As several other teams have in recent years, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim faced the unenviable task of going against Los Angeles Dodgers aces Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in back-to-back games. Greinke largely shut the Angels down over eight innings, setting the stage for the first meeting between reigning MVPs in Major League Baseball history.
Kershaw got the better of Mike Trout in the first inning, freezing him with a knee-buckling curveball for called strike three. Former Dodger, the term used loosely in this case, Andrew Heaney retired the side in order on three fly balls.
Albert Pujols led off the second inning with a base hit to center field, then Howie Kendrick and Jimmy Rollins turned in a pair of diving stops that led to a force out at second base each time. Their combined defensive prowess was key in preventing the Angels from generating any sort of momentum and helped keep the game scoreless.
Yasiel Puig worked a full count with one out in the bottom of the second and drew a walk. The pitch appeared to cross the strike zone, which drew the ire of Angels manager Mike Scioscia and he was subsequently ejected by home plate umpire Chris Segal. Puig went first to third on Yasmani Grandal’s base hit and the Dodgers eventually loaded the bases with two outs.
Heaney caught a break as it brought Kershaw up to plate, who grounded out to end the inning. After Taylor Featherston drew a leadoff walk in the third, Heaney popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt that Kershaw quickly came off the mound to catch and threw over to first base for a double play.
The Angels again had the lead off man reach in the fourth, only for Trout, Pujols and Erick Aybar fail to advance him. Trout grounded into a force out, and Pujols and Aybar struck out; the former swinging and the latter looking.