,” Roberts said. “He’s kind of maybe second-guessing a little bit of, ‘Should I go to my secondary or should I elevate a little higher?’ There is a little bit of uncertainty.”


The Dodgers selected the contract of right-handed reliever Chin-hui Tsao from Triple-A Oklahoma City, who pitched the eighth inning, and sent RHP Mike Bolsinger to the minors Thursday. Tsao is 1-1 with a 3.31 ERA and six saves at Triple-A, including 8 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in his last eight games since April 29. Bolsinger was reinstated from the DL on Wednesday and was the losing pitcher in the team’s 8-1 defeat.


Dodgers: LHP Scott Kazmir (3-3, 4.89 ERA) starts the opener of a three-game series at San Diego. He last faced the Padres on April 5, at Petco Park, allowing one hit in six scoreless innings while getting the win in the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory.

Angels: LHP Hector Santiago (3-2, 3.42) will make his first start against the Orioles in the series opener since July 31, 2014. He is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA in six career games (three starts) against them.

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