Manny Ramirez hit a pair of RBI singles and the Los Angeles Dodgers scored five runs in the fourth inning despite another mental mistake on the bases, beating the Los Angeles Angels 10-6 Thursday night to avoid a six-game season sweep by their Southern California rivals.
The game was delayed 18 minutes in the seventh when a bank of lights overlooking right field went out, moments after the Dodgers increased their lead to 8-4 on a one-out RBI single by Casey Blake.
Both teams eventually agreed that the Freeway Series finale should resume even though stadium workers were still trying to fix the balky lights - which never did come back on.
The difference was hardly noticeable. Dodgers hitters could see the ball just fine when play continued, getting two runs on four hits in the eighth against reliever Trevor Bell. Angels left fielder Reggie Willits made a diving catch of Andre Ethier's sinking liner without having to worry about losing the ball in the lights.
Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger was charged with four runs, five hits and four walks over 4 2-3 innings in his return from the disabled list after being sidelined because of a sprained big toe. The right-hander struck out his first two batters in the fifth with a 6-2 lead, putting him one out from the required number of innings for a victory.
But Haeger gave up a single to Kevin Frandsen and walked Bobby Abreu with his 102nd pitch before he was pulled by manager Joe Torre. Ramon Troncoso then gave up RBI singles to Torii Hunter and Hideki Matsui before Mike Napoli grounded into a force play.
Jeff Weaver (4-1) faced just three batters, but got credit for the win after a baserunning snafu short-circuited an Angels rally in the seventh with runners at the corners and two outs. Willits was erased in a rundown between third and home, after Weaver spotted Brandon Wood breaking for second on an attempted steal and tossed the ball to second baseman Jamey Carroll.
The Angels scored two runs in the ninth against Justin Miller, but catcher Russell Martin threw out Abreu at third when he tried to advance on a pitch in the dirt by Jonathan Broxton, who got the final three outs.
Scott Kazmir (7-6) threw 93 pitches in 3 2-3 innings, giving up five runs, six hits and three walks. The left-hander escaped a bases-loaded jam in the second when he got Reed Johnson to chase a third strike in the dirt, but the Dodgers loaded the bases again in the fourth and grabbed a 5-1 lead.
Johnson drove in the first run with an infield hit. Rafael Furcal lined the next pitch into the left-field corner for a two-run double and Carroll followed with an RBI single. Ethier then hit a comebacker that handcuffed Kazmir, whose throw to second was too late to get the force on Carroll.
Umpire Bill Welke made an emphatic "safe" call with both arms extended. But for some inexplicable reason, Carroll casually walked off the bag toward the first-base dugout before realizing he was indeed safe - and was tagged out by Wood as he scampered back.
The Angels ran themselves into a couple of outs in the first after Abreu gave them the lead with an RBI single. Martin threw out Abreu trying to steal second, then nabbed Hunter at third despite a great jump against Haeger.
NOTES: The Dodgers host the Yankees on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series that will complete their interleague schedule. Torre, who guided the Yanks to six pennants and four World Series titles during his 12 seasons in the Bronx, said he will take the lineup card to home plate himself for the series opener. "It's going to be crazy, but that's fine," Torre said. "I'm looking forward to seeing some people tomorrow. I will have the memories that were made for me there forever. The weird part for me is that I'm going to be in that other dugout, pulling against people I've never pulled against before. But the competitiveness is going to come out, and I probably won't think about it as much then as I am now." ... The only other time the Dodgers and Yankees have met during the regular season was in June 2004, when Los Angeles took two of three at Chavez Ravine. The two storied franchises have faced each other in 11 World Series, with the Dodgers losing eight of them and going 28-37 overall against the pinstripes in the Fall Classic.
© 2010 The Associated Press.