LOS ANGELES (AP) - The upward climb to .500 has stalled out for the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers.
Losing 6-1 to the rival Angels on Saturday dropped them a season-worst 10 games below .500 for the second time.
``It does feel like it's getting away from us,' first-year manager Don Mattingly said. ``It really just makes the road longer. We're going to have to play really well for a long stretch of time.'
Rookie Tyler Chatwood wouldn't let them.
He tossed seven innings of one-hit ball in the middle game of the Freeway Series, and the Angels got home runs from rookie Mark Trumbo and Vernon Wells to set up a possible sweep in Sunday's finale.
The Dodgers lost their third straight and eighth in their last 11.
Hiroki Kuroda (5-9) gave up two runs and three hits in five innings, equaling his shortest outing of the season. The right-hander struck out two and walked one in extending his career-long losing skid to six games. He hasn't won since May 17 at Milwaukee.
Kuroda had a 1.82 ERA in his first four June starts, but the Dodgers again failed to provide decent run support.
``I don't think anyone has given up yet,' Kuroda said through a translator. ``But at the same time, this is my fourth year with this organization and we've never experienced this type of situation in these four years. So I don't know how to take this situation.'
Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a called third strike after he returned to the dugout.
``It was a little frustrating, but in that situation I let my team down,' he said. ``I can't do that. I've got to be in the game fighting with my team.'
Dodgers leadoff hitter Dee Gordon dropped to 0 for 9 in the series, while Jamey Carroll had one hit in replacing struggling Juan Uribe as the No. 2 hitter in the lineup.
The Dodgers' lone run came after Kemp's ejection. James Loney and Aaron Miles singled and Trent Oeltjen walked to load the bases before Chatwood walked A.J. Ellis to force in the run. Pinch-hitter Casey Blake lined into a double play to end the inning.
Chatwood (5-4) retired the first 10 Dodgers he faced before Carroll singled up the middle in the fourth. Andre Ethier then grounded into an inning-ending double play.
The right-hander allowed one run and four hits, struck out five and walked three while improving to 3-0 in his first three career interleague starts. Chatwood allowed a run for the first time in his last three road starts.
``He was impressive, not only with his velocity and movement but with his poise,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``Even though he walked in a run, he was still focused in making pitches.'
The Angels extended their lead to 6-1 in the eighth, scoring four runs with two outs. Wells' three-run homer came off Hong-Chih Kuo and Bobby Abreu added an RBI single.
They led 1-0 when Erick Aybar, whose two-run homer lifted them to an 8-3 win Friday night, tripled with two outs in the third, scoring Chatwood, who singled.
The Angels made it 2-0 in the fourth on Trumbo's 13th homer, which leads all AL rookies. His two-out shot landed in the Dodgers' bullpen in left field, the same place Wells' homer landed.
Notes: Steve Soboroff resigned Saturday, two months after being hired by embattled Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to improve the fan experience at the stadium. He cited MLB's oversight of the team as the reason. ... Angels RF Torii Hunter missed his second straight game because of sore ribs after colliding with the wall in Florida on Wednesday. ... Dodgers OF Marcus Thames had a MRI exam Saturday that confirmed his strained left calf, which he hurt legging out a double in the second inning Friday night. He is day to day. ... Uribe, hitting .180 since coming off the DL on June 6, got the day off.
The Associated Press News Service
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