Dodgers take first game of exhibition Freeway Series, beating Angels 4-2

AT THE PLATE: Chris Taylor singled twice and ended a 2-2 tie in the seventh inning with a leadoff home run to center field against Angels reliever Osmer Morales. Two batters later, Yasiel Puig hit a home run to right-center field for a 4-2 Dodgers lead.

Zack Cozart hit his team-leading fourth homer of the spring, a laser over the short left-field wall, in the second, and Mike Trout crushed his third homer, a solo shot to center, in the fourth for the Angels. Cozart is batting .579 (11 for 19) in his last eight games, and Trout is batting .371 (13 for 35) in his last 14 games.

Catcher Yasmani Grandal had a single and a double for the Dodgers, who scored twice in the fifth on RBI groundouts by Puig and Cody Bellinger. Ian Kinsler of the Angels stole — or, rather, jogged into — third base without a throw in the sixth when he took off on what he thought was a Justin Upton inning-ending strikeout. It was only strike two. Grandal pumped three times but couldn’t throw to third because Logan Forsythe did not cover the bag. The comedic moment didn’t hurt the Dodgers, as Upton eventually struck out.

ON THE MOUND: Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda gave up the homers to Cozart and Trout but finished strong, closing his five-inning, four-hit, five-strikeout, no-walk start by retiring the last five batters, two by strikeout and one on a double-play grounder. Reliever J.T. Chargois gave up a one-out double to Kinsler in the sixth before striking out Trout looking and Upton swinging. Dodgers left-hander Scott Alexander struck out two in a perfect seventh, and closer Kenley Jansen struck out two in a scoreless eighth in which he struck out two and threw two wild pitches. Josh Fields retired the side in order in the ninth for the save. Angels starter Parker Bridwell, who will open at triple-A Salt Lake, pitched out of a two-on, one-out jam in the first and a two-on, no-out jam in the second. Felix Pena’s fastball hit 96 mph during a 1-2-3 fourth, but Jim Johnson gave up two hits and two runs in the fifth.


EXTRA BASES: Angels slugger Albert Pujols, who needs to play more first base for Shohei Ohtani to start at DH, made a nice diving, backhand stop of Bellinger’s first-inning grounder with two on and flipped to first for the out. …

Dodgers second baseman Enrique Hernandez made a superb diving backhand stop of Andrelton Simmons’ fifth-inning grounder and threw to first for the out. …

Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney, sidelined for a week by elbow inflammation, played catch for the fourth day Sunday. He could open on the disabled list because the Angels won’t need a sixth starter until April 12, but Heaney, who had elbow ligament-replacement surgery in July 2016, remains “confident” the injury is “pretty minor.” …

Maeda greeted Ohtani in an Angel Stadium hallway before the game. Was he disappointed he didn’t get to pitch against the Angels’ two-way player? “Not really,” Maeda said. “I’m sure I’ll have a lot of opportunities to face him during the regular season.”

UP NEXT: Angels (Matt Shoemaker) vs. Dodgers (Rich Hill) on Monday at 7 p.m. at Dodger Stadium. TV: SportsNet LA, Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1020, 830.