ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -The Dodgers pulled the plug on the Angels hopes for a six-game season sweep after Jonathan Broxton short-circuited their two-run rally in the ninth inning.
The Dodgers had to wait an extra 18 minutes to complete their 10-6 victory over their freeway rivals on Thursday night, after a bank of lights overlooking right field went out in the seventh inning. Manny Ramirez hit a pair of RBI singles as a designated hitter, and the Dodgers scored five runs in the fourth despite another mental mistake on the bases.
``I don't think I've seen that since I was in the minor leagues, with the lights cutting off. It kind of kills your rhythm - on both sides,' Angels center fielder Torii Hunter said. ``We get spoiled here in the major leagues because of the bright lights, but I think this was better than in the minor leagues.'
The delay occurred moments after the Dodgers increased their lead to 8-4 on a one-out RBI single by Casey Blake. Managers Joe Torre and Mike Scioscia agreed that the game should resume, even though stadium workers were still trying to fix the balky lights - which never did come back on.
``It was just a matter of `Let's just go ahead and play, anyway,'' Torre said. ``Mike said: `Hell, that's the way we played in the minor leagues.'
``We were in the dugout and it seemed darker. But when you're out in the middle of the field, it was OK. It didn't appear dangerous to me, and that's the only concern I would have had. But it wasn't dark. If the umpires had an objection from either one of us, they would have waited and waited. And if we had to suspended it, we would have done that.'
The difference was hardly noticeable. Dodgers hitters could see the ball just fine when play continued, getting two runs on four hits in the eighth against reliever Trevor Bell. Angels left fielder Reggie Willits made a diving catch of Andre Ethier's sinking liner without having to worry about losing the ball in the lights.
``It wasn't too bad up there at the plate,' Dodgers left fielder Reed Johnson said. ``You could see the ball fine and you could see the spin on the slider. So even with that bank of lights out, it was OK. I was glad they continued it.'
Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger was charged with four runs, five hits and four walks over 4 2-3 innings in his return from the disabled list after being sidelined because of a sprained big toe. The right-hander struck out his first two batters in the fifth with a 6-2 lead, putting him one out from the required number of innings for a victory.
But Haeger gave up a single to Kevin Frandsen and walked Bobby Abreu with his 102nd pitch before he was pulled by Torre. Ramon Troncoso then gave up RBI singles to Hunter and Hideki Matsui before Mike Napoli grounded into a force play.
``I had just made up my mind that in the fifth inning, we could stretch out our bullpen a little bit,' Torre said. ``But I certainly didn't want him going into the middle of that lineup. That was the big thing.'
Jeff Weaver (4-1) faced just three batters, but got credit for the win after a baserunning snafu killed an Angels rally in the seventh with runners at the corners and two outs. Willits was erased in a rundown between third and home, after Weaver spotted Brandon Wood breaking for second on an attempted steal and tossed the ball to second baseman Jamey Carroll.
The Angels scored two runs in the ninth against Justin Miller, but catcher Russell Martin threw out Abreu at third when he tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt by Broxton, who got the final three outs.
Scott Kazmir (7-6) threw 93 pitches in 3 2-3 innings, giving up five runs, six hits and three walks. The left-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second when he got Johnson to chase a third strike in the dirt, but the Dodgers loaded the bases again in the fourth and grabbed a 5-1 lead.
Johnson drove in the first run with an infield hit. Rafael Furcal lined the next pitch into the left-field corner for a two-run double and Carroll followed with an RBI single. Ethier then hit a comebacker that handcuffed Kazmir, whose throw to second was too late to get the force on Carroll.
Umpire Bill Welke made an emphatic ``safe' call with both arms extended. But for some inexplicable reason, Carroll casually walked off the bag toward the first-base dugout before realizing he was indeed safe - and was tagged out by Wood as he scampered back.
``Jamie thought he was out,' Torre said. ``He was sliding to try to break up the double play and he just didn't hear the umpire.'
The Angels ran themselves into a couple of outs in the first after Abreu gave them the lead with an RBI single. Martin threw out Abreu trying to steal second, then nabbed Hunter at third despite a great jump against Haeger.
``I think it more because of everything that was going on - the energy, the hype, the loud fans,' Hunter said. ``Everyone wanted to take that extra base and probably tried to do a little bit too much - on both sides. It's adrenaline, man. That's what happens when you play the Dodgers.'
NOTES: The Dodgers host the Yankees on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series that will complete their interleague schedule. Torre, who guided the Yanks to six pennants and four World Series titles during his 12 seasons in the Bronx, said he will take the lineup card to home plate himself for the series opener. ``It's going to be crazy, but that's fine,' Torre said. ``I'm looking forward to seeing some people tomorrow. I will have the memories that were made for me there forever. The weird part for me is that I'm going to be in that other dugout, pulling against people I've never pulled against before. But the competitiveness is going to come out, and I probably won't think about it as much then as I am now.'
The Associated Press News Service
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