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OC Register: Dodgers beat Angels in their exhibition finale behind Chris Taylor’s three-run homer

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The Dodgers won their only three exhibition games before Major League Baseball’s COVID-19 shortened 60-game season begins later this week without fans in ballparks.

There will be plenty of time for the Dodgers and Angels to mix it up when they meet six times during the season, and they were entertaining in their only exhibition meeting on Tuesday, with the Dodgers holding on for a 6-4 victory behind a three-run homer from Chris Taylor in the third inning, his second homer in two nights, and with help from Kike Hernandez, who doubled home two runs in the second inning.

The Angels got a solo homer from Tommy La Stella in the second inning, and trailing 5-2 in the seventh, added two more home runs from Albert Pujols and Brian Goodwin to pull within a run.

But the Dodgers’ Zach McKinstry provided some breathing room and furthered his case to make the Dodgers’ roster, hitting a home run in the eighth inning.

It was the final tune-up for the Dodgers before Thursday’s season opener at home against the San Francisco Giants to open a four-game series, in which Clayton Kershaw will go up against the Giants’ Johnny Cueto.

The Angels have their final exhibition game at home against San Diego on Wednesday, and then hit the road for a three-game series in Oakland, beginning with their season opener on Friday against the A’s.

The Angels and Dodgers’ two biggest acquisitions of the off-season did not play.

Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts, who arrived in a trade from the Boston Red Sox, took the night off after hitting a three-run homer in Monday’s 12-1 rout of Arizona.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon, who signed with the Angels after winning a World Series with the Washington Nationals, did not play either. He has oblique tightness caused by a swing in an intrasquad game and his status is in doubt for opening day, though manager Joe Maddon said before the game he still thinks there is a chance he will be ready.

The Angels’ Felix Pena started and went just two innings, allowing the two-run double to Hernandez. But he otherwise felt well and is still awaiting a decision from Maddon on whether he will be a starter or come out of the bullpen during the season.

“Not yet,” Pena said if Maddon had defined his role. “I’m not sure what role I’ll be in.”

But if you ask the 30-year-old in his third season with the Angels after previously being with the Chicago Cubs, he’s ready to start.

“Of course,” Pena said., “I’m ready to be a starter and pitch five or six innings. I feel good mentally. I’m very different now. I am a man, not a kid anymore and a lot more mature.”

The Dodgers’ 22-year-old Josiah Gray went 3 2/3 innings, allowing three hits and two runs with three strikeouts.


Before Tuesday’s game, Angels pitcher Julio Teheran, who tested positive for COVID 19 two days before he was supposed to report for summer camp, said he is feeling much better now and looking forward to the season.

“I have been staying active, taking care of myself, I know how to do  this. I’m a week behind, but excited to be back,” Teheran said.






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