Angels Nip Dodgers 3-1 on Late Rally

On a night that had both clubs muttering wooda-cooda-shoulda, the Angeles finally broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth inning for a 3-1 victory that cut the Dodgers' winning streak off at six. Los Angeles continues to get thrashed in interleague play, finishing the night an MLB worst 20-44 since 2005. And rookie outfielder Xavier Paul was placed on the DL with a staph infection.

They left 11 on base and were an even worse 2-for-17 with runners in scoring position, popping up twice while trying to bunt a runner from first to second.

"On the offensive end, that was probably our worst game all year for execution," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We didn't get bunts down and we didn't hit with guys in scoring position. So in that respect, we were kind of fortunate."

Clayton Kershaw, who had a near a no-hitter in his last start, allowed a run and four hits over five innings against the Angels. He walked three in a 36-pitch first inning but got out of it without a run scoring but left after five having thrown 97 pitches, 56 for strikes.

He gave up a leadoff double in the third, but picked the runner of to escape before a leadoff double by Torii Hunter and a two-out single by Gary Mathews in the fourth broke the scoreless tie.

"Giving up one run is something of a positive, but ultimately, the first inning did me in," said Kershaw. "I just didn't find a rhythm in the first inning and was fortunate in the second that they went deep into counts. It's going to be tough staying in a game past five innings with pitch counts like that. I've got to find ways to minimize my pitches."

The Dodgers used Russ Martin's double and a James Loney single in the bottom of the inning to tie the game at one each and it stayed that way until the eighth when Cory Wade was tagged for a single by Matthews and Kendry Morales plus a Chone Figgins double that scored both runners.

Against Jeff Weaver's talented little brother, Jared, the Dodgers put three on in the first but Juan Pierre was caught stealing. Rafael Furcal walked and Orlando Hudson singled but they got nothing out of it.

Speaking of lost opportunities: Loney singled and Matt Kemp walked in the second; they left two on in the fourth when they scored their only run; Pierre singled, Furcal doubled and Andre Ethier walked in the fifth; Kemp led off the sixth with a single and stole second; Furcal led off the seventh with a double and Ethier walked and the final six Dodgers went down in order.

Weaver, coming off a complete-game loss at Texas, allowed a run and eight hits over five innings. Darren Oliver (1-0) allowed one hit over 1.1 relief innings, leaving Dodgers runners at third base in the sixth and seventh. Then Jose Arrendondo and Brian Fuentes each worked 1-2-3 innings to close out the win.

"There were missed opportunities on both sides. Unfortunately, they broke through and we didn't," manager Joe Torre said. "We're been scuffling offensively. And the longer it goes, the worse it gets because everybody puts pressure on themselves, and each guy is probably trying to do more than they're capable of doing."

The Dodgers had a chance to break out in the fourth after Loney tied the game with a single. Casey Blake ripped a certain double down the third base line but Figgins made a spectacular diving stop behind the bag and stepped on third for the force on Loney.

Hunter made a pair of fine running catches, in the second on a Russell Martin liner and in the sixth when he robbed Blake of a home run with a catch high off the wall.

On the current homestand, the Dodgers are 5-for-44 with runners in scoring position, stranding 39 runners.

"We've been scuffling," said Torre. "The longer it goes, the worse it gets. They put pressure on themselves. 'I have to do it here, I have to do it here.' I don't think it's the pressure of the game, but the pressure of scuffling. Each guy feels he has to do more than he's capable of."

Martin struck out twice and left seven runners on base. Loney had two hits and the only Dodgers RBI, but stranded five, as did Blake.

Starting pitchers in the second game of the Angels series will feature LHP Randy Wolf (2-1, 2.72 ERA) who was stuck with another no-decision against the Mets his last time out. Wolf allowed only two runs in 7.2 innings, his longest start of the year. It was Wolf's sixth no-decision in his last seven starts, but it lowered his ERA to 2.72 and was his sixth quality start.

The Angels will call on RHP John Lackey (1-0, 9.00 ERA), who lasted five innings in Seattle, giving up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits. The big right-hander got his first victory of the season and struck out three batters while not issuing a walk.

  Score by Innings
Angles	        000 100 020-3
Dodgers		000 100 000-1

  Dodgers	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre lf	5  0  2  0  .404
Furcal ss	4  0  2  0  .246
Hudson 2b	4  0  1  0  .343
Ethier rf	2  0  0  0  .250
Martin c	4  1  1  0  .263
Loney 1b	4  0  2  1  .280
Kemp cf	        3  0  2  0  .288
Blake 3b	4  0  0  0  .278
Kershaw p	2  0  0  0  .125
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Hoffmann ph	1  0  0  0  .000
 Leach p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Belisario p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Loretta ph	1  0  0  0  .341
 Mota p	        0  0  0  0  .000
---------------------------------
  Totals  	34  1 10  1
  Angles	34  3  9  3

  2B- Martin (7), Furcal 2 (8). RBI-
Loney (29). S- Hudson. LOB- Dodgers 11,
Angles 11. SB- Kemp (9). CS- Pierre (4).
DP- Hudson and Loney.

  Dodgers	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Kershaw 	5.0  4  1-1  4  3  4.32
Troncoso	1.0  1  0-0  1  1  1.63
Leach	        0.1  1  0-0  0  1  5.79
Belisario	0.2  0  0-0  1  0  2.63
Wade (0-3)	1.0  3  2-2  1  0  5.14
Mota	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  8.44
  WP- Troncoso. Balk- Kershaw. T- 3:33. 
Att- 55,053.  
Paul on DL With Staph Infection
Rookie outfielder Xavier Paul has been hospitalized since Wednesday night with a staph infection that the Dodgers say is serious enough to sideline him for weeks.

Paul was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, with Jamie Hoffman called up from Albuquerque to replace him.

According to the staff, the young outfielder has a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, more common in football that is resistant to many antibiotics. He had a similar episode coming out of Spring Training that was healed, but apparently suffered a scraped knee making a diving catch in Florida last weekend and the infection was re-introduced through a small cut.

Trainer Stan Conte said he will remain hospitalized "a couple more days" and that it "could be weeks" before he can play again, because the skin must be fully closed to prevent a recurrence.

Paul, 24, was called up May 7 to replace the suspended Manny Ramirez. He was 3-for-7 as a pinch-hitter and 3-for-14 overall with a home run and one RBI.

Hoffman, 24, was recently promoted from Double-A Chattanooga (where he hit .307) to Albuquerque (where he was hitting .257) when Jason Repko was injured.

Good News on Medical Front
Hiroki Kuroda

But there is good news on the medical front when hit was announced that Hiroki Kuroda is getting closer to returning to duty.

Kuroda allowed one unearned run on one hit in 3.2 innings with three strikeouts, no walks and a hit batter for Inland Empire. He threw 58 pitches.

Kuroda, who hasn't pitched since an Opening Day win, is expected to make two more rehab starts and, with his strained oblique muscle apparently healed, should return to the Dodgers rotation by early June.

And Eric Stults, who is still wearing a brace to a sprained left thumb, threw a bullpen session and declared himself ready to make a Tuesday start at Coors Field.

Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, disabled since April 30 with a strain of his twice-rebuilt elbow, has been sent to the club's Camelback Ranch-Glendale complex in Arizona, where he will throw simulated games in extended spring training.

And disabled right-hander Jason Schmidt, who pitched seven effective innings Sunday night in a rehab stint for Inland Empire, will start for Albuquerque as he continues his comeback from two shoulder operations.

Dodger Blue Notes
Dodgers Orlando Hudson, Juan Pierre and the Los Angeles Angels' Torii Hunter, part of Hudson's "Around the Mound" tour, will meet approximately 125 inner-city children at MLB's Urban Youth Academy for a chalk talk and interactive baseball tips Saturday. They will also discuss the importance of education in their lives as baseball players and opportunities for African-Americans in Major League Baseball. ...The Dodgers named former NFL and UCLA receiver Michael Young chief revenue officer. He worked in the Denver Broncos' front office for 13 years.

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