Pujols homers, Trout hits 3-run double as Angels top Dodgers
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer, Mike Trout had a tiebreaking three-run double, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-1 Saturday night to complete a three-game sweep of the preseason Freeway Series.
Nick Tropeano allowed a run and five hits in four innings while throwing 73 pitches. The right-hander, who will begin the season at Triple-A Salt Lake, was 2-0 with a 6.48 ERA in five spring starts.
Trout was 2 for 2 with two doubles and a walk after missing two games because of a stomach virus.
The Angels loaded the bases in the fourth when Alex Wood gave up a two-out single by Yunel Escobar and walked Craig Gentry with his 68th and final pitch. Zach Lee came on to face Trout, who doubled to left-center on a 1-1 pitch to give the Halos a 4-1 lead.
''A player like him probably comes this way about every 20 or 50 years, so I'm just blessed to have an opportunity to wear the same jersey and take the same field with the best player in the game,'' Pujols said.
''The best thing about Mike is that he goes out hard every day and tries to improve,'' Pujols added. ''Even though he's been in the big leagues for four years, he doesn't think he has everything figured out. He's always asking questions and always wants to learn. And that's dangerous, when you have a young guy with the success that he has- and he still has a lot of room to improve.''
Lee was still on the mound when Pujols drove a 2-2 pitch into the lower seats in the left field corner with two outs. It was the 15th anniversary of Pujols' major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pujols, who will make $27 million this season, is batting .278 with six homers, 15 RBIs and one game remaining on the team's exhibition schedule and is eagerly anticipating Monday's season opener.
''I'm very excited, especially after that offseason procedure where I had to take care of my foot,'' said the three-time NL MVP, who enters the season with 560 home runs.
Wood was charged with four runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. The left-hander finished his spring 0-3 with a 7.13 ERA in five starts.
RIGHT MAN FOR THE JOB?
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis gave high marks to Dave Roberts at the end of the skipper's first spring training as a major league manager and is encouraged by the way the players have responded to him.
''The confidence that he presents himself with in front of a group and the constant communication and dialogue that he has with all of his players has created an environment that should lend itself to a successful organization with big plans to play in October,'' Ellis said.
Angels: Optioned INF Rey Navarro, INF Jefry Marte and OF Rafael Ortega to Salt Lake and outrighted OF Todd Cunningham to the Bees. Ortega was presented with the annual Fred Haney Award as the organization's outstanding rookie during spring training.
Dodgers: Optioned LHP Luis Avalon to Triple-A Oklahoma City, leaving RHP Louis Coleman as the seventh man in the bullpen.
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver, limited to 9 2/3 innings this spring because of problems with the nerves in his neck and shoulder, will begin the season on the disabled list. ... LHP C.J. Wilson, battling through shoulder tendinitis, isn't ready yet to play catch after having his arm strength evaluated.
Dodgers: 2B Howie Kendrick and C Yasmani Grandal both will begin the season on the DL. Kendrick has a strained muscle in his left calf and Grandal has a right forearm strain.
Angels: RHP Matt Shoemaker will oppose RHP Kyle Hendricks on Sunday in the spring training finale against the Chicago Cubs, who will be back at the ''Big A'' for the first two games of the regular season.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw matches up with Padres RHP Tyson Ross on Monday at San Diego in the season opener for the three-time defending NL West champs, who finished their spring training schedule 13-17 with three ties.