Gordon provides spark as Dodgers end skid

Gordon provides spark as Dodgers end skid

Gordon provides spark as Dodgers end skid
ANAHEIM -- The Dodgers will suffer through the 0-for-17 and .220 batting average young shortstop Dee Gordon had after Friday night because there also will be games like Saturday's.

Gordon's game-changing speed was the difference as the Dodgers snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-1 Interleague win over the Angels, who had twice as many hits (eight to four) but also two costly errors.

Chris Capuano, signed to be the Dodgers' fifth starter, boosted his All-Star qualifications with seven solid innings, allowing only one run while raising his record to 9-2 with a 2.60 ERA. Kenley Jansen, making his first appearance in eight days, earned his 12th save.

  • 142 wins
  • 110 wins

"He's pretty much been like that almost every time out," manager Don Mattingly said of Capuano. "I hated scouting him in the past, he gives you a lot of different looks. We thought it would be a good addition, but I'm not quite sure I thought he'd be like this. We'll just keep riding it."

Capuano owes an assist to center fielder Elian Herrera, who slammed into the fence to pull a Torii Hunter on Torii Hunter, likely robbing the Angels' nine-time Gold Glove outfielder of a home run with runners on the corners in the fifth inning.

Gordon -- whose last hit was Sunday's walk-off single in the 10th inning to beat the White Sox -- tripled, singled, stole a base and scored twice off Ervin Santana, who allowed only four hits in eight innings.

"Dee really got us a couple all by himself," Mattingly said. "All the time we talk about what Dee doesn't do. Today he gets hits, steals a bag, scores twice. He was exciting today."

Gordon's speed lured Angels first baseman Albert Pujols into an error for a two-run first inning. Gordon led off the game with a single and stole second on a pitchout. Jerry Hairston sent a broken-bat slow roller to Pujols, who threw across the diamond trying for Gordon at third. The throw bounced and caromed off Gordon's back into foul ground as Gordon scored with a headfirst slide.

"I saw it in the corner of my eye," Pujols said. "That's a play that I make a lot. Obviously if I throw him out right there, they don't score in that inning. It was a gamble play. I know it's early in the game, but that isn't going to take any aggressiveness out of me."

Hairston took second on the error and was wild-pitched to third. The Angels continued their generosity with two outs when third baseman Maicer Izturis' throw to first base on Juan Rivera's grounder was high and pulled Pujols off the bag as Hairston scored.

"You've got to take advantage of extra outs when you get them," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said.

The Angels finally answered with a run in the fifth and if not for what Ellis called "three web gems" would have had more.

Howie Kendrick doubled to left, took third when Capuano made a diving stop of Izturis' slow bouncer and scored when Gordon couldn't making a diving catch of Erick Aybar's liner. John Hester singled Aybar to second and the Angels had runners on the corners when Gordon made a diving stop of Mike Trout's grounder up the middle for a force at second.

Hunter thought he then took Capuano deep for a three-run blast, even gave it a bat-flip as he left the plate. But Herrera leaped to the top of the fence in left-center and hauled it down to end the inning and preserve the lead.

"Before the game in the outfield I was talking to Aaron Harang and noticed how small the warning track is," Herrera said. "I remembered that when I went for the ball. I had it all the way, but I didn't think it would get to the wall. If I didn't catch it, I think it would have hit the top and gone over."

"It seemed like the momentum wanted to turn right there," said Mattingly. "To get out of that was huge."

Gordon then extended the lead, opening the sixth with a triple over left fielder Mark Trumbo's head and scoring on Hairston's single off the glove of Izturis.

Although the average doesn't show it, Gordon has been a better hitter since Mattingly dropped him to eighth in the lineup, then gave him four games off.

"Detention," is what Gordon called it. "Man, I've been hitting the ball well since then, just having tough luck. But it's a grown-man's league and I'm a grown man. My dad [retired pitcher Tom Gordon] told me don't make excuses."

Herrera lost a seventh-inning drag-bunt single to a missed call by first-base umpire CB Bucknor, who called Herrera out even though his head-first dive into first base easily beat second baseman Kendrick's throw to Pujols, who also came off the bag before he caught the throw.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.