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Kenta Maeda is sharp as Dodgers beat Angels, 3-1, in exhibition game at Tempe

Kenta Maeda is sharp as Dodgers beat Angels, 3-1, in exhibition game at Tempe
Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley (26) is tagged out at the plate by Angels catcher Martin Maldonado during the second inning on March 13. (Matt York / Associated Press)

The Dodgers improved to 10-8 in Cactus League play with a 3-1 victory over the Angels on Monday at Tempe Diablo Stadium. The Angels fell to 10-6.

AT THE PLATE: The Dodgers bunched three straight two-out hits off Angels starter Ricky Nolasco for a run in the third inning. O'Koyea Dickson and Chase Utley both singled to left-center field, and Justin Turner ripped a run-scoring double to left. Austin Barnes followed Cody Bellinger's walk in the fourth by driving a hanging slider from Nolasco over the left-field wall for a two-run homer. The Angels scored their only run in the second when Albert Pujols, making his third start of the spring as he recovers from surgery on his right foot, lofted his first home run to left field. New Angels catcher Martin Maldonado struck out in both of his at-bats and is now hitting .043 (one for 23) with nine strikeouts and two walks in nine spring games.

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ON THE MOUND: Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda was extremely sharp, allowing Pujols' homer but no other hits, striking out seven and walking none in a 3 2/3-inning effort in which he threw 40 of his 60 pitches for strikes. The right-hander felt his fastball allowed him to put away hitters once he got to two strikes in the count. "My command for my four-seamer was pretty good today," Maeda said through an interpreter. Nolasco, who threw 54 pitches, retired eight consecutive batters to open the game before giving up the three straight hits in the third. Angels relievers Jose Valdez, Kirby Yates, Brooks Pounders, Cody Ege and Eduardo Paredes combined to allow one hit in five scoreless innings. Dodgers relievers Josh Ravin, Brandon Morrow, Trevor Oaks and Patrick Schuster combined to allow two hits in 5 1/3 scoreless innings.

EXTRA BASES: The Angels executed a perfect relay to cut down a potential run on Turner's run-scoring double in the third, left fielder Cameron Maybin throwing to shortstop Nolan Fontana, who fired to the plate in time to nail Utley, who was trying to score from first. … Angels left-hander Tyler Skaggs, scratched from his last start because of shoulder fatigue, completed a bullpen workout without setback on Monday and is in line to start Wednesday against San Francisco. … The Angels optioned left-hander Nate Smith to triple-A Salt Lake and reassigned catcher Jose Briceno to minor league camp. … The Dodgers optioned catcher Kyle Farmer and right-hander Jacob Rhame to minor league camp. Right-handers Josh Sborz and Ralston Cash and outfielder Henry Ramos were reassigned to minor league camp.

UP NEXT: Angels vs. Kansas City Royals on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Surprise Stadium. TV: Fox Sports West; Radio: 830. Dodgers vs. Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Camelback Ranch. TV/Radio: None.

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