Dodgers Notes: Kuroda Fine Tuning, Elbert Improving, & The Growing Legend Of Hector Gimenez

How many of these players will make the opening day roster? The over/under is 0.5.

The Dodgers and Brewers played 10 innings today at Camelback Ranch, but that was not enough to decide a winner, as the two teams tied 6-6. The Dodgers rallied for three runs in the eighth and one more in the ninth to send the game into extra innings.

The Dodgers nearly won the game in the ninth inning on a base hit by Eugenio Velez. But Chris Dickerson patiently unloaded a magnificent throw to home plate to nail Juan Castro, who was trying to score from second base. Castro tied the game earlier in the inning with a two-out RBI single.

Hiroki Kuroda threw 83 pitches in 5 2/3 innings. He allowed three runs on nine hits, many of the seeing eye variety. Kuroda left the game after reaching his planned pitch limit having allowed one run, but Ramon Troncoso allowed both inherited runners to score, plus one of his own.

Scott Elbert had his best outing of the spring, retiring all three batters he faced in the eighth inning. He struck out the first hitter, minor league outfielder Reggie Keen, then retired the next two batters on a flyout and popout. Elbert has been working with pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, trying to get the southpaw to slow down mechanically. Manager Don Mattingly was pleased with Elbert's last two outings, saying "If he's around the plate, he's going to get people out."

Notes

  • As expected, Rafael Furcal left the game after three innings in the field and Juan Uribe departed after four innings. Both players will get the day off tomorrow as well. The Dodgers have split squad games this week on both Monday and Friday.
  • Uribe was originally written into the lineup at third base, with Aaron Miles at second, but Mattingly decided to switch their positions, giving Uribe more time to work with Furcal up the middle, since he has played most of the last week at the hot corner.
  • Hector Gimenez hit right-handed in this first three plate appearances, then hit an RBI double batting left-handed off of Mike McClendon in the eighth inning. Gimenez then walked in the 10th inning, and added to his growing legend by stealing a base. He was stranded on base as the game ended in a tie. In his last seven plate appearances batting lefty, Gimenez has two doubles, three home runs, and a walk.
  • Both Jamey Carroll and Dioner Navarro played in minor league games today, as the rules are more lax in those games to allow for lineup manipulation. Carroll went 1-for-4 with a walk, a run scored, and two strikeouts, while Navarro went 1-for-4 and was hit by a pitch.
  • Aaron Miles made a nice diving stop at third base today, but the defensive star of the game was Dickerson of the Brewers. Not only did he throw out Castro at the plate to prevent the winning run from scoring in the ninth, but he also made a tremendous running catch in the 10th, crashing into the wall as he robbed Jay Gibbons of at least a leadoff double.
  • Casey Blake hit off a tee, played catch, and ran on the aquatred today in a day of rehab while waiting for the inflammation in his lower back to subside, wrote Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

John Ely gets the start on Sunday against the White Sox, which will technically be a road game even though it is at Camelback Ranch. Ely is expected to be followed on the mound by Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal.

Box Score

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