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Angels 8-3 Victory A Wild Adventure

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With the offensive struggles of the Dodgers and Angels well documented, this game was doomed to be a 1-0 snoozefest. Instead the game was played like a bunch of little leaguers on Thorazine, the Angels pulling out the 8-3 victory.

“It was a crazy game early,” Dodgers’ manager Don Mattingly said. “You have to be on your toes at all times.”

It was the Angels creating the craziness as they displayed the full breadth of their TOOTBLANs - Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop. They bailed out Dodgers’ starter Rubby De La Rosa who only recorded two outs in the first two innings - a strikeout to Erick Aybar in the first and a strikeout to Howie Kendrick in the second.

“I think Rubby struggles with his command at times and again tonight those guys are going to force you to throw the ball to the plate,” Mattingly said.

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Remarkably the seven baserunners De La Rosa allowed in the two innings yielded only one run thanks to the Angels being thrown out for the cycle: in the first inning Maicer Izturis was got stealing second and Bobby Abreu thrown out at home on Vernon Wells’ single; In the second inning Mark Trumbo picked off at first and Jeff Mathis thrown out at third base on Dan Haren’s single.

There was more where that came from. Aybar was picked off at first base in the third inning and Wells was caught stealing second base in the sixth inning. Since catchers’ pickoffs were first recorded in 1987, Dodgers’ catcher Dioner Navarro became the first Major League catcher to record two pickoffs and caught two base stealers in the same game.

“I love it when things go like that,” Navarro grinned.

The Dodgers weren’t immune on the bases either. In the second inning Tony Gwynn, Jr. was thrown out at home trying to advance on Jamey Carroll’s grounder to shortstop. Carroll couldn’t resist in the fourth inning also getting thrown out at home trying to advance on Dee Gordon’s grounder to second.

With the Angels winning in the basepath blunders department, the Dodgers clearly won the fielding oopsies category. With Aybar on first in the eighth inning, Peter Bourjos laid down a bunt that reliever Hong-Chih Kuo couldn’t reach. First baseman James Loney got to it and threw if down the first baseline halfway to right field allowing Aybar to score and Bourjos to advance to third base on the two-base error. Bourjos scored on Alberto Callaspo’s RBI single.

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Third baseman Juan Uribe got in on the action to lead off the ninth inning when a grounder by Mark Trumbo went through his glove into left field. Trumbo would go on to score on Bobby Wilson’s sacrifice fly.

The only real blunder the Angels had was in the fifth inning. With Gwynn stealing second, catcher Jeff Mathis threw to first base.

Finally the Dodgers lost the offensive battle although they had their chances. With the bases loaded and no outs in the third inning, Gwynn struck out and Navarro grounded to first to end the threat.

“We got our chances early,” Mattingly said. “Just couldn’t scratch across runs.”

Navarro played the Zen Master in seeking solutions. “We got to relax man. We’re better than that.”

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Lost in the mess was Matt Kemp hitting his 21st homer of the season in the first inning leading the National League.

TONIGHT’S ACTION

LA Angels at LA Dodgers. 1:10 p.m. FOX, AM 790 KABC (Dodgers Radio), AM 830 KLAA (Angels Radio).

USA vs. Mexico. 6:00 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel, AM 570 KLAC.