video thumbnail

LAA@COL: Wilson fans nine over eight strong innings

Thanks to a 40-23 record -- the best in the Majors -- and a 4 1/2-game lead in the National League West -- the biggest division lead in the Majors -- the Dodgers sit atop the baseball world right now.

But on Wednesday, they're playing to make sure they're still atop their own city.

The neighbors to the south, the Angels, are looking for their fifth consecutive series victory over the Dodgers, who haven't won a Freeway Series since the 2009 season.

In Wednesday's rubber match between the two Interleague rivals, C.J. Wilson gets the ball for the Angels, making his first start in Dodger Stadium. A native of Newport Beach, Wilson didn't grow up a Dodgers fan, but he appreciates what it means to have one of his starts called by legendary Dodger broadcaster Vin Scully.

"I wasn't really a Dodgers fan, I was more of a baseball fan -- I went to Dodgers and Angels games," Wilson said. "Vin Scully is the best, too. It's great to be able to listen to him when watching a game. [California] was a great place to grow up a baseball fan."

Wilson is 7-4 this season with a 2.39 ERA. In his last four games he's been downright dominant, winning three of them while allowing just two runs and striking out 26.

Young right-hander Nathan Eovaldi counters Wilson for the Dodgers. He's been just as hot, only he doesn't have the wins to show for it.

In three starts this season filling in well for the injured Ted Lilly, the 22-year-old Eovaldi has allowed a total of four runs for an ERA of 1.93. But he sports an 0-2 record.

In his last time out, his six scoreless innings weren't enough against a Mariners pitching staff that no-hit the Dodgers with six pitchers.

Angels: Hunter enjoying life in No. 2 spot
• Since moving to the second spot in the batting order on June 8, Torii Hunter has caught fire. In five games, Hunter is 10-for-24 with nine RBIs.

Hunter credited his production to the two hitters surrounding him in the order -- rookie Mike Trout in the leadoff spot and Albert Pujols hitting third.

"If you've got somebody like Mike Trout at the top of the lineup, he's getting on base, he has a lot of speed," Hunter said. "You've got a guy like Albert Pujols, who has that name, hitting behind me. I've never had a guy of that caliber hitting behind me. I'm always hitting behind the guy trying to protect that guy. So yeah, it helps out a lot."

Dodgers: Ethier inks extension
• When the new Dodgers owners took over the club, they promised change and a commitment to winning. On Tuesday those promises started becoming a reality.

The club signed All-Star right fielder Andre Ethier to a five-year extension worth $85 million on Tuesday. Ethier leads the National League in RBIs with 54 and is hitting .291 with 10 homers this season.

"Today is one of the starting points to let you guys know that they are going to do their best over the course of the next couple of months and next year to make a championship a reality," Ethier said at a news conference on Tuesday.

Ethier has been a Dodger since a 2005 trade with Oakland when he was a Minor Leaguer. The deal will keep him with the club through 2017.

Worth noting
• Fresh off winning the first Stanley Cup in franchise history, several members of the Los Angeles Kings will be at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

The Cup itself will be present at Dodger Stadium, too. The Kings defeated the Devils four games to two to claim hockey's greatest prize.

"I understand how hard it is to win in any sport and obviously the Stanley Cup is a huge deal, and I'm very happy for the city and the Kings," Dodgers utility man Jerry Hairston said. "I know it's been a long time coming. It was an unbelievable run for them."

• Because of their extensive time in the American League, outfielders Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu are the only Dodgers with more than 10 at-bats against Wilson.

Rivera is hitting .438 with a homer and a .550 on-base percentage in 20 plate appearances. Meanwhile, the left-handed hitting Abreu has struggled against the southpaw Wilson, with just two hits -- one a double -- in 16 at-bats.

• The Angels had their 10-game road winning streak snapped on Tuesday night, one game shy of the all-time franchise record. Even with the streak, however, the Halos sit just one game above .500 on the road at 17-16. Comments