The Los Angeles Dodgers had looked nearly flawless through about a week of spring training games, as if they were saving all their struggles for the fifth-inning of Monday’s 5-5 tie against the San Francisco Giants.
Brandon League began the fifth-inning on the mound for the Dodgers, and he’d retire just one of the six batters he faced. Adam Duval of the Giants led off the inning with a single off the glove of Juan Uribe, a play usually made by the veteran third baseman. The next batter, Matt Duffy hit a ground ball down the third base line for a chance at a 5-4-3 double play, except Howie Kendrick’s throw was off line to first base, advancing the runner to second on the error. The struggles continued when League hit the next batter, Gregor Blanco with a breaking ball.
The Giants would capitalize with consecutive singles from Brandon Hicks and Jarrett Parker to tie the game 2-2. League’s day was over after walking Angel Pagan to load the bases with one out. The ball handed over to reliever Carlos Frias had to be toxic, as no time was wasted before he threw a wild pitch to give the Giants a 3-2 lead. (One of many balls that catcher Yasmani Grandal misplayed on Monday). San Francisco knocked in two more runs before the disastrous inning was finally over and jumped ahead to a 5-2 lead, with all runs granted to League.
Aside from the fifth-inning, the Dodgers played a plausible game before and after the storm.
Brett Anderson made his Dodgers debut as the starter on Monday, his first live game action since Aug. 5, 2014. He impressed by inducing five ground ball outs, allowing one hit with one strikeout in his two innings of work. Erik Bedard relieved Anderson with two scoreless innings of his own. Although he’d get some help from left fielder Andre Ethier, who made a perfect throw to home plate to get the runner tagging up from third base, for the final out of the third inning.
Yasiel Puig made his first big splash of the spring, when he sent a Ryan Vogelsong breaking ball over the left-center field wall in the fourth inning, giving the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead. Jimmy Rollins also made his presence known going 2-for-3 with a double and a triple as the Dodgers lead-off hitter.
The Dodgers clawed back into the game in the seventh inning with an RBI double by Kendrick and an RBI single from Ethier to make it a 5-4 deficit. It was Sunday’s hero Corey Seager who doubled with one out in the eighth inning, and then scored on Scott Van Slyke’s single to tie the game 5-5. And that’s enough to call it a day in spring training.
News & Notes;
- RHP Chris Hatcher, RHP Yimi Garcia and LHP Mike Thomas each tossed scoreless innings for the Dodgers on Monday.
- Clayton Kershaw will make his second spring start on Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies.