Freeway Series Preview: Rich Hill Looks To Shake The Rust Off
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ending on a high note isn’t always a necessity, but for Rich Hill, it seems like it’d be a confidence booster. The 37-year-old lefty takes on Garrett Richards and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight in the penultimate Freeway Series and Spring Training contest.

Hill, who also struggled mightily last spring, has not pitched well thus far. In five starts he’s surrendered nearly a run an inning and walked more (14) than he’s struck out (13). Now, this could be taken as a harbinger of doom, before you realize that Hill posted an even worse ERA (11.25) and walk rate (15 in 12 innings) last spring with the Oakland Athletics.

Like was the case with Clayton Kershaw and Kenta Maeda, Hill’s final start of the spring will be a short outing. He’ll look to do his part in helping the Los Angeles Dodgers get their first spring win in Anaheim since 2003. The Dodgers are 0-14-2 during the winless stretch.

Richards made just six starts last year due to a tear in his UCL. He didn’t undergo Tommy John surgery, instead opting for stem cell treatment. Richards has made three starts this spring, posting a 6.48 ERA on his way to leading the Angels’ shaky rotation.

It was something of a surprise that Kiké Hernandez made the roster over Chris Taylor based on Taylor’s strong spring, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that was because Hernandez has the ability to play center field.

Hernandez is in the lineup a second consecutive game at shortstop. Corey Seager is expected to return Saturday in the Freeway Series finale.

Logan Forsythe slides over to third base, which puts Chase Utley starting at second base. Justin Turner bats third and is the Dodgers’ designated hitter.

Dodgers lineup:

3B: Logan Forsythe
LF: Andrew Toles
DH: Justin Turner
1B: Adrian Gonzalez
C: Yasmani Grandal
CF: Joc Pederson
2B: Chase Utley
RF: Yasiel Puig
SS: Kiké Hernandez

Angels lineup:

3B: Yunel Escobar
RF: Kole Calhoun
CF: Mike Trout
DH: Albert Pujols
1B: Jefry Marte
LF: Cameron Maybin
2B: Danny Espinosa
SS: Cliff Pennington
C: Martin Maldonado