A four-run seventh inning proved to be the difference as the Los Angeles Angels won the first of three exhibition games against the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday, 7-5.
Ageless wonder Raul Ibanez went 2-3 and scored two runs, including a seventh inning double that set the table for Howie Kendrick. With two on and nobody out, Kendrick singled on a line drive to center that brought Ibanez and pinch-runner Matt Long home. Taylor Lindsey replaced Kendrick and advanced to second on an Erick Aybar single.
Proving that baseball always has something new to offer, the Angels scored two unearned runs on Dodgers catcher Drew Butera’s throwing error. Grant Green stuck out and Butera tried cutting Aybar off as he advanced to second base. The ball hit Aybar’s leg and ricochet in the opposite direction, giving both runners the opportunity to score.
Angels starter Hector Santiago battled in-and-out of trouble all night, giving up four runs on six hits through six innings. He didn’t have an answer for shortstop Hanley Ramirez all night, handing the perennial All-star two solo home runs. Santiago hadn’t allowed a long ball in over 16 innings.
The Halo bullpen held Dodgers batters to one run in the last three frames. Ernesto Frieri and Michael Kohn each tossing one inning while striking out two while bullpen hopeful Nick Maronde gave up an earned run in the ninth.