LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers kept mowing down runners on the basepaths, erasing scoring threats while playing with an early lead.
Eventually, the rival Angels' offense awakened and the Dodgers lost 8-3 on Friday night in the Freeway Series opener to drop nine games under .500.
Matt Kemp hit his NL-leading 21st homer in the first inning, giving the Dodgers (34-43) a 2-0 lead.
At the same time, the Angels had runners thrown out at each base in the first two innings.
``We know they're going to be aggressive. They've got a few guys who run more than others, but everybody up and down that lineup will go on you,' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ``So they're going to make you stay on your toes and play the game.'
Kemp was 2 for 4 and Andre Ethier went 3 for 4, but the Dodgers got no production from their top two hitters, Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe, who were a combined 0 for 10.
The Dodgers closed to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth on an RBI grounder by Tony Gwynn Jr., who came on as a pinch-runner in the second after Marcus Thames left the game with a strained left calf.
``Marcus has really been heating up, started to swing the bat better and it's really what has happened to him all year from spring training forward,' Mattingly said.
Rubby De La Rosa (3-2) gave up five runs and nine hits in six innings, struck out six and walked four in his second straight loss. He threw 100 pitches for the first time in his career.
``I felt good and I felt really comfortable, but the balls I was throwing weren't going into the strike zone,' he said through a translator. ``I had too much movement on my fastball.'
Erick Aybar hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fifth inning and Howie Kendrick added a solo shot to rally the Angels.
``Rubby struggles with his command at times and those guys are going to force you to throw the ball to the plate,' Mattingly said. ``We got some outs on the bases and we were able to keep his pitch count down hoping that he would settle down. It seemed like he got a little frustrated out there.'
Dan Haren (7-5) bounced back from his worst loss of the season in his previous start, allowing three runs and 10 hits, which tied his season high. He struck out three and walked one. Last weekend, the right-hander allowed six runs and seven hits in four innings against the Mets.
Haren's RBI single in the second was the Angels' first run.
The Angels scored three runs with two outs in the fifth to take a 4-2 lead. Maicer Izturis' RBI single scored Jeff Mathis, who walked and was sacrificed to second. Aybar followed with his two-run homer on a 3-2 pitch from De La Rosa. Aybar was 3 for 4.
Kendrick homered in the sixth to make it 5-3.
The Angels extended their lead to 7-3 in the eighth. Aybar singled and Peter Bourjas reached on a bunt single past pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo, who dived for the ball. First baseman James Loney raced over to pick it up and fired to Jamey Carroll, who was covering the bag. The ball skipped through Carroll's legs, allowing Aybar to score. Alberto Callaspo added an RBI single.
NOTES: Angels RF Torii Hunter missed his first game of the season with sore ribs after colliding with the wall during a catch in Florida on Wednesday. Manager Mike Scioscia hopes he can return for Sunday's series finale. ... Haren needs two wins to reach 100 for his career. ... The Angels have won 13 straight games when scoring four or more runs. ... The Dodgers fell to 5-2 in games in which De La Rosa has appeared.
The Associated Press News Service
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