The Dodgers came from behind to force a tie with the Seattle Mariners, in Peoria, Arizona today, in the first of their two split squad games. During the game the Dodgers had taken the lead 2-1, until Ronald Belisario choked away the lead in his worst outing of the spring. After falling behind 5-2, the Dodgers came back scoring three runs in the 8th inning, highlighted by a Josh Fields two-run single, to force their second tie of the spring.
Nathan Eovaldi pitched three scoreless frames, and his opposing starter Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma, pitched four innings allowing two runs, off four hits, while whiffing two. Eovaldi was followed by non-roster Jamey Wright, Ronald Belisario, who allowed three earned runs in his one inning of work. He was followed by Ramon Troncoso, Matt Chico, and Josh Wall.
Backup catcher Matt Treanor hit a solo home run in the third inning, to get the Dodgers on the board. In the top of the 8th inning, that saw the Dodgers score three runs to tie it up, began with consecutive singles from Luis Cruz, Matt Angle, and Trent Oeltjen, to bring in a run, making it 5-3. After Russ Mitchell, whiffs, and Jeff Baisley grounds out, Scott Van Slyke was hit by a pitch to the load the bases. After a Seattle coaching visit, Big bad Josh Fields, singles in two runs, to bring the Dodgers even. Fields was 2 for 4 in the game with two RBI, and will recieve the game ball. All three 8th inning runs were charged to Jeff Marquez. The Dodgers now are 3-1-2 in Cactus League play, and have another game tonight against the Chicago White Sox. Chad Billingsley will take the mound in the night cap.
A few other news and notes to tell you about. Andre Ethier was a late scratch from the Dodger lineup today because of mild back stiffness. He had tweaked his back during the very beginning of spring, by lifting some boxes before coming to spring training. This time he did it during batting practice. Apparently the Dodgers are going to have him checked out tomorrow just to be sure. It isn’t expected to be serious, and Ethier was already scheduled for a day off tomorrow anyways. Let’s hope Dre is ok, he has been tearing it up thus far in spring. Ethier is 5 for 8 this spring, with a home run, a triple, and 4 RBI.
There is no set timetable for the return of Blake Hawskworth. Of coarse this is good news for guys like Jamey Wright, Josh Lindblom, John Grabow, and some of the other relievers all competing for that last spot in the bullpen. Hawksworth originally had surgery back in January, but suffered a setback after when he got a post surgical infection, and had to have another procedure to repair the damage. Hawksworth was playing catch, but is still not able to throw off of a mound yet.
In other injury related news, although you can file this under minor news. Justin Sellers was hit in the head by a ball during the game today, and had to be removed, and checked out by the medical team. Apparently he was running the bases, and was struck by a Mark Ellis chopper. He was hit on the right side of the chin, and remained in the game for another inning, before complaining of a headache. Sellers was cleared and sent home. The injury isn’t expected to be serious.
The second game today is scheduled to start at 605, and is on radio only. Tomorrow’s game is televised on Prime Ticket, game time of 1205 against the Cubs. Ted Lilly will take the mound for the Dodgers, and Matt Garza will counter for Chicago. Go Blue. (Note:The game has already started)