Angels’ playoff hopes officially end as they lose to homer-happy Dodgers

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LOS ANGELES — Still treating his recently strained left hamstring with care, Justin Turner never ran faster than a jog Friday night.

This time, he didn’t need to.

Turner produced his 10th career multiple home run game in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Freeway Series-opening 9-5 victory over the Angels at Dodger Stadium, twice taking a stroll around the bases before a planned early removal at the start of the sixth inning.

After five consecutive games as the designated hitter following his Sept. 15 activation from the injured list, Friday was the third straight game in which Turner played fewer than nine defensive innings. Manager Dave Roberts said he expects Turner to play a full game Saturday and get a more trips to the plate Sunday.

That’s good news for the Dodgers. Because the way the 35-year-old is swinging the bat right now, they’ll want to give him as many at-bats as they can.

In his eight games since returning from the IL, Turner is 12 for 28 (.429) with two doubles, two homers and three RBIs. He has struck out only four times in 31 plate appearances. And he’s slid right back into the No. 3 spot in the lineup without a hitch.

His first home run Friday came in the third. After Mike Trout belted a three-run blast in the top half of the frame — giving the Angels a 3-1 lead against Clayton Kershaw and a faint hope that their longshot playoff chances weren’t yet dead — Turner skied a solo homer into the Dodgers’ left-field bullpen.

Two innings later, he made it a one-run game again, crushing another solo shot high up the left-field bleachers.

It was the first of three runs in the inning for the Dodgers, who took the lead for good two at-bats later on a two-run homer from Will Smith. The Dodgers hit five homers in all.

The loss ended the Angels’ slim playoff hopes. Entering the weekend in need of a sweep over the Dodgers and three Astros defeats to overtake second-place Houston in the AL West, the Angels had already survived one close call earlier Friday night when the Texas Rangers erased a ninth-inning Astros lead before winning in 10.


Working on a deal

The Anaheim City Council will consider a potential “Angels commitment agreement” with the team Tuesday. Under the agreement, which was released late Thursday, the Angels would commit to play in Anaheim through at least 2050 or risk owing the city as much as $300 million if they leave. The proposed agreement comes as the two sides work toward finalizing the sale of Angel Stadium and the surrounding land to a company controlled by team owner Arte Moreno.


Short hops

Tony Gonsolin will start Saturday for the Dodgers, and Dustin May will throw bulk innings out of the bullpen Sunday … Roberts said the Dodgers probably will include 12 or 13 pitchers in their 28-man roster for the best-of-three wild card series. “It is a tough call,” Roberts said. “But in a short series, you just don’t need as much pitching.”


Three takeaways on Dodgers-Angels

1. In his final outing of the regular season, Clayton Kershaw gave up four runs (one earned) over four innings. For only the second time this year, the left-hander yielded multiple long balls. His 2.16 season ERA, however, is his lowest since 2016.

2. Angels starter Andrew Heaney couldn’t protect an early two-run lead, giving up five runs and eight hits (three homers) over four innings. Reliever Matt Andriese allowed the runner he inherited from Heaney to score on Will Smith’s go-ahead two-run homer.

3. Trout ended a streak of 59 plate appearances without a home run in the third inning, blasting a three-run shot into the left-field seats. It was Trout’s 17th of the year and the first of his career against Kershaw.


(Staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this report.)


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