Los Angeles came right out of the blocks against Chicago and Sale, scoring 2 runs in the first inning.
Yasiel Puig led off for LA and managed his way onto first with an error by pitcher Sale who couldn’t hold on to an underarm pop by the first baseman Jose Abreu. Justin Turner when blooped one to shallow right to have 1st and 2nd with no outs. SVS got plunked with a ball on the shin and the bases were loaded as a hard swinging Juan Uribe came p and only scored one on a sac fly with Puig sprinting home.
Catcher AJ Ellis walked on 4 pitches and 2nd baseman Alex Guerrero got hit again to score another and it was 2-0 Dodgers as Pederson grounded into a double play. LA scored two on one hit.
Joc Pederson was in the spotlight to start the bottom of the first as Clayton Kershaw took the mound (0-2 so far in spring). Kershaw threw a ball straight down the middle and Adam Eaton smacked it to deep centre which Joc completely miss read and it went over his head for an inside the park home run.
Semien doubled off another fastball and Abreu grounded out to move him to third that allowed Garcia to single and score Semien and tie the game at 2 with one out and a man on first.
The first half of the Dodgers’ double header was played earlier with the Padres going down 5-4 in a tight one. Julio Urias pitched for LA and went only one inning with 2K’s but the 17-year-old starting pitcher has big plans to be pitching in the bigs by the seasons end.
Dee Gordon played second base and went 2-3 with a run, an RBI and his 9th stolen base for the spring. He is my pick for opening day at second base.
We are also still unsure of who will pitch against Kershaw and Hyun Jin Ryu in Australia with Patrick Corbin going 6.1IP and leaving with a arm tightness after 91 pitches.
Sale lasted 4.1 innings, gave up 1ER, 2H and recorded 5Ks. Former Dodger Ronald Belisario replaced him. Beli gave up a walk straight away and then conceded a run when Uribe hit one to short which was thrown to second base and then the throw from the second baseman came off Van Slyke’s head and it bobbled into right field to score Justin Turner.
The score was then 3-2 Dodgers after 5 with Kersh going strong having thrown 58 pitches.
For the sixth inning the White Sox used their second recruit in the offseason in Scott Downs.
LA extended their lead out to 4-2 with a Chone Figgins sac fly off Downs to score Guerrero who singled to start the inning.
The 6th provided more entertainment when Kershaw left a slider up too high for Garcia to smack over the center field fence for a 3 run shot to score him self, Semien and Abreu.
Clayton gave up one more hit as he left after 5.2IP with 8H, 5ER and 5Ks. He also got the loss and went to 0-3 for the spring. There only seem to be slight issues with some of his pitches like his positioning on the high fastball and the odd curveball up in the zone that hangs. He looks ready for Australia however.
Jamey Wright came in to try and get one out on the 6th and not let the runner on first score. His first play in the game was a throwing error to the first baseman on a pickoff attempt. He managed to induce a ground ball to the next batsmen and the 6th was done with the White Sox up 5-4.
The Dodgers threatened in the bottom of the 7th with men on the corners with 2 outs but Papi, swinging out of his shoes as usual, couldn’t capitalize on any pitches.
It was the battle of the minor leagues starting from the bottom of the 7th inning with most of the Dodgers line up not playing in the bigs, except for the pitcher Brian Wilson and yes he did start out with his knuckleball. And also the catcher AJ Ellis definitely plays bigs.
Wow didn’t Brian Wilson look good; a perfect 1-2-3 inning with one strikeout and his knuckleball looked amazing fooling all 3 batters when he threw it.
Again in the 8th the Dodgers had men on first and second with no body out but failed to tie the game with a Joc Pederson backwards K and a double play from Chone Figgins. Today just wasn’t Joc’s day with an error that lead to a run and 1-4 with that K.
Nothing else happened for the next 2 half innings with the Dodgers going quietly in the 9th and losing this one 4-5.
Rojas upped his average for ST today to .462 going 12-26 with a hit today. Turner is 10-30 and batting .333 and going 2-3 today with 2 runs. Alex Guerrero is making his claim for the starting 2B role with 9-29 and .310.
Some other news coming out today was that left fielder Carl Crawford is not going to travel with the team to Australia, as he will attend the birth of his child.