Throwing error ends Dodgers' win over Angels
The Sports Xchange
By Joseph D'Hippolito, The Sports Xchange
Dodgers' win over Angels
LOS ANGELES -- A few inches determined the distance between two of the major leagues' best teams and their closest competitors for division championships.
Juan Uribe scored the winning run on an error in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5-4 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Tuesday night in front of a sellout crowd of 53,051 at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers used the victory to extend their lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants in the National League West to 2 1/2 games. The Angels, meanwhile, fell two games behind the division-leading Oakland Athletics in the American League West.
Uribe singled with one out in the bottom of the ninth off right-hander Kevin Jepsen (0-1), then moved to third base when catcher A.J. Ellis lined a single to center field.
With pinch hitter Andre Ethier at the plate, the Angels moved up right fielder Kole Calhoun to form a five-man infield.
"I wasn't too concerned about it," Ethier said. "I guess it's similar to over-shifting to the right side. But in that case, I'm lucky that the guy is throwing hard enough where I'm probably not going to pull it."
Ethier then hit a high chopper to third baseman David Freese, who barehanded the ball and threw to the plate. However, Freese threw between Uribe and the glove of catcher Chris Iannetta, allowing the Dodgers third baseman to score on the error.
"It's a matter of putting a good quality swing on the ball," Ethier said. "You can see what happens when, sometimes, you just put the ball in play."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia believed that Ethier's grounder put both Freese and Iannetta in a difficult position.
"It's not an easy play because of the pace of the ball," Scioscia said. "David came in and did what he could do, but there's not a big window to thread it through to get it to Chris. The throw was a little bit into Uribe, and it was a tough play for Chris."
Closer Kenley Jansen (2-3) struck out all three batters he faced to earn the victory.
The Angels tied the score in the top of the eighth inning when first baseman Albert Pujols hit his 21st home run of the season deep into the Dodgers' left field bullpen against right-hander Brian Wilson. Pujols' solo drive was the 513th homer of his career, putting him into 21st place on the all-time list. Pujols passed Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Eddie Mathews.
The blast denied Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw a chance to be the major leagues' first 14-game winner. In seven innings, Kershaw amassed seven strikeouts and 10 groundouts, including two double plays, while allowing three runs, seven hits and two walks.
The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner conceded no runs and hits in his final four innings.
"They knew exactly what the plan was," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said of the Angels' hitters. "There were some at-bats, especially in the second and third innings, where we had a hard time finishing guys off with breaking balls.
"But as a hitter, when you stand up there and the pitcher is constantly pounding you inside, that ball on the outside corner has got to feel like it's a million miles away."
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