Spring Training Recap: Offense Outshines Pitching, Defense In Tie

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to Surprise, Arizona to take on the Texas Rangers. Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu made his second start of the spring, and was opposed by right-hander Yovani Gallardo. The Rangers acquired the longtime Milwaukee Brewer via trade in the offseason.

Jimmy Rollins led off the game for the Dodgers with a line-drive single up the middle but was quickly erased attempting to steal second. Gallardo then got two consecutive fly outs to end the top half of the first. Elvis Andrus hit a one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the first, but was also quickly erased on a double-play ball off the bat of Adrian Beltre to end the first.

The Dodgers struck first in the top of the second. A one-out single by Howie Kendrick was followed by a double by Justin Turner that scored Kendrick. Ryu then did his part in the bottom of the second by retiring the side in order, striking out two.

After a throwing error by Andrus to allow A.J. Ellis to reach base to start the third, Gallardo retired the next three hitters he faced to end any threat.

The Rangers put the Dodgers defense to the test in the bottom of the third. The first two Rangers reached base on an infield single and a walk. Ed Lucas was then able to move the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt. With one out Leonys Martin hit a ground ball to first, which was booted by Scott Van Slyke allowing both runners to score. Elvis Andrus then hit a grounder that went off the glove of Turner at third putting runners at first and third with still one out. Andrus attempted to steal second, but stopped halfway, and a bad throw by catcher Yasmani Grandal allowed Martin to score from third giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead.

Ryu threw 45 pitches in three innings of work, giving up three hits, one walk and three runs (one earned).

Despite giving up a walk and a single, Gallardo was able to get out of the fourth without giving up a run. Gallardo fininshed giving up four hits and one run in four innings of work.

Juan Nicasio entered for the Dodgers in the bottom of the fourth and began the inning by giving up two straight singles. He then got a double-play ball and a groundout to end the inning without giving up a run.

Former Dodger Joe Beimel came in for the Rangers in the top of the fifth and the Dodgers bats came alive. Six consecutive hits, including a three-run homer by Howie Kendrick led to five Dodger runs before Beimel was pulled from the game. A.J. Ellis capped off the Dodger rally with a two-run double giving the Dodgers an 8-3 lead.

The Rangers battled back a bit in the bottom of the fifth off Dodger reliever J.P. Howell. Howell didn’t fool anyone, giving up three hits, two walks and three runs in two-thirds of an inning. Pedro Baez came in with runners at second and third with two outs and got Rua to flyout to end the fifth with the Dodgers leading 8-6.

CONTINUE READING: See if the Dodgers were able to maintain their lead.

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  1. Well not exactly a ringing endorsement for some of the BP folks. But my favorites for Dark Horse candidates did not pitch. I think Santos or Tsao could make it to start the Season especially with League possibly out on IR to start. Seager, Jansen continue to swing the bat well. Kendrick hit a blast. Does not mean anything but good to see they are getting their timing. Puig had a nice single with men on it was a very good at bat.

    1. Defense to not look too good there sparky! So I give the pitchers a little leeway. Howell looked down right lousy, but there was a blurb about too much warm up time, so maybe he left his stuff in the pen. Jensen is going to AAA no matter what he does with Ethier clogging the roster and nullifying any shot that guy has.

      1. Yep I agree Bear.They really need to make a trade or two. They talked about teams asking about Guererro as right handed power is hard to get out there. He would be perfect in the AL as he could DH and then play a little corner outfield and maybe 3rd. Have to get rid of Ethier and I would send Heisey down. He has not shown a good contact type swing and is not very fast. Do you thinks Santos or Tsao make it if League is on IR? And Nicasio has really not showed much at all. I would send him down contract or not.

        1. Here in lies the problem. Tsao and Santos are both non roster guys, which means for them to make the team someone needs to come off the 40 man. Now they can put League on the DL…which at this point looks likely because his shoulder is not responding so far. Peralta, Hatcher, and Howell are locks. Nicasio has looked like I expected, he has stunk. Had to throw a scoreless inning to get his ERA to 9. But he is still the front runner to be the long man. McGowan has a MLB contract, and I am pretty sure no options left. So you have the remaining roster guys, Coulumbe, Rodriguez, Baez, Liberatore, and the non roster guys Aardsma, Adams, Tsao, Santos, Gaudin and Huff vying for 2 spots. They could probably DL McGowan too since he is coming back from injuries last year. But all those guys fighting for 2 spots. You need 2 lefty’s so Paco, Huff or Liberattore should be one of those last 2. I am pretty sure they really would like Adams to be in the pen. But it is a nice problem to have. Heisey has 4 years MLB experience. He is a good fielder, which gives him a leg up on Jensen, but so so with the bat. Moving Ethier is a priority, but also a major problem with that contract and the fact that most teams think he is on his way down.

          1. Thanks for the explanation. As they probably will take a second Lefty there is one spot. I think League goes on DL. I still really like Tsao and Santos. And still do not care for Nicasio. We will see what they do. The good news is it looks like we have some good experienced live arms in the Pen. And we will have a second wave in AAA. Still not a Heisey fan good field average hit guys are not a rare commodity

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