The Cleveland Indians scored in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to earn a come-from-behind 4-1 win against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were playing in their first night game of Spring Training. Cleveland finished their Cactus League matchups with the Dodgers by taking two of three.
Cody Bellinger’s towering solo home run in the second inning, his first of the year, held up until Pat Venditte surrendered a game-tying homer to Francisco Lindor in the bottom of the sixth.
Then Scott Alexander entered in the seventh inning and immediately faced trouble. Edwin Encarnacion led off with a base hit, which was followed by a walk that put two on with nobody out.
Alexander struggled with his command, allowed the Indians to take the lead on an RBI groundout, and was removed after issuing his second walk of the inning. The two walks were Alexander’s first of the spring.
Although Yaisel Sierra managed to get the Dodgers out of the seventh inning, he left the bases loaded with one out in the eighth. C.C. Lee picked up a strikeout but then gave up a two-run single before putting the fire out.
That proved somewhat costly as without it, the Dodgers put the would-be tying run on base in the ninth inning.
Although it ultimately came in a loss for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was solid in his third start of the spring. He did labor some in the first inning, allowing a one-out double to Rajai Davis. But Wood picked up a second strikeout and induced a groundout to strand Davis in scoring position.
From there it was largely smooth sailing for the left-hander. Wood induced three groundouts in the second inning and struck out two more in the third as part of a stretch where he retired eight batters in a row.
Davis broke that up with a leadoff single in the fourth, but he was promptly erased on a Jose Ramirez double play. Wood finished his final inning of work by picking up a fifth strikeout of the night.
Bellinger’s solo home run was one of just four hits the Dodgers managed. Matt Kemp had another, driving a one-out double to the right-center field gap in the fourth inning. He was stranded by Yasiel Puig and Chase Utley.
The larger point is that Kemp continues to swing the bat well and going to the opposite field was a vintage hit for the 2011 National League MVP runner-up. With each passing day it appears more and more likely that Kemp will indeed begin the season with the Dodgers.