LOS ANGELES (AP) — Zack Greinke learned all about Garrett Richards’ singular talent during their brief time as Angels teammates, and he was disappointed he couldn’t match that ability in the Freeway Series opener.
Richards pitched a five-hitter for his first career shutout, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols had RBI doubles in a four-run first inning, and the Los Angeles Angels opened the interleague showdown with a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night.
Richards outpitched Greinke (12-7), who yielded six hits and three earned runs in seven innings despite giving up just two hits after that messy first inning.
“I know from playing with him and watching him the last couple of years that he’s got some of the best stuff in baseball,” Greinke said of Richards. “I don’t know how well he’s pitched with it, but his stuff is up there with the best.”
Richards (12-4) was dominant in his first nine-inning complete game, striking out nine and retiring 15 of 16 in the middle innings with a fastball regularly hitting 98 mph.
Greinke trailed 4-0 in the first inning after four hits, two unearned runs, two wild pitches and two horrible fielding misplays from Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez.
“(Greinke) just made two mistakes to two really amazing hitters, and they made him pay for those mistakes,” Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. “After that, he was lights out.”
Richards took control from there, allowing just one runner to reach third base. Josh Hamilton homered in the sixth.
Los Angeles’ two teams both appear headed for the playoffs in the same season for the first time since 2009, with the Dodgers sitting atop the NL standings and the Angels chasing down the Oakland Athletics.
TAGGING UP: Pujols had a little fun with Yasiel Puig, tagging up from first base when the Dodgers center fielder was slow to return a long fly ball to the infield in the eighth inning.
“That’s how you play the game,” Pujols said. “He can have fun, too. I’m having fun. He can do whatever he wants.”
Two innings earlier, Puig playfully wagged his finger from center field when Erick Aybar thought about making the same tag-up move from first base. When he got lazy in the eighth, even the slow-footed Pujols could run on him.
Between innings, Pujols appeared to mock Puig for his lackadaisical catch on the fly, but Pujols bristled when asked about it after the game.
“He just got a lesson, and hopefully he learns it,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Puig. “Albert basically embarrassed him right there.”
HEARING BOOS: Trout was heartily booed when he stepped to the plate or appeared on the Dodgers’ video boards, an unusual sound for the popular All-Star outfielder.
“It’s how baseball should be,” Trout said. “It’s rivalries, crosstown. It’s fun for me with the fans involved. It pumps me up when you hear them.”
Angels: Reliever Mike Morin said he cut his foot while walking on a Florida beach with friends last weekend, sending him to the disabled list for two weeks.
Dodgers: Reliever Chris Perez went on the disabled list with bone spurs in his right ankle.
Angels: Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.76 ERA) looks to build on his summer surge after his 0-7 start. With Tyler Skaggs on the disabled list, the Angels are counting on him.
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (13-2, 1.71) claimed the NL’s previous two pitcher-of-the-month awards and hasn’t lost since May 28, but the vaunted left-hander hasn’t faced the Angels since 2011.