The Dodgers began their cactus league schedule today with a 6-4 win over the White Sox at Camelback ranch at Glendale Arizona. While the Dodgers fielded a familiar lineup filled with regulars, it was the Dodger kids that led the team to victory. The Dodger rookies, (Dodger Blue the next generation TNG) sparked a five run rally in the 6th inning. The rally was highlighted by a Justin Sellers double, an Ivan De Jesus triple, and a Scott Van Slyke home run. It makes me wonder why these young kids aren’t getting more playing time.
I listened to the first three innings on the Dodgers radio. I then switched over to the White Sox feed and was able to catch the rest of the game live. Most of the Dodger regulars were in the lineup, except for Juan Uribe, who will be in the lineup tomorrow. Adam Kennedy filled in at third base and batted 7th, and Tony Gwynn Jr. was the DH batting ninth.
Chad Billingsley made his first start of the spring for the Dodgers, and the White Sox countered with Phillip Humber. Bills pitched two innings allowing only 1 hit, and facing 7 batters. Phillip Humber allowed one run before being replaced by former Dodger Will Ohman. Bills was replaced by Nathan Eovaldi who went an inning and two thirds, and struck out three allowing one run.
The Dodgers scored their first run of the spring in the second inning. Andre Ethier doubles down the right field line. Dre advances to third base on a groundball, and scores on an RBI groundout by James Loney. 1-0 Dodgers.
The score remained the same until the bottom of the fourth inning when the White Sox tied it up. Eovaldi walks Konerko and Dunn. With two on, Alexi Ramirez plates one with a groundball single to the hole at shortstop. Justin Sellers now in the game, attempts to dive but cant grab it. The game is tied at 1-1.
In the top of the 5th, the Dodgers had a run erased at the plate. Loney singles, and a double from A.J. Ellis is wasted as Loney is thrown out at the plate on a borderline TOOTBLAN. I can not confirm this but I think Loney received oxygen in the dugout.
Move to the top of the 6th. Tony Gwynn Jr. leads off and singles, and steals second. It is the first Dodger steal of the spring. Sellers plates Gwynn with an RBI double. The Dodgers take the lead back 2-1. Ivan De Jesus jr. is up next, who I still think will eventually be designated for assignment. De Jesus makes me eat my words, and triples into the gap, scoring Sellers, putting the Dodgers up 3-1.
The hit parade continued. Big rookie slugger Scott Van Slyke bombs one into left field, for the first Dodger home run of the spring! The two-run bomb gives the Dodgers a commanding 5-1 lead. This will be a nice trivia question one day. Who was the first Dodger to hit a home run during the 2012 spring? Big bad Scott Van Slyke. The Dodgers hit for the cylce in this inning. Gwynn’s single, Seller’s double, De Jesus’s triple, and Scott Van Slyke’s home run. How about that huh?
The inning still isn’t over as Alex Castellanos, the guy they got in the Furcal trade singles. Chicago makes a pitching change. Nestor Molina is taken out, and Pedro Hernandez is called in to pitch. All five runs are charged to Molina.
Big third baseman Josh Fields, doubles over the left fielder’s head, sending Castellanos to third. With Russ Mitchell at the plate, the Dodgers pull the stupid running on contact play. I normally hate this play, because it’s so risky, leading to a possible TOOTBLAN. However this time it worked for the Dodgers. Russ Mitchell hits a grounder to short. Eduardo Escobar throws home too late. Castellanos scores just ahead of the tag from Flowers. 6-1 Dodgers.
In the bottom of the 7th, the White Sox get one back. With Fernando Nieve on the mound for the Dodgers, Jarred Mitchell doubles, moves to third base on a wild pitch, and scores on a lilibridge groundball. 6-2 Dodgers.
Move to the bottom of the 9th. With the Dodgers leading 6-2, Ryan Tucker was called in to pitch. He looked awful, and I sensed an impending meltdown. However he was able to get out of it, and the Dodgers secured their first win of the spring. Meltdowns are meltdowns remember, doesn’t matter whether its spring or not.
Jim Gallagher walks. He takes second on defensive indifference. Dan Johnson last season’s hero for Tampa Bay, slugs a home run deep into the right field bleachers, and the pale hose have cut the Dodgers lead to 6-4. I sense a meltdown. Rick Honeycutt has to make a trip to the mound to calm down Tucker. Somewhere in Kansas City Jonathon Broxton’s ears are burning.
He settles down though. Escobar grounds out. Mitchell whiffs, and after Lillibridge singles, the last is made. Osvaldo Martinez flies out to Castellanos to end the game. The Dodgers hold on to win their first game of the spring over the White Sox 6-4.
While the kids supplied the offense in the 6th inning, the Dodger pitching was very good today, Tucker’s near meltdown not withstanding.
Chad Billingsley, Angel Guzman, Wil Ledezma, and local boy Simi Valley native Scott Rice all pitched scoreless frames for the Dodgers. Angel Guzman picked up the win, and Nestor Molina took the loss. 5,788 fans were on hand to see the Dodgers pick up their first win of the year.
Scott Van Slyke led the Dodger kiddies today with a big two-run home run. Sellers, De Jesus, and Castellanos also all get game balls. Several Dodger pitchers looked pretty sharp today including Bills. All in all a good day of Dodger Baseball. It was so wonderful seeing the Dodgers back in action. My heart truly filled with joy. Fire up the I love LA song! The Dodgers are back!
Join us tomorrow for another game recap. The Dodgers will play our hated rivals from the north the Giants for the first time tomorrow at 1205PM. Tomorrow’s game will be televised on Prime Ticket. Ted Lilly will go to the mound for the Dodgers, while the Giants will counter with Barry Zito. Good start to the year is it not? Don’t stop believin’ Dodger fans. Go Blue