The Los Angeles Dodgers opened Cactus League play with a 2-1 win over the Oakland Athletics at HohoKam Stadium. The game was shortened to seven innings due to consideration of both pitching staffs.
The Dodgers lineup featured several everyday players, namely Mookie Betts and Corey Seager at the top. It’s what manager Dave Roberts anticipates holding true during the regular season, with the duo to be followed by Justin Turner.
Betts was hitless in xx at-bats, but Corey Seager’s RBI single with two outs in the third inning broke up a scoreless tie. The table had been set by Zach McKinstry leading off with a base hit and DJ Peters working a walk. Betts’ fly out to right field advanced both runners.
McKinstry is looking to earn a spot on the Dodgers’ Opening Day roster in the utility role Kiké Hernandez once filled.
Non-roster invitee Mike Kickham went his scheduled two innings, allowing one hit, issuing a walk and collecting a strikeout. While Oakland put a runner on in each of his two innings, Kickham benefitted from a double play both times.
He was followed by Edwin Uceta, who started the third with a strikeout and ended it on a double play after giving up a single. Dennis Santana was effective in his lone inning of work, but Garrett Cleavinger struggled in his Dodgers debut and was hurt by a tight strike zone.
He began the bottom of the fifth with a walk and compounded that by hitting the next batter. After an error loaded the bases, the umpires ruled Jacob Amaya didn’t touch second base on what would have been yet another inning-ending double play. Instead, the RBI groundout tied the game.
Sheldon Neuse made a backhanded catch at third base to strand the bases loaded and end a 30-pitch inning for Cleavinger.
Down to their final out of the game, Matt Davidson hit a go-ahead home run to left field. It not only gave the Dodgers a decided lead, but it was their first hit since the third inning.
Bauer making Dodgers debut
Next for Dodgers is a matchup with the Colorado Rockies at Camelback Ranch, which will be started by Trevor Bauer. Walker Buehler is the probable for Tuesday’s game against the San Francisco Giants.
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