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Trumbo's homer leads Angels past Dodgers

Trumbo's homer leads Angels past Dodgers

Trumbo's homer leads Angels past Dodgers
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The early accent was on high-caliber pitching on Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium, where the Angels welcomed a Dodgers split-squad for the Cactus League opener in front of an overflow crowd.

First baseman Mark Trumbo, bidding for a role on the Angels' roster, made a rousing first impression with a towering two-run homer to right-center in the fourth inning of a 4-1 victory. Trumbo's blast came against right-hander Rubby De La Rosa, considered the Dodgers' best pitching prospect. It followed a single by Erick Aybar.

The Angels added a run in the fifth against right-hander Lance Cormier on singles by Jeff Mathis and Reggie Willits around a fielder's choice grounder by Peter Bourjos. Willits, robbed by Matt Kemp in his first at-bat on a sprinting catch, had an impressive spring debut with his customary plate discipline.

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Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda, coming off a solid 2010 season, was in fine form early, facing the minimum six hitters in two efficient innings. He yielded one second-inning single, but Hank Conger was quickly erased on a double-play grounder.

A sharp leadoff single by Kemp in the second inning led to the lone run against Angels starter Trevor Bell. Kemp stole second and advanced on a pair of outs, scoring on Russell Mitchell's sacrifice fly. Bell, who appears on the depth chart as a starter and reliever, retired six of the seven men he faced.

Picking up for Bell, hard-throwing right-handed prospect Garrett Richards walked the first man he faced but sat down the next six, striking out Kemp and Hector Gimenez. Michael Kohn followed Richards and silenced the Dodgers in the fifth.

The Angels added a run in the fifth against right-hander Lance Cormier on singles by Jeff Mathis and Reggie Willits around a fielder's choice grounder by Peter Bourjos. Willits had an impressive spring debut with his customary plate discipline.

Eric Junge -- a veteran right-hander hoping to reignite his career with the Angels -- worked two scoreless innings. Hector Gimenez's single in the seventh was the second Dodgers hit.

Joining Trumbo in the Angels' lineup were fellow premium prospects Conger and Mike Trout. Conger lined a single in two at-bats, while Trout -- rated the No. 1 prospect in the game by MLB.com and other evaluators -- flied out and grounded sharply into a double play.

With Don Mattingly making his managerial debut in Scottsdale with a split squad, Albuquerque manager Lorenzo Bundy handled the Dodgers' reins. General manager Ned Colletti was on hand, and he took a positive report on Kuroda back to camp at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Up next: Scott Kazmir, embarking on a challenge to nail down the No. 5 spot in the rotation after a disappointing 2010 season, gets the ball for the first time when the Angels travel to Camelback Ranch-Glendale on Sunday to face the Dodgers at 12:05 p.m. PT. The game will be carried on Prime Ticket, MLB Network and MLB.TV.

Kazmir, acquired from the Rays in August 2009, spent the winter working on conditioning and recovering the groove that took him to two All-Star Game assignments when he was the Tampa Bay ace. Angels manager Mike Scioscia has been impressed with Kazmir's stuff and command in bullpen sessions this spring, and he'll test himself against the Dodgers in Mattingly's home debut as manager. Right-hander John Ely gets the call for L.A.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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