Walker Buehler made his 2020 Spring Training debut on Saturday but it was overshadowed by the Los Angeles Dodgers erupting at Salt River Fields for a 14-2 win over the Colorado Rockies to complete a split-squad sweep.
The Dodgers’ traveling roster was propelled by a slew of extra-base hits, including four home runs. The first was courtesy of Zach Reks, giving the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
That remained the score until the team batted around — and them some — in an 11-run fifth. Cody Thomas provided some breathing room with a solo blast and clubbed a two-run homer later in the inning.
Thomas leads the Dodgers with four home runs this spring and he took one away from the Chicago White Sox with an impressive catch.
The fifth also saw Kiké Hernandez deliver a two-run double, Cody Bellinger plate a run on a groundout, Austin Barnes hit a three-run homer, Zach McKinstry hit an RBI sun double and Jacob Amaya capped off the outburst with an RBI single.
Jeren Kendall added a two-run triple in the seventh inning for good measure.
On the pitching front, Buehler touched 96 mph with his fastball and collected two strikeouts as he retired all six batters faced. The Dodgers allowed Buehler to dictate his progression this spring, which up until Saturday consisted of multiple rounds of live batting practice.
Buehler also adjusted his offseason routine as he continued throwing through the entire winter after soliciting advice from Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
Buehler’s scoreless effort was backed by Joe Kelly, who worked around a one-out triple in the third inning. Kelly stranded Elias Diaz by inducing a groundout and getting David Dahl swinging.
Brusdar Graterol also made his Spring Training debut, flirting with triple digits on his fastball as he retired Trevor Story, Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado in order in the fourth inning.
The Rockies’ two runs came in the eighth off Josh Sborz.
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