LOS ANGELES — Hector Santiago knew he needed to bring his best game against major league ERA leader Zack Greinke.
However, Santiago didn't have it Friday night in the opener of the Freeway Series, giving up nine hits and all of the Dodgers' runs in the Los Angeles Angels' 5-3 loss that included Mike Trout's major league-leading 32nd home run.
"I thought Hector was a little indecisive," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "It looked like he was searching. Not only was he trying to find his release point to execute pitches and repeat his delivery — which he has been doing really well this year — but also searching to get back into his game plan.
"He had a little trouble putting pitches together and was behind a lot of counts. He just wasn't quite as crisp as we've seen him, and he paid a price for it."
Santiago (7-5) surrendered a go-ahead two-run homer in the fourth inning to Alex Guerrero and a solo shot in the first by Howie Kendrick, who connected in his first official plate appearance against the club he spent his first nine big league seasons with. It came on Santiago's sixth pitch of the game.
"I felt like my pitches for the most part were pretty good," said Santiago, who was 3-0 with a 1.70 ERA over his previous six starts. "But I left a few pitches over the middle, including the pitch to Howie that got hit out for a home run."
Guerrero gave the Dodgers a 3-1 lead with his 11th homer, driving a 1-1 pitch into the lower seats in the left field corner after an infield hit by Yasmani Grandal. Yasiel Puig and Grandal extended the margin to 5-1 with RBI singles in the fifth.
"That's the key when you're playing teams like the Angels," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "If you can keep adding on, it just kind of keeps throwing nails in the coffin and makes it tougher for them because they have to score additional runs. And then you get behind Zack by three, you don't feel like he's going to get beat up. He's going to keep making pitches."
Greinke (10-2) won his fifth straight decision, allowing two runs and five hits over eight innings with eight strikeouts after Clayton Kershaw was pushed back a day in the Dodgers' rotation.
Greinke's ERA actually jumped four percentage points to 1.41.
"We had some good looks at Greinke, but we couldn't really get that key hit to get us where we needed to be," Scioscia said. "When we did get him in a little bit of trouble, he made some really good pitches to get out of some jams."
Greinke, who spent the final two months of the 2012 season down the freeway in Anaheim before joining the Dodgers as a free agent, improved his home record with them to 23-5.
Kershaw missed Wednesday's scheduled start against Oakland because of a sore left hip, is now slated to start Saturday's matinee on eight days' rest.
Kenley Jansen, fighting a virus for the past three days, got his 18th save in 19 chances despite giving up Trout's leadoff homer in the ninth.
Trout also had an RBI triple and run-scoring single against Greinke.
The Angels, who limped into Dodger Stadium after getting swept in a three-game set at Houston, have lost seven of their last eight following a seven-game winning streak. They trail the AL West-leading Astros by two games.
The Dodgers' victory, coupled with San Francisco's loss at Texas, increased their NL West lead over the Giants to 1 1/2 games.
Angels: LHP C.J. Wilson was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of inflammation in his elbow. The move is retroactive to July 29, the day after he surrendered six runs and two homers over four innings in a 10-5 loss at Houston.
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner went on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 27, because of a right thigh infection.
Angels: Andrew Heaney (5-0) has thrown at least six innings — and allowed two runs or fewer — in each of his first six starts with the club. The only pitcher in Angels history to do that in each of his first seven starts with them was Jered Weaver in 2006. Heaney has 31 strikeouts and just five walks in 40 1/3 innings, and comes in with a 1.79 ERA.
Dodgers: Kershaw (8-6) has a streak of 29 consecutive scoreless innings — not counting his two-run fifth in the All-Star Game. The reigning NL MVP and three-time Cy Young Award winner has 38 strikeouts and no walks over his last three outings, making him the first pitcher in history with three straight scoreless starts with at least 10 Ks and no bases on balls.