Justin Turner was perfect at the plate and Ross Stripling was working on a shutout but the Los Angeles Dodgers suffered a 3-1 loss to the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium.
Stripling turned in another strong performance as he scattered five hits over 4.2 shutout innings. Stripling’s start was all the more encouraging should he be temporarily needed in the rotation come Opening Day.
While the Rangers put runners on the corners with consecutive singles in the first inning, Stripling escaped the jam by inducing a double play. He allowed two-out singles in each the third and fourth inning but nothing came of either.
Through the fourth inning he had first-pitch strikes on 14 of 15 batters faced. He started the fifth with strike but some of his efficiency fell off. A leadoff single was followed by a walk and fielder’s choice, leaving two runners in scoring position.
Shin-Soo Choo’s sacrifice fly broke the scoreless tie and marked the end of the road for Stripling. Donnie Hart allowed an RBI single to Rougned Odor before ending the fifth. Thus, the book closed on Stripling at two runs allowed on five hits, to go with one walk and four strikeouts.
Unfortunately for Stripling, the Dodgers failed to back him with any run support. They left the bases loaded in the first inning, stranded Max Muncy in the second, left Kiké Hernandez on in the third, and Daniel Castro and Turner in the fifth.
Turner represented the bulk of the Dodgers’ offense, going 3-for-3 with a team-leading fifth double. He raised his Spring Training batting average to .483 in the process.
It wasn’t until Brad Miller’s solo home run in the seventh inning that the Dodgers managed to get on the board. They threatened to tie the game or take a lead but again left the bases loaded.