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OC Register: Angels get hot when it counts to take Freeway Series opener against Dodgers


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  • The Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, center, runs back to first base with Cody Bellinger (who had already been called out) sitting on second base during a moment of confusion in the sixth inning of Friday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, of Japan, throws to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Felix Pena throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy watches after hitting a line drive during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy watches after hitting a line drive during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Felix Pena throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger drops his bat after striking out during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda and Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, background right, both of Japan, walk off the field after the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, strikes out to Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda during the second inning of a baseball game Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 06: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers doubles to deep left in the fourth inning as catcher Jose Briceno #10 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches the ball take flight during the MLB game at Angel Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp hits an RBI single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 06: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits an RBI single in the fourth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 06: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after scoring in the fourth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani, of Japan, watches the ball as he pops out to short during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, right, of Japan, and catcher Yasmani Grandal head to the dugout after the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, front, of Japan, and catcher Yasmani Grandal sit in the dugout during the fifth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 06: Pitcher Kenta Maeda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after failing to field a ground ball back to the mound in the sixth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 06: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is congratulated by teammates as he enters the dugout after scoring in the sixth inning during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Kole Calhoun yells after striking out during the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Kenta Maeda, center, of Japan, is greeted by teammates after he was removed during the sixth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy throws the ball to the fans after the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels relief pitcher Justin Anderson tosses the ball to first base for the out on Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Friday, July 6, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • The Angels’ Shohei Ohtani points to David Fletcher after scoring the tying run on a single by Fletcher during the ninth inning of Friday’s game at Angel Stadium. The Angels won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – JULY 06: Fans of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watch batting practice prior to the MLB game at Angel Stadium on July 6, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)

  • The Angels’ Ian Kinsler follows through on a walk-off single during the ninth inning of their 3-2 victory over the Dodgers on Friday night at Angel Stadium (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig grabs the ball before making a throwing error on a single by the Angels’ Ian Kinsler during the ninth inning of Friday’s game at Angel Stadium. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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ANAHEIM — The Angels waited until the ninth inning to come up with a clutch hit, but they finally got one.

They also got some help from the Dodgers, pulling out a dramatic 3-2 victory in the opener of the Freeway Series on Friday night at Angel Stadium.

Trailing by a run and with just three hits as they headed to the bottom of the ninth against Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, the Angels sprang to life.

Shohei Ohtani battled back from 0-and-2 to draw a walk. He then stole second, and catcher Yasmani Grandal’s errant throw sent him to third. David Fletcher then yanked an RBI single into left field, tying the score.

Ian Kinsler then blooped a single into right field. Fletcher hustled to third and was being held there, but right fielder Yasiel Puig’s throw home bounced over Grandal and allowed Fletcher to scoot home with the winner.

The thrilling end delighted the red-clad portion of the Angel Stadium sellout crowd of 44,323 who came to the game despite a 108-degree first-pitch temperature that was a record for the ballpark.

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The late rally ended the Dodgers’ four-game winning streak and cost Kenta Maeda a victory on a night when he had his third straight nine-strikeout game, including one in his first meeting with Ohtani.

Maeda, who also got Ohtani on a flyout, left the game with a 2-1 lead after 5-2/3 innings. He dominated for most of his game, allowing only one baserunner through five innings. That was an Andrelton Simmons’ one-out double in the fourth, and he stranded him by striking out Mike Trout and Justin Upton.

The only run he allowed came in the sixth, after the Angels had loaded the bases on a pair of singles and an intentional walk to Trout. Ian Kinsler broke early from third and Maeda, who seemed to be distracted, was called for a balk as he threw home.

The Angels pulled within 2-1 on that play, but they left the bases loaded when reliever Scott Alexander entered and struck out Albert Pujols.

Ahead until then, the Dodgers runs had come from Matt Kemp, who had a pair of RBI singles and was involved in a weird play. After his RBI single in the sixth, he was at second when he believed Cody Bellinger, who had been in a run down, was coming back to second. So Kemp went to first. Bellinger, however, had already been called out for going out of the baseline.

Both Dodgers runs were charged to Angels right-hander Felix Peña.

Peña, who was thrust into the rotation by injuries, pitched 5-1/3 innings on 76 pitches. He struck out eight.

Scioscia pulled Peña, who had not thrown more than 84 pitches this season, after a walk to Justin Turner in the sixth. Noé Ramírez then walked Bellinger, and gave up Kemp’s second hit, to drive in a run.

Peña is clearly proving himself a worthy major league pitcher, with a 3.63 ERA in 22-1/3 innings. In his four starts, he has allowed six earned runs in 19-2/3 innings, a 2.75 ERA.

More to come on this story.

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