Los Angeles, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Garrett Richards tossed his first career shutout and the Angels scored four times in the first inning against Zack Greinke to beat the Dodgers, 5-0, in the opener of four straight contests of the Freeway Series.
Josh Hamilton homered in the sixth inning for the Angels, who won for the fourth time in five contests. They remained a game behind Oakland for first place in the AL West after the Athletics beat Tampa Bay in 10 innings Monday night. The Angels have not been in first place since winning on Opening Day of last season.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols had consecutive RBI doubles and David Freese capped the first-inning uprising with a run-scoring single.
Richards (12-4), who snapped a personal two-start losing streak, allowed five hits and two walks and struck out nine. The right-hander threw a career-high 122 pitches in his second career complete game.
"We got a win, that's the most important thing," Richards said. "Anytime we can put up runs early, makes it nice for any pitcher."
In 14 career contests against National League opponents, Richards is 3-0 with a 0.80 ERA. That's the lowest career interleague ERA with a minimum of 45 innings thrown.
Greinke (12-7) was charged with six hits and five runs -- three earned -- over seven innings to lose for the third time in his last four decisions.
"They jumped on Zack early. Not many teams can do that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "They did tonight. As the game went on, their guy was electric."
The Dodgers, who lost for the third time in four tries, saw their lead in the NL West trimmed to 1 1/2 games over San Francisco. The Giants beat the Mets Monday afternoon.
Greinke piled up 23 strikeouts against just two walks and allowed a run over 15 innings over his previous two starts, but the right-hander had trouble from the outset Monday, on the way to his first home loss since June 1.
Kole Calhoun singled to left on the game's second pitch. Trout then doubled to left, and on the next pitch Pujols took Greinke to center for another two- bagger. Pujols was eventually tagged out at home on a fielder's choice grounder from Erick Aybar, but Greinke uncorked a pair of wild pitches in the frame.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez threw away Howie Kendrick's ground ball, allowing Aybar to cross the plate. Kendrick went to second on a wild pitch and scored on Freese's looping hit to right field.
"Greinke is always tough, so to score runs early made it a little more comfortable for Garrett," Trout said.
Greinke flied out to right to leave the bases full in the second.
Hamilton led off the sixth with his eighth homer of the year, a blast to right-center.
Dodgers center fielder Yasiel Puig was embarrassed in the eighth inning when Pujols took second on a fly ball. Pujols singled to start the inning against Carlos Frias, who was making his major league debut. Hamilton flied out to center, but Puig hesitated after making the catch and the three-time NL MVP took off and made it to second.
Puig finished the night 0-for-4 at the plate.
Game Notes: Greinke fell to 1-5 all-time against the Angels ... Trout has a hit in 19 straight interleague games, the longest active streak in the majors ... The Dodgers placed reliever Chris Perez (bone spurs in right ankle) on the 15-day disabled list on Monday. They also selected the contract of Frias from Triple- A Albuquerque. To make room on the 40-man roster, the Dodgers moved pitcher Paul Maholm (torn ACL in right knee) to the 60-day DL ... The Angels activated outfielder Collin Cowgill from the 15-day DL and disabled list and placed pitcher Mike Morin (left foot laceration) on the 15-day DL.