LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers and Angels made their first appearance in front of hometown fans as they opened the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium, before 36,505 on Thursday night. The Angels won, 2-1.
For manager Dave Roberts, making his first home appearance at the helm of the Dodgers, the goals were simple: Get about 75 good pitches from left-handed starter Scott Kazmir, in order to get him ready for his first start of the regular season, not have anyone get injured, and if possible, win the game.
For Angels manager Mike Scioscia the goal was to stretch out left-handed Andrew Heaney in advance of his first start of 2016, not have anyone get injured, and if possible, win the game. As Scioscia said before the game, winning Spring Training games isn't important, but "winning is better than losing."
Both starers were successful as Kazmir, threw 73 pitchers, gave up only four hits and surrendered one unearned run. His outing would have been scoreless, but with two out in the fifth, Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager got a little lackadaisical as he backed up on a popup and allowed it drop.
After the game Kazmir said that he just wanted to stay fresh for the season.
"When I started in Peoria, I wound up throwing 25 pitches after my outing so I threw about 90 pitches," he said. "We wanted to taper back and feel comfortable and be right where we wanted to be."
Heaney went six innings and gave up one run while throwing 90 pitches. He also proclaimed himself ready for the regular season to begin.
"I think at this point, I don't feel the difference between 85 and 100 pitches," he said. "My stuff might have dropped off a little at the end, but that's normal."
Heaney even felt good about the six hits he gave up.
"Almost all the hits I gave up came with two strikes, which isn't a bad thing, because it means you're getting strikes," he said. "But you want to put them away."
With both starters out and the game tied at 1 in the seventh inning, the managers achieved their secondary goal of not getting anyone hurt as they emptied their bench, giving some of the young and future players a chance to experience playing at Dodger Stadium.
Angels center fielder Todd Cunningham singled with two out in the eighth to score Rey Navarro and give the Angels a 2-1 lead, and eventually Scioscia's win. Not that it counts, but as he said earlier, "it's always nice to win."
Up next for Angels: The Angels and Dodgers will play the second game of the Freeway Series against each other Friday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles at 7:10 p.m. PT. Hector Santiago is scheduled to pitch for the Angels. The game will air on MLB.TV.
Up next for Dodgers: Kenta Maeda is scheduled to start for the Dodgers in his final tuneup before the season begins. The series concludes Saturday in Anaheim.