LOS ANGELES (AP) — Comeback wins haven’t come easily to the Dodgers, who had dropped four one-run games in a row.
They staged their biggest rally of the season Monday night, overcoming a five-run deficit to beat the Los Angeles Angels 8-7 in the Freeway Series opener.
“It can definitely be a momentum builder, but you can’t have momentum unless you come out tomorrow and play hard,” said Adrian Gonzalez, who had a season-high four hits and tied his career high with four runs scored.
Jerry Hairston Jr.’s RBI single scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning to help the Dodgers snap the Angels’ season-high eight-game winning streak in the first of two games at Dodger Stadium before the series shifts to Anaheim for two more.
“It seemed like all over the place guys were getting big hits,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Scott Van Slyke went 2 for 4 with two RBIs and Juan Uribe finished 3 for 3 after entering as a pinch hitter in the fifth.
Gonzalez continued his tear with his third multihit game in a row. He is 9 for 11 with six runs, three doubles and seven RBIs since Saturday.
The Dodgers probably wish Gonzalez’s hitting could rub off on slugger Matt Kemp, who continued struggling a day after he was left out of the starting lineup in a 5-3 loss to St. Louis. He was booed heavily as he went hitless in five at-bats with four strikeouts.
“When things aren’t going your way you try harder,” Gonzalez said. “He’s trying too hard for the team and the fans.”
Hairston was reinstated from the 15-day disabled list earlier in the day. He was 0 for 2 with a strikeout before he singled off Robert Coello (1-1) with two outs. After Kemp struck out for the third time, Gonzalez singled and Van Slyke struck out before pinch-hitter Andre Ethier walked to set up Hairston.
Ronald Belisario (3-4) faced one batter in the seventh and got an inning-ending, double-play grounder from Hank Conger to earn the victory.
Brandon League pitched the ninth for his 11th save in 13 chances.
Trailing 8-7, the Angels had the potential tying run at first base with two outs in the eighth. Mike Trout flied out to right field and Erick Aybar raced back to first. Gonzalez caught Ethier’s throw wide of the bag and lunged to tag Aybar as he ran past, doubling him off first.
Aybar slammed his helmet into the dirt after first base umpire Paul Emmel signaled out, believing Gonzalez had missed the tag. Aybar and first base coach Alfredo Griffin began arguing with Emmel as Angels manager Mike Scioscia rushed out to join them.
Scioscia pushed Aybar out of the way and engaged in an animated debate with Emmel. Scioscia retreated to the dugout, and the replay was inconclusive.
“From our angle — and we had a pretty good angle on it — it looked like there was a lot of daylight,” Scioscia said. “Erick got a great jump, but the timing wasn’t right where he could peek to see where the ball was hit. He made too big of a turn, but he got back to first base. Unfortunately, he didn’t get the call.”
The Angels tied the game 7-all in the seventh on Howie Kendrick’s RBI single.
Van Slyke’s tying RBI double capped a four-run fifth for the Dodgers before A.J. Ellis’ sacrifice fly put them ahead 7-6 in the sixth.
The Angels took a 6-1 lead with three runs in the fourth on Aybar’s RBI double, Trout’s RBI triple into the left-field corner and Albert Pujols’ sacrifice fly to deep center.
“We’re swinging the bats well, but if I had to point out one thing about the streak, it had to be the starting pitching,” Trout said. “I think the ERA was like under 2.00. But they came out swinging the bats. They kept battling and putting great at-bats together.”
The anticipated pitching duel between Angels lefty C.J. Wilson and Zack Greinke against his old team for the first time fizzled, with neither figuring in the decision.
Wilson gave up six runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked none.
“I just made bad pitches,” he said. “I was trying to make a good pitch and I made a hitter’s pitch instead of a pitcher’s pitch. It’s unfortunate because the offense obviously supported the pitching. I just let them down.”
Greinke allowed six runs — four earned — and 10 hits in four-plus innings. He struck out two and walked one. Considered the top arm on the free-agent market last winter, the right-hander signed a $147 million, six-year deal to switch Los Angeles teams.
“I made some mistakes, obviously, but overall I did about as well as I could,” he said. “It felt like I was going to get them out and they were hitting the ball hard.”
NOTES: The Dodgers improved to 5-6 in one-run games this season. … Kendrick notched his 400th career RBI with a run-scoring double in the third. … The clubs combined for 11 doubles (six by the Dodgers), a Dodger Stadium record. … The Angels fell to 20-31 on Memorial Day. … The Angels are 13-6 in the last 19 games against the Dodgers and 9-4 in the last 13 in Los Angeles. … The Dodgers optioned SS Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque. He batted .175 with five steals, a homer and eight RBIs in 19 games with the Dodgers.