video thumbnail

LAA@LAD: Wells wallops a three-run home run to left

LOS ANGELES -- Tyler Chatwood, a soft-spoken, understated young man of 21, clearly isn't shy about pitching on large stages in big markets.

On the heels of a brilliant outing in New York, Chatwood made Dodger Stadium his playground on Saturday. The right-hander from Redlands in Riverside County, due east, held the Dodgers to one run across seven innings in a 6-1 victory that gave the Angels a shot at a second straight Chavez Ravine sweep of their geographical rivals.

Jered Weaver faces Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw on Sunday in a duel of aces.

With wins in nine of their past 13 games, the Angels have climbed to .500 for the first time since June 4. They have won 10 of the past 13 games at Dodger Stadium and lead the Majors in Interleague Play (125-82) in the Mike Scioscia managerial era, dating to 2000.

The Angels once again used the long ball with punishing impact on Saturday in front of 41,108 paying customers. Mark Trumbo (No. 13) and Vernon Wells (No. 8) went deep with drives deep into the Dodgers' bullpen in left field. Talk about rubbing it in.

"It's a lot better coming to the ballpark knowing you can help the team," said Wells, who struggled through his first two months with the Angels. "Guys are having a blast, playing good baseball. It's the kind of thing you have to build on. We've got guys on this team who can play. We're coming together and playing well."

Trumbo victimized starter Hiroki Kuroda (5-9) in the fourth inning, while Wells unloaded his three-run blast against reliever Hong-Chih Kuo in the eighth.

Chatwood moved to 5-4 and is 3-0 against the National League, surrendering two earned runs in 21 innings. In back-to-back starts in the nation's two largest markets, Chatwood has yielded one earned run across 14 innings.

"That hasn't hit me at all," he said in the afterglow. "I'm just focused on keeping the team in games."

In just his fourth professional season, Chatwood had pitched in Dodger Stadium in 2008. His East Valley High team faced El Toro in a regional championship game. His team lost, but Chatwood got familiar with the mound.

"This was better," he said. "The stakes were a little higher."

He escaped the fifth inning with one run when second baseman Howard Kendrick made a leaping catch of pinch-hitter Casey Blake's line drive and turned it into a double play. It followed a bases-loaded walk by A.J. Ellis.

"I think I probably reached my limit," Kendrick said of his elevation, having first dunked a basketball in his sophomore year in high school. "Chatwood made a good pitch on Blake, jamming him. I was playing a little more that way, and that allowed me to get to it."

Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp struck out and was thrown out by home-plate umpire Chris Conroy for arguing balls and strikes to open the fifth. Singles by James Loney and Aaron Miles, accompanied by Bobby Abreu's error in right, preceded walks by Trent Oeltjen and Ellis.

Catcher Hank Conger came to the mound to help compose Chatwood.

"Tyler was able to slow things down today, even when he had that rough patch," Conger said. "He was really impressive."

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly alluded to two-out hits by Erick Aybar in the third and Kendrick and Wells in the eighth as pivotal moments.

"They got two-out hits, and that kind of hurts you," Mattingly said. "We had our chances with the bases loaded if Casey's ball gets down.

"I thought Kuroda was good. We just had a shot to score and had to take the chance. Nothing he did wrong. I felt it was a situation where we had to hit [for him], a chance to break the game open. If it's a tie or we get the lead, he stays in the game."

Chatwood's line-drive single in the third came after Kuroda had retired the first eight men he faced. Chatwood scored on Aybar's triple to right-center. Chatwood was 2-for-2, having singled in New York with two sacrifice bunts, when he grounded out in the fifth.

His background as a shortstop was evident in the way he handled several difficult plays bounding off the mound.

Kendrick, a .381 career hitter against the Dodgers, lined an RBI single in the eighth against right-hander Matt Guerrier. Russell Branyan, who doubled while pinch-hitting for Chatwood, scored his 400th career run.

Wells rocketed his homer after a walk by Abreu.

Chatwood had retired 10 in a row when Jamey Carroll singled in the fourth and was erased on Andre Ethier's double-play grounder.

"Tyler, for the first three or four innings, was throwing as well as anyone in our league," Scioscia said. "It was coming out hot. Even though he walked in a run and Howie made a big play, obviously, Tyler gave us seven strong innings."

With his mammoth homer to left, his 10th against right-handed pitching, Trumbo picked up RBI No. 32. Torii Hunter has 39 as he recovers from a rib contusion. Hunter sat out his second straight game after playing in all 76 to open the season.

Kuroda yielded two earned runs on only three hits in his five innings. Kenley Jansen worked two perfect innings before the Angels went to work on Guerrier and Kuo.

Scott Downs and Trevor Bell finished up for Chatwood, each delivering a scoreless inning.

Chatwood allowed four hits, all singles, with three walks and five strikeouts. His 113 pitches followed a career-high 118 in shutting out the Mets for seven innings. He has yielded three or fewer runs in 10 of his 15 starts. Comments