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Monday, June 11th (All times Eastern)
LA Angels of Anaheim (32-29) at Los Angeles Dodgers (39-22), 10:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: LA Angels - Garrett Richards (1-0, 1.13) Los Angeles - Chris Capuano (8-2, 2.82)
(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers were struggling before a 10-game road trip, but it seems the time away from home has lifted their spirits.
The Dodgers opened the journey with a season-high fifth straight loss at Colorado on June 1 and dropped their seventh game in nine tries. Something must have clicked at that point and the NL West leaders went on to post a 7-3 mark on the trek.
Los Angeles is now back at home for six straight and will begin a three-game "Freeway Series" versus the nearby LA Angels of Anaheim Monday at Chavez Ravine.
With a 39-22 mark (.639), the Dodgers recently won the last two portions of a three-game set at Seattle and recorded an 8-2 triumph in Sunday's series finale.
Kyle Seager got the Mariners on the board first with a solo homer off Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley, then LA outfielder Andre Ethier highlighted a six- run second inning with his fourth career grand slam. Dee Gordon, James Loney, Adam Kennedy and Tony Gwynn Jr. had an RBI apiece for the Dodgers, who are five games ahead of San Francisco in the NL West standings and have rebounded nicely since being no-hit by six Seattle pitchers in Friday's series opener.
Billingsley held the Mariners to a run and struck out eight in seven innings for the win.
"He was good, he was aggressive today," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Billingsley. "In games like this in the past he's had some trouble when he gets a big lead and kind of seems to stay back, but today he was aggressive and I felt he was on the attack."
The Dodgers, who are trying to become the first team to 40 wins, hope to get third baseman Juan Uribe back soon from an injured wrist and he hasn't played since May 13. Uribe is batting .250 with one homer and 10 RBI this season, and recently had a rehab assignment for Class A Rancho Cucamonga.
Mattingly's club is scheduled to host the Chicago White Sox on the residency and will turn to Chris Capuano tonight in the series opener with the Angels. Capuano is one of six players with eight victories this season and has won three of his previous four trips to the mound. He was recently in action during a 6-5 win at Philadelphia last Wednesday.
Capuano barely got by with the win and labored through just five innings, allowing four runs and four hits with five strikeouts and one walk. The left- hander was able to stretch his mark to 8-2 in 12 starts, but raised his earned run average slightly from 2.50 to 2.82.
A former draft pick of Arizona, Capuano owns a perfect 5-0 mark in five home starts with a sparkling 1.36 ERA. He lost his only start against the Angels last June 17 in a 4-3 decision, as he was reached for three runs, two of which were earned, and eight hits in six innings of work.
The Angels are coming off a three-game sweep of Colorado and sit only three games behind the Texas Rangers for the AL West lead.
Anaheim recorded a 10-8 win in Sunday's series finale, as Mark Trumbo belted a pair of three-run homers and Torii Hunter ended with three hits, including a two-run homer, and three RBI. The Angels have won 14 of their last 18 games, and are averaging 7.6 runs per game over the previous six.
"It's funny how offense comes in waves," Trumbo said. "Recently, it seems like every time I come up there's a situation to move somebody up or drive somebody in. I really enjoy that because it really narrows my focus a lot more."
Ervin Santana was lucky to get the win after he yielded seven runs in 5 2/3 frames. Scott Downs later notched his sixth save despite allowing a run and three hits in the ninth to make it interesting.
The Angels have won nine straight road games -- the longest streak since an 11-game run back in 1988.
Filling in for injured ace Jered Weaver, Garrett Richards will make his second start of the season tonight against the Dodgers. Richards tossed seven innings of one-run ball in last Tuesday's 6-1 win over Seattle and fanned eight batters to just two walks. The right-hander will make his first road appearance of the season and has never faced the Dodgers.
Richards, who was called up from Triple-A Salt Lake after Weaver landed on the disabled list with a lower back strain and spasm, pitched an inning of relief in a 6-5 loss to the New York Yankees in his season debut on May 30.
The Angels are 9-3 against the Dodgers since the start of the 2010 campaign.
06/11 11:12:21 ET