The annual exhibition Freeway Series shifts to Dodger Stadium after the Los Angeles Dodgers claimed victory in the opener, defeating the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim by a final score of 4-2.
Yasiel Puig, who was penciled into the three spot in the batting lineup, was one of two Dodgers players to hit a home run. That could be a common theme in the early going, as manager Dave Roberts will provide him an opportunity to stay there in the absence of Justin Turner.
Making his final tuneup start before the regular season is Rich Hill, who floundered in his final Cactus League start outing the Kansas City Royals. He recorded just one out, yielding seven hits and six earned runs in the contest.
Hill pitched in a Minor League game at Camelback Ranch, which he said went well. Prior to his poor performance against the Royals, Hill allowed just two earned runs in his first seven innings of Spring Training play.
All-in-all, he posted an 8.59 ERA and 1.23 WHIP with nine strikeouts and no walks across 7.1 frames in Cactus League games.
Before the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said that the plan for Hill is to go five or six innings to continue to build up his pitch count. “Depending on how efficient he is will determine if he gets into the sixth inning, but yeah five or six innings is something we’re hoping for.”
The Angels counter with Matt Shoemaker, who struggled for the better part of his Cactus League campaign. In 13.1 innings, the right-hander pitched to a 7.43 ERA and 1.50 WHIP while opposing batters hit .309 against him.
Shoemaker, however, is coming off his most efficient start of the spring against the Cleveland Indians. He logged five innings pitched and gave up just three baserunners and one run, while accumulating seven strikeouts on the day.
The Dodgers are allowing Hill to bat for himself, while the Angels are utilizing a designated hitter in Shohei Ohtani. Roberts discussed why they opted not to use a designated hitter even though the Angels are using one. “I think Rich would probably be fine either way, but I think for us and for him when he makes his first start to have some at-bats under his belt it will be good.”
Yasiel Puig is again batting third, which may become a regular occurrence while Justin Turner recovers from his fractured wrist.
CF: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
RF: Yasiel Puig
1B: Cody Bellinger
LF: Matt Kemp
C: Austin Barnes
3B: Logan Forsythe
2B: Kiké Hernandez
P: Rich Hill
2B: Zack Cozart
CF: Mike Trout
LF: Justin Upton
1B: Albert Pujols
SS: Andrelton Simmons
RF: Kole Calhoun
C: Rene Rivera
DH: Shohei Ohtani
3B: Jefry Marte