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Angels beat Dodgers to claim season Freeway Series

Sunday - 6/24/2012, 8:50pm  ET

By GREG BEACHAM
AP Sports Writer

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) - Josh Lindblom had two outs with the bases empty and two strikes on Albert Pujols when everything fell apart. The slugger drew a walk after a 10-pitch at-bat, and the reliever soon gave up the tiebreaking run in another loss for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Although the Dodgers are still leading the NL, the Los Angeles Angels rule the Freeway Series.

Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick had RBI singles in the seventh inning, and the Angels won their series with the Dodgers for the third straight year with a 5-3 victory Sunday.

Peter Bourjos hit an early two-run homer for the Angels, who took four of six from the Dodgers in the past two weeks _ including two of three this weekend in front of a combined 133,035 fans.

Pujols started the Angels' decisive rally by drawing his 1,000th career walk from Lindblom (2-2), becoming the 12th active major leaguer to reach the milestone. After Lindblom swiftly allowed three more baserunners and two runs, the Dodgers were left frustrated by their own lack of execution.

"I basically beat myself, getting two quick outs and then giving in to Pujols in that situation," Lindblom said. "Then I hit Morales, and everything just kind of steamrolled from that point. They're a great lineup."

The Angels haven't lost the local derby since 2006, and they've won 13 of their last 18 games against the Dodgers, who have the NL's best record.

Bobby Abreu and Dee Gordon drove in early runs for the slumping Dodgers, who have lost six of their last eight games. Both teams dropped playable popups and endured close umpiring calls, but the Dodgers couldn't match the Angels' late-game execution while losing their sixth straight series to the Angels.

"It seems like wherever I've been, to be honest, we've had trouble with those guys," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, a coach with Joe Torre's Yankees when the Angels constantly gave trouble to New York. "They're a good club, and they've had good clubs, and there's a reason why. They've got talent, they come after you and they're aggressive."

Scott Downs (1-0) pitched one hitless inning of relief, and Ernesto Frieri got four outs to earn his ninth save for the Angels, who have won 11 of 15 and 22 of 30 while surging up the standings over the last month. Frieri struck out Gordon with a runner on second base to end it.

The Angels also cemented their spot as the majors' best interleague team since the start of the 2007 season, improving to 74-34 after going 12-6 against NL clubs this season. The Angels have won 14 of their last 15 interleague series overall.

Just don't ask former Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia if it means anything.

"We've been a better ballclub as the season has gone on, and that has to continue," said the Angels manager, ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a call at third base. "It doesn't matter who we're playing or where we're playing, but how we're playing. ... We certainly had some mistakes and some calls that didn't go our way, but we played at a high enough level and got enough clutch hits to absorb it."

Pujols drove in Mike Trout with a go-ahead run in the fifth inning moments before Scioscia was ejected. Juan Rivera doubled and scored on Adam Kennedy's flyout to even it for the Dodgers in the sixth.

Trumbo and Kendrick then capped a two-out rally against Lindblom with singles, driving home Pujols and Kendrys Morales.

"Our chemistry has always been there, but it's always more fun when you're winning a lot of games," said Trumbo, who impressively connected with an inside fastball for his big hit.

Garrett Richards struggled through much of his seventh career start for the Angels, but hung on into the seventh while yielding nine hits and two walks and striking out five.

Aaron Harang yielded eight hits and three runs in six innings for the Dodgers, walking just two Angels after issuing a career-high eight walks in his last start in Oakland.

All three former Angels in the Dodgers' starting lineup contributed. Abreu hurt the team that's still paying his exorbitant salary with a run-scoring single in the first, while Rivera and Kennedy teamed up for a run in the sixth.

NOTES: Scioscia was tossed for the second time this season and the 33rd time in his career. ... The Dodgers open a three-game rivalry series at San Francisco's waterfront ballpark Monday night with Nathan Eovaldi facing struggling Barry Zito. ... Bourjos hadn't hit a ball out of a park since last Sept. 21.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)