ANAHEIM -- Before Saturday's nationally televised game with the Angels, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts lobbied hard for the All-Star candidacy of Thomas Stripling.Stripling backed up the endorsement by mastering the Angels in a 3-1 win, a second game of the series played in triple-digit temperatures. All three hits Stripling allowed
ANAHEIM -- Before Saturday's nationally televised game with the Angels, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts lobbied hard for the All-Star candidacy of Thomas Stripling.
Stripling backed up the endorsement by mastering the Angels in a 3-1 win, a second game of the series played in triple-digit temperatures. All three hits Stripling allowed over six innings were to Michael Trout, the only Angels run on Trout's 25th home run with one out in the sixth inning.
Stripling, whose relief role changed dramatically when 80 percent of the starting rotation was injured in April and May, struck out seven without a walk, raising his record to 7-2 and lowering his ERA to 2.22, second lowest in the National League now that he qualifies for the leaderboard. Stripling has 103 strikeouts and 13 walks this year, a league-leading ratio.
Those are video-game numbers customarily associated with Clayton Kershaw. But as that longtime ace tries to regain form after two injuries, Stripling has taken over as the most reliable starter in the rotation and -- if Roberts has any say as the National League manager -- the most deserving of an All-Star berth. The teams will be announced on Sunday.
"I think the argument is solid and it's been solid for a long time," Roberts said of Stripling. "He's an All-Star."
Another likely All-Star supported by Roberts, closer Kenley Jansen, rebounded from Friday night's giveaway loss to pitch the ninth inning for his 24th save. He struck out a pair, including Shohei Ohtani, who he walked after having him 0-2 to start the Friday night implosion.
Justin Turner singled home two runs in the fifth inning and Yasiel Puig slugged his 10th homer in the ninth for the Dodgers' runs.
Stripling said he's anxiously waiting to hear if he's an All-Star, in a good way.
"I see the stuff on Twitter … so obviously it's in the back of my mind," Stripling conceded. "It would be awesome to make it. I'm honored to be the guy that when guys got hurt, to be the guy they counted on to step up. I just feel I've done my job and hopefully keep doing my job.
"At the beginning of the year, if you'd said guys like myself and [Matt] Kemp and [Max] Muncy would be our potential All-Stars, guys would have told you you're lying. But that's what we're looking at. You never know where the year will take you, but it's something I'm proud of, to be a mainstay of the rotation."
Stripling said a trip to Washington, D.C., would require canceling plans for a Lake Tahoe or Napa Valley vacation. Jansen said he'd love to take Stripling with him for the Midsummer Classic.
"For him to hold this team up, not just for him but for keeping us in the race, he turned his career around," said Jansen, who would be making his third consecutive appearance.
As they did Friday night for Kenta Maeda, the Dodgers struggled to drum up run support for Stripling. After getting shut down by former Dodgers farmhand William McGuire and Jose Alvarez, the Dodgers finally got to the third Angels pitcher, Taylor Cole, in the fifth inning.
Puig singled to left, Enrique Hernandez worked a 10-pitch walk and Joc Pederson sacrifice bunted on his own to move them along. After Muncy struck out, Turner drilled a two-run single to right, the second run scoring on another clever hand-first slide by Hernandez. Turner came into the game batting .185 with runners in scoring position.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
In the wake of Friday night's late collapse, perhaps the key at-bat for the Dodgers came in the bottom of the seventh inning with two outs, Kole Calhoun up and runners on first and second after Dodgers reliever Erik Goeddel issued a two-out walk on four pitches to Martin Maldonado, then hit Ian Kinsler with the next pitch. But Goeddel got Calhoun to ground out to first and strand the runners.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Puig's home run was the sixth in his last 17 road games, during which he's also driven in 15 runs.
HE SAID IT
"I'll sleep tonight." -- Jansen, who said he was unable to sleep after giving away Friday night's game
Alex Wood makes Sunday's 5:05 p.m. PT start against the Angels and Andrew Heaney. Wood is on a roll again, winning his last four starts after what he called the worst three-start stretch of his career. He's coming off a 17-1 blowout win over the Pirates. Heaney was briefly a Dodger before being flipped for Howie Kendrick.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.