Hamilton homers behind solid Richards
Angels drop Freeway Series tilt at Dodger Stadium in 10th inning
LOS ANGELES -- On a Friday night when the Angels world was buzzing about outfielder Mike Trout's six-year, $144.5 million contract extension and the Dodgers were figuring out who would start their domestic opener, the Halos' Josh Hamilton and L.A.'s Joc Pederson stood out in the Freeway Series sideshow.
Hamilton socked a three-run home run to right field to give Garrett Richards a cushion in the first. Richards pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking one in a solid final tuneup.
But the Dodgers scored late to end the Angels' spring winning streak at nine games with a 5-4, 10-inning victory at Dodger Stadium. Darnell Sweeney singled in the the winning run in the bottom of the 10th with the Angels deploying a five-man infield.
Pederson, the Dodgers' second-ranked prospect by MLB.com, hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning off Angels reliever Fernando Salas.
With the Dodgers holding back veteran starting pitchers Dan Haren and Paul Maholm in case left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu can't go Sunday on Opening Night in San Diego as ace Clayton Kershaw's replacement, top prospect Zach Lee, 22, got the start. Ryu (toenail) threw in the bullpen before the game and later proclaimed himself ready.
David Freese padded the Angels lead with a two-out RBI single in the third inning off Lee. Lee went five innings, allowing four runs on five hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Adrian Gonzalez had a leadoff single as the Dodgers loaded the bases against Richards with none out in the fourth, but could only push home one run on a double-play grounder by A.J. Ellis.
The Dodgers took advantage of two Angels errors to score two runs in the sixth, ending Richards' final spring outing at 105 pitches. Juan Uribe had an RBI single in the inning, but the Dodgers left the bases loaded again as reliever Kevin Jepsen got the last two outs.
"I feel like I'm ready for the season," said Richards, who shuttled between the bullpen and rotation last season but is expected to start in 2014. "Me and [pitching coach] Mike Butcher have been working on a clean and smooth delivery since the start of Spring Training.
"It's a little more comforting to know the team has the confidence in you to run you out there every five days."
Dodger Stadium got a little shake in the bottom of the seventh when a magnitude 5.1 earthquake in nearby La Habra could be felt, this according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The tremors weren't severe enough to halt play.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with none out in the bottom of the ninth inning against Angels reliever Matt Shoemaker, but couldn't score the deciding run. Pederson grounded into an inning-ending, plate-to-second double play when Dodgers baserunner Chone Figgins was tardy getting to second.
Up next: The Angels and Dodgers continue the Freeway Series at Dodger Stadium on Saturday night at 6:05 PT, with the Halos' Tyler Skaggs matching up against Haren. Fans can watch live for free on MLB.TV.
Earl Bloom is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.