ANAHEIM -- Nick Tropeano's longest career start and a five-run fifth inning were the recipe for victory Wednesday night, as the Angels defeated the Dodgers, 8-1, at Angel Stadium to secure their fifth win in their last six games.
Tropeano was efficient, retiring the first 10 batters he faced before allowing a run in the fourth inning. He scattered seven hits, allowing just that sole run in seven innings. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he "couldn't for ask more" from Tropeano, who displayed his best pitch efficiency all season.
"Nick, from the get-go, I think was trying to be more aggressive in the zone," Scioscia said. "I think in the back of his mind he does have that little cloud of, 'When am I going to get into the sixth inning? When am I going to finish six?'"
Dodgers starter Mike Bolsinger, making his first start of the season, got into trouble after serving up a 412-foot home run to Trout in the first inning. He put men on first and second with one out in the fifth inning to open the door for a five-run Angels outburst. Bolsinger was responsible for three runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings and was removed before he hit his 80-pitch limit.
"It wasn't anything new to me with that game," Bolsinger said. "I was in jams the whole game and getting out of them, so I was really confident to get out of them, but I didn't get a chance to do it."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Location, location, location: For a while, it seemed as if the Angels couldn't buy a run. After Trout's first-inning home run, they had a runner on third in the second, third and fourth innings (twice with fewer than two outs) and couldn't push a run across. They got another opportunity in the fifth with the bases loaded and nobody out, breaking through for five runs on four balls that weren't hit particularly hard. It took just a pair of infield singles from Cron and Johnny Giavotella, a bloop, two-RBI double from Rafael Ortega and a high, shallow sacrifice fly from Carlos Perez to push the runs across.
"Those weren't quite happening in April, so it's nice to get those breaks," Cron said. "We'll take them any way we can get them, and tonight it worked out."
Housemates helping each other:Corey Seager got the Dodgers' first hit against Tropeano with a double in the fourth and scored the team's run two batters later. Joc Pederson, Seager's housemate, drove the shortstop in with a single to even the score at 1. That came one day after the two combined for three homers at Dodger Stadium.
Closer to history: Angels designated hitter Pujols crossed his latest career milestone Wednesday, registering career hit No. 2,700 with an RBI single in the sixth inning. He is one of nine players with 2,700 career hits and 550 career homers, joining Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth and Ken Griffey Jr. Pujols went 2-for-3 with two walks and an RBI, continuing his recent hot streak as he was batting .346 (9-for-26) in his last six games entering play.
Bolsinger escapes: Before getting chased in the fifth, Bolsinger had dealt with danger all game, allowing men to reach scoring position in every inning after the first. He was able to escape at least three times though, mostly thanks to three popups and a strikeout from Carlos Perez and Brendan Ryan while runners were on third.
"I think it went well. I put myself into jams, but I got out of them," Bolsinger said. "I think that's something to take, pretty proud of that, having men in scoring position with less than two outs and getting out of it with no runs. Seems like a pretty good positive to me." More >
"It's kind of crazy just to think that I'm coming to the ballpark and seeing [Geovany] Soto today. Someone was telling me [he was hurt] and I thought they'd be joking with me. Obviously seeing him go down, it sucks. But another guy's going to get his opportunity." -- Trout, on the Angels' injury issues this seasonMore >
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Trout has been particularly difficult to face this season when down in the count. He is hitting .368/.429/.605 after going down 0-2 in the count and picked up two singles from that situation Wednesday night. Heading into play on Wednesday, the Major League average on an 0-2 count was .155/.163/.225. The Angels are also now 99-17 all-time when Trout scores two or more runs, as he did Wednesday.
WHAT'S NEXT Dodgers:Ross Stripling (1-2, 4.26 ERA) will take the mound Thursday at 7:05 p.m. PT looking to show a little more staying power in his starts, as opponents are hitting .367 off the rookie after he reaches the 75-pitch mark. The right-hander is coming off his first career win on Friday against the Cardinals.
Angels: Angels right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (1-2, 4.81 ERA) takes the ball looking to build upon his strong team debut, which saw him give up two runs on five hits in a no-decision Saturday against the Seattle Mariners. He threw a season-high seven innings in the start, coming within one pitch of his season-high of 91 pitches, when he was with the Braves.