Castellanos Saves The Dodger’s Bacon With Go-Ahead Two-Run Bomb
By Scott Andes
While several Dodgers like Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz, Hanley Ramirez, and Ronald Belisario were busy playing for their respective countries in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday afternoon, (well technically Cochito was punching for his team, but that’s a story for later. Stacie will have the details on the big brouhaha later) the rest of the Dodgers were battling the Seattle Mariners at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona. The Dodgers were down by a run 2-1, in the bottom of the seventh. In that frame, Yasiel Puig beat out an infield single, and then Alex Castellanos who is having a great spring, blasted his third home run of the exhibition season into the Dodger bullpen. His two-run shot proved to be the game winner for the Boys in Blue.
The game featured a duel between the big Show Aaron Harang, and old friend and former Dodger Jon Garland. Garland is trying to make the roster and return to the majors for the first time since 2011. If you remember, Garland completely blew out his arm and had to have total reconstructive surgery on his shoulder.
Alex Castellanos hit another home run for the Blue-Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Garland actually pitched well, and looks to be recovering nicely from his past surgery. Garland gave up one run on two hits through three innings, and walked one. Harang pitched well also, as scouts from opposing teams were in the stands to watch. Harang who is rumored to be on the trading block because of the Dodger’s excess surplus of starting pitchers, pitched three frames. He allowed two runs on six hits, whiffed two, and walked two, and wasn’t involved in the decision.
Most of the scoring was done in the second frame, with the Mariners getting on the board first. Seattle used four consecutive singles from Dustin Ackley, Jesus Sucre, Brendan Ryan, and Franklin Gutierrez plated both runs. Gutierrez’s hit scored two, and gave the Mariners an early 2-0 lead. Kyle Seager, brother of Cory, grounded into an inning ending double play, which eventually saved the Dodger’s bacon.
The Dodgers were able to bring home a run in the bottom half of that frame. Andre Ethier led off the inning with a double. Jerry Hairston’s grounder advanced Dre to third base. Tony Gwynn Jr.’s grounder scored Dre, to cut the Seattle lead to 2-1.
The game remained that way until the bottom of the seventh. Once again, Alex Castellanos would lead the Dodgers to victory with another clutch cactus league hit. In the frame, with Yoervis Medina on the mound, Yasiel Puig legged out an infield single. Castellanos then bombed one into the Dodger bullpen to give the Dodgers the lead 3-2. The Dodgers only had seven hits on the day. The only Dodger to have two hits was Justin Sellers. But Castellanos had the big hit.
Paco Rodriguez used his own Paco Power to retire the Mariners in the top of the ninth, and close out the game. The Dodgers used six pitchers following Harang, while Seattle used five. The Dodgers used Shawn Tolleson, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League, J.P. Howell, Kevin Gregg, and Paco.
Tomorrow the Dodgers will travel to Talking Stick field to play the Colorado Rockies in a road game at 12:05 P.M. When the Dodgers travel to Talking Stick, they are expected to have Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz, and Ronald Belisario back on the roster. Both of their respective teams were knocked out of the World Baseball Classic on Saturday. Tomorrow will feature the first game the Dodgers will not use the DH. Clayton Kershaw is expected to take the mound for the Dodgers tomorrow. Javy Guerra, Matt Guerrier, Juan Abreu, Mark Lowe, and Peter Moylan will follow Kershaw on the mound. Colorado will counter with lefty Jeff Francis.