LOS ANGELES -- Ricky Nolasco, tied for the MLB lead in home runs allowed, kept the homer-happy Dodgers in the park Monday night as the Angels opened the Freeway Series with a 4-0 victory that snapped the Dodgers' win streak at 10 and home streak at 11.
"That's the great thing about this game, that's why we play," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the flipped script. "Tip your hat to Nolasco, he threw a great baseball game. He's a veteran pitcher who had a really good night."
Dodgers starter Rich Hill (4-4), who cut down his delivery to an abbreviated stretch hoping to improve command, allowed his former club three runs in a season-high seven innings for his first quality start of the year, striking out seven.
But Nolasco put down a Dodgers offense that had homered in 17 consecutive games, second-longest in franchise history. Nolasco (3-9), who lost his previous seven starts, allowed his former club five hits in 6 1/3 innings, but was removed with one out in the seventh inning after back-to-back singles caromed off him, the latter by Enrique Hernandez (exit velocity: 104.8 mph) that put runners on second and third.
"It got me pretty good in the shin, but should be all right," Nolasco said. "It will definitely throb tonight, but should be good."
Roberts said he used Freeman, recalled from Triple-A a day earlier, because his only other left-handed hitter on the bench, Corey Seager, was unavailable for a third game because of a right hamstring strain.
The Angels stole three bases in four tries, including a third-inning double-steal that was cashed in with Yunel Escobar's two-run soft single. A triple leading off the fourth inning by Andrelton Simmons that fooled center fielder Joc Pederson was converted into a third Angels run on Danny Espinosa's sacrifice fly. Martin Maldonado finished the scoring with a ninth-inning homer off Sergio Romo.
"Those guys have been playing well," Scioscia said of his club. "Tonight, Ricky did a great job, the guys on the mound did a great job, we scratched some runs up and held a lead."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Early turning point: After a leadoff double by Utley, two hard-hit outs and a pair of walks, Nolasco escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first inning by striking out Pederson.
Walks will hurt: Especially when issued to an American League pitcher leading off an inning, as Hill walked Nolasco to open the third. That was followed by Cameron Maybin's sharp infield single and, after a forceout and the double-steal, two runs scored on a two-out flare single to right field by Escobar.
"Yeah, we lost a baseball game tonight, but the biggest thing is Rich gave us seven innings and threw the way we know he can throw the baseball." -- Roberts
UPON FURTHER REVIEW
With one out in the top of the seventh inning, the Dodgers challenged a hit-by-pitch call with Espinosa at the plate. The call stood.
Angels: The Halos will send Jesse Chavez (5-7, 5.15 ERA) to the bump to face his former team Tuesday. Chavez is 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA (eight runs allowed over 21 2/3 innings) in 11 career games (two starts) against the Dodgers. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT.
Dodgers: Now a swingman, Kenta Maeda comes off a one-inning relief appearance on Friday night to make the Tuesday start at 7:10 p.m. PT. As a starter this year, Maeda is 5-3 with a 4.87 ERA and nine homers allowed in 57 ⅓ innings. The Dodgers are hopeful that shortstop Corey Seager returns after missing three games with a right hamstring strain.
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