LOS ANGELES -- Howie Kendrick launched a solo home run in the first inning and Zack Greinke was strong for eight innings as the Dodgers beat the Angels, 5-3, at Dodger Stadium on Friday night.
Greinke (10-2) was consistent as ever, firing eight innings and allowing only two runs while striking out eight; this is his fifth win in his last six outings. It was the bottom of the order that provided the offensive punch for the Dodgers. Alex Guerrero hit a two-run homer and Kiké Hernandez reached base three times, as the Nos. seven and eight hitters, respectively.
Kole Calhoun and Mike Trout provided the only offense for the Angels. Calhoun was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Trout was 3-for-4, a double short of the cycle and all three RBI. Starter Hector Santiago was ineffective, lasting five innings and allowing nine hits and five runs. The Angels have dropped seven of their last eight games.
"The biggest key is trying to keep guys off base in front of those guys. Keep the leadoff guy off, keep the back end of the lineup off. It's tough," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "They have some good hitters over there. When you have those kind of pitches, though, Zack is capable."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Old friends: After spending nine years with the Angels, Kendrick greeted his old mates with a solo homer in his first at-bat against his former team. Santiago hung an 0-1 curveball over the heart of the plate and Kendrick clubbed the pitch to left-center for his eighth homer of the year to get the scoring started for the Dodgers. Kendrick finished 1-for-4 on the night. More >
No escape: Hector Santiago had a chance to keep the game manageable in the fifth, with none on, two outs and the Dodgers only leading 3-1. But the Angels' left-hander struggled against a trio of right-handed hitters, giving up a double to Scott Van Slyke and back-to-back RBI singles to Yasiel Puig and Yasmani Grandal, a switch-hitter batting from the right side of the plate. Santiago finished giving up a season-high-tying five earned runs. More >
"If we can make that play, it changes the whole inning, it changes the whole game," Santiago said of Van Slyke's double, on a high fly ball that fell between Calhoun and second baseman Johnny Giavotella. "It keeps us in the game right there. And they score those runs, that's a big part of the game, big inning right there, where it changes everything."
Just keep running: Though the Dodgers aren't known for their speed as a team on the basepaths, the club took extra bases in a two-run fifth inning. After a double from Van Slyke, Puig ripped a single into left field that Van Slyke was able to score on because of a weak throw from David Murphy, which also allowed Puig to advance to second. The next hitter, Grandal, pulled a single again to Murphy and Puig scored from second without a throw to put the Dodgers up, 5-1.
Wrist? What wrist?: Trout missed two games with soreness in his left wrist, then returned to the lineup Thursday, went 0-for-3 and said he still felt some pain on some swings. Trout looked just fine on Friday, though, lining an RBI triple in the fourth, coming back with an RBI single in the sixth and launching his 32nd home run off Kenley Jansen in the ninth, a solo shot to left-center field. Trout and Calhoun went a combined 5-for-7 against Greinke, but the rest of the Angels' lineup went 0-for-21.
"He's just fine," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said regarding Trout's wrist. "We had some good looks at Greinke, couldn't get that key hit here or there to really get to where we needed to be. And when [Greinke] did get in a little bit of trouble, he made some really good pitches on Albert and to get out of some jams."
"We've had a tough week. We haven't put together a lot of parts of the game -- when we've scored some runs we haven't pitched, and when we've pitched we haven't scored runs. It's just a tough streak right now and i think it'll settle and we'll start to do the things we need to do to win games." -- Scioscia, on the Angels' current rut
"I don't usually tell them much but it seemed like since my last start in New York, it seemed like I hadn't pitched once a week the past couple weeks, so I told them I wanted to come back as soon as possible." -- Greinke on having his start moved up by a day
WHAT'S NEXT Angels: Rookie left-hander Andrew Heaney takes the ball for the second of a three-game Freeway Series at 1:05 p.m. PT on Saturday. Heaney has dazzled since coming up from Triple-A, going 5-0 with a 1.79 ERA. The 24-year-old has given up two runs or fewer while going at least six innings in all six starts.
Dodgers: After being scratched from back-to-back starts on Wednesday and Friday, Clayton Kershaw is scheduled once again to pitch for the Dodgers. The 2014 MVP is dealing with a sore right hip and said he expects to be good to go for the start. If Kershaw is unable to go, newly acquired Alex Wood would be on regular rest.
Steve Bourbon is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show" and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.