Trout picks up where he left off in first game at Angel Stadium

MVP's homer and triple back strong outing from Shoemaker

Trout picks up where he left off in first game at Angel Stadium

ANAHEIM -- Mike Trout homered in his first at-bat at Angel Stadium this year and Yasiel Puig exited after a scary collision with Howie Kendrick on Thursday night, as the Angels beat the Dodgers, 3-2, in the opener of the three-game, exhibition Freeway Series.

To lead off the bottom of the fifth, Trout skied a high popup that sent Kendrick and Puig toward shallow right field. Both drifted initially, waiting to be called off, and Puig sprinted in just before the ball fell in, catching Kendrick's left elbow to his chin and throat, after which he lay on the ground for a couple of minutes.

Trout ended up with a triple and Puig walked off the field after being checked on by Dodgers athletic trainer Stan Conte.

Puig's apparent injury

Puig said he was fine after the game and is expected to be available Friday.

Earlier, Trout caught the ceremonial first pitch from prolific New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, then hit a first-inning solo homer just over the scoreboard in right-center field, his fifth this spring. The Angels added a run on a fourth-inning RBI single by C.J. Cron -- batting .426 -- and a fifth-inning sacrifice fly by Albert Pujols.

Gronkowski told Trout he was going to spike the first pitch, then fired a bullet to Trout.

"I'm glad I caught it," Trout said. "It almost hit me in the face."

Kendrick -- playing in his first game at Angel Stadium since the December trade -- received drawn-out applause his first time up and finished 1-for-3, while getting robbed with a leaping catch by new Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella.

Giavotella's leaping catch

Matt Shoemaker, who will make his first regular-season start Wednesday in Seattle, gave up one run on five hits and two walks in 6 1/3 innings, finishing the spring with a 4.26 ERA.

Shoemaker wanted to hone "the crispness of my pitches" in his last spring start.

"I felt like that was a little bit better this time," Shoemaker said. "I always want to keep getting better every time I pitch. That was definitely key, and I felt like we accomplished that."

The Dodgers had a bullpen game, with eight relievers each accounting for an inning. Sergio Santos served up the homer to Trout, with Pedro Baez and Adam Liberatore following with scoreless innings. Josh Ravin was charged with two runs in one-plus innings.

Up next: Andrew Heaney makes his last Spring Training start, and perhaps his last one with the Angels for a while, in the second of a three-game, exhibition Freeway Series against the Dodgers on Friday. Heaney entered camp in competition for a rotation spot, but posted a 9.00 ERA in 19 Cactus League innings and is expected to start the season in Triple-A. Game time from Angel Stadium is 7:05 p.m. PT and it will air for free on MLB.TV and Fox Sports West.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.