Big League Weekend Preview: Greinke, Guerrero Start With Sweep In Line

Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers scored 11 runs on 14 hits, including five home runs in Friday’s win over the Texas Rangers in the first game of Big League Weekend at the Alamodome. It quickly became evident the makeshift baseball field inside the stadium was much more friendly to hitters than pitchers and expectations of a high-scoring game have been set.

The Rangers didn’t exactly lose due to a poor offensive showing — they scored six runs on 11 hits (one home run) against a slew of relief pitchers after Erik Bedard managed to pitch just one inning.

Now faced with the challenge of quieting the Rangers’ bats is Zack Greinke, who makes his third start of the spring. Greinke has thrown a combined 5.0 innings and allowed three runs on three hits through his first two outings while battling some control issues (three walks issued).

Greinke’s previously stated he’s working on a new grip for his slider, but would ditch the effort should he continue to have trouble locating pitches. As has been the case with other starting pitchers at this stage, Greinke’s primary objective Saturday will be to expand on his previous workload in preparation for the regular season.

Starting opposite the Dodgers’ right-hander is Anthony Ranaudo. The 25 year old was acquired by the Rangers from the Boston Red Sox back in January after having spent seven seasons in the Boston organization.

Ranaudo struggled in seven starts with the Red Sox last season — posting a 4-3 record with a 4.81 ERA and 1.39 WHIP. The International League Pitcher of Year in 2014 has had better success in the Minors and holds a 6.23 ERA in two appearances (one start) this spring.

Whereas the Dodgers used a designated hitter in Friday’s game, Greinke will have the opportunity to get his first live at-bats of the spring — just as Kershaw did in club’s split-squad game with the Oakland Athletics.

Alex Guerrero continues his tour of duty with a start in left field, and he’s joined by Joc Pederson in center and Yasiel Puig in right, both of whom hit home runs in the first inning of Friday’s win.

Relief pitchers on the trip with the Dodgers who likely will see action Saturday are Ryan Butcher, Juan Nicasio and Josh Ravin, among others.

Dodgers lineup:

SS: Kiké Hernandez

3B: Justin Turner

RF: Yasiel Puig

1B: Adrian Gonzalez

C: Yasmani Grandal

LF: Alex Guerrero

CF: Joc Pederson

2B: Darwin Barney

P: Zack Greinke

Rangers lineup:

CF: Leonys Martin

SS: Elvis Andrus

DH: Ryan Ludwick

3B: Joey Gallo

RF: Jared Hoying

LF: Jake Smolinski

2B: Rougned Odor

1B: Adam Rosales

C: Chris Gimenez

P: Anthony Ranaudo


Zack Greinke Working On New Slider

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