The Los Angeles Dodgers took a break from their traditional Cactus League schedule on Sunday for an exhibition matchup with 2017 World Baseball Classic semifinalist Team Japan. Although it was Rich Hill’s turn in the rotation, he instead pitched in a Minor League game, and was replaced by Trevor Oaks to face Japan.
The start was Oaks’ first of the spring, but it made little difference as the right-hander continued to pitch to impressive results. He retired the side in order in the first inning and worked around a leadoff double in the second to complete two scoreless frames.
Franklin Gutierrez’s one-out single in the bottom of the second inning was good for the Dodgers’ first hit of the afternoon off Shota Takeda. However, it didn’t amount to anything as he was stranded by WBC participants Rob Segedin and Ike Davis.
Oaks allowed a one-out base hit in the third inning, which was wiped out when Yasmani Grandal picked off Ginjiro Sumitani at first base. Tetsuto Yamada was stranded after reaching on an infield single to Chris Taylor.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the bottom of the third behind singles from Brett Eibner and Andrew Toles, and a Logan Forsythe walk. But Takeda worked out of the jam by retiring Grandal and Adrian Gonzalez, keeping the game scoreless.
Oaks exited with two outs in the fourth and responsible for the runner on first base. Grant Dayton promptly ended the inning, and Oaks’ streak of not allowing an earned run this spring was extended. He finished the afternoon with 3.2 scoreless innings, four hits allowed and two strikeouts.
Gutierrez led off the bottom of the fourth inning with a single to left field, soon after moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, and scored on Segedin’s base hit. Dayton fought command issues in the fifth, issuing a pair of walks and throwing two wild pitches.
The end results was runners on the corners with none out, which allowed Japan to tie the game on an RBI groundout. Brandon Morrow replaced Dayton, allowed a single but got out of the inning without allowing run.
Shogo Akiyama made a lunging catch to rob Grandal of an extra-base hit and potential RBI, and Gonzalez struck out swinging to end the fifth, stranding Forsythe at first base after he drew a walk. Morrow allowed a leadoff double to Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh, who then stole third base with none out in the sixth.
Sho Nakata’s RBI single gave Japan a 2-1 lead. After collecting his second strikeout in 1.1 innings, Morrow gave way to Colt Hynes. Cody Bellinger’s infield single in the bottom of the sixth was nullified as Segedin followed by grounding into a double play.
Mitchell White, selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2016 Draft, made his Spring Training debut in the seventh inning. He allowed a leadoff single but struck out a pair in a scoreless frame of work.
O’Koyea Dickson was stranded after hitting his second ground-rule double in as many games. White remained in the game in the eighth and collected a third strikeout en route to setting Team Japan down in order.
Willie Calhoun and Omar Estevez both walked in the ninth, which set the stage for Dickson’s two-run, walk-off double. The Dodgers’ 3-2 victory handed Japan their first loss, albeit an unofficial one, in seven games since the 2017 World Baseball Classic began.