LOS ANGELES (AP) - Angels manager Mike Scioscia was involved in plenty of close plays at the plate during his days as an All-Star catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He watched another one from the dugout in the Freeway Series finale.
With the Angels leading by a run, rookie closer Jordan Walden (1-2) walked his first two batters in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday before Jamey Carroll advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt.
Aaron Miles hit a sacrifice fly to center, scoring pinch-runner Dee Gordon on a close play, and then Tony Gwynn Jr. singled home the winning run to give the Dodgers a 3-2 victory.
``He called him safe and he was out. But you can't hang your hat on an umpire's call,' Scioscia said. ``You need to be good enough and play at a high enough level to be able to absorb a bad break here and there or an umpire's call. So the fact that we didn't get that call, sure, it means a win or a loss. But we also walked two guys to set up that situation.'
Gordon saw it differently than Scioscia.
``I never felt the glove (of catcher Jeff Mathis),' Gordon said. ``I knew he didn't tag me so I just put my hand in there.'
Mathis said plate umpire Tom Hallion told him that Gordon got in safely.
``I was assuming it was his foot. I kind of felt it hitting the inner part of my thigh, so I was thinking that's what he saw,' the catcher said. ``I thought I had it covered up pretty good. I knew it was going to be at the same time. He's fast, but Peter (Bourjos) made a heck of a throw to enable me to get down quicker.'
The blown save was Walden's fifth in 22 attempts, and his second in four days.
``Jordon's not going to be perfect all the time, but he's growing as a young closer, which is a big chore for a young man,' Scioscia said.
The late-inning thrills capped a tight pitching duel between aces Clayton Kershaw and Jered Weaver.
Weaver allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings for the Angels. He struck out four and walked one.
``I knew going into it that it was going to be a battle, and it was,' Weaver said. ``It was a pitchers' duel, which is always fun for me because I like that kind of stuff. We both threw the ball real well and they came out on top.'
The Angels had won six straight at Dodger Stadium, including wins in the first two games of the series, when they outscored the Dodgers 14-4.
``A sweep would have been a little nicer, but we took two of three from them and we had a pretty good road trip,' Weaver said, mindful that the Angels moved into second place behind Texas in the AL West while going 8-4 on their longest trip of the season.
Kershaw (8-3) gave up six hits in his second consecutive complete game, tying a season high with 11 strikeouts for the second straight outing. He also walked none in his 100th career start.
The 23-year-old lefty struck out the side in the fifth and his 128 strikeouts surpassed Philadelphia's Roy Halladay, who has 123, for the NL lead.
Vernon Wells homered in the top of the ninth to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.
``You go from the bottom to the top real fast,' Kershaw said. ``That's the awesome thing about this game. A big swing of emotion, for sure.'
Wells, who struck out in his first three at_bats, sent a 3-2 pitch from Kershaw into the lower left-field seats with two outs in the ninth, putting the Angels back in front 2-1.
Gwynn also had an RBI triple in the seventh.
The Angels took a 1-0 lead in the seventh. Erick Aybar led off with a double to left field, barely getting his hand on the bag ahead of second baseman Juan Uribe's tag, with Aybar pumping his left arm as the umpire signaled safe.
Howie Kendrick followed with a single to center field. Matt Kemp charged the ball and fired to the plate as Aybar dove under the tag of catcher Dioner Navarro.
NOTES: Angels RF Torii Hunter missed his third consecutive game with sore ribs, although the team hopes to have him back in the lineup at some point during its three-game series against the Nationals. ... Dodgers OF Marcus Thames, who has a strained left calf, won't be going on the DL and could serve as the DH during the team's upcoming six games against AL opponents. ... Injured Dodgers RHP Jonathan Broxton felt stiffness in his right elbow playing catch on Saturday, delaying plans to activate him by Friday, when the Dodgers play the Angels again in Anaheim.
The Associated Press News Service
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