The Dodgers staged a five-run rally in the eighth inning to defeat the Chicago White Sox Sunday at Camelback Ranch. The big blows came off the bats of Corey Smith, the soon-to-be 29-year old infielder who smacked a game-tying three-run home run off Josh Kinney, and Jaime Pedroza, who hit a two-run shot off Kinney for the winning margin. The home runs by Smith and Pedroza were part of three consecutive hits by players from minor league camp. Wilberto Ortiz got the other hit, and those three wore uniform numbers 96, 91, and 89 today.
As far as the players in major league camp, both Jonathan Broxton and Hong-Chih Kuo pitched well today, each retiring the side in order with one strikeout. Both manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said they were pleased with Broxton and Kuo today, and in their last few performances. Aside from performance though, the Dodgers just want good health. "All we care about Kuo is being healthy," Honeycutt said.
As a precaution to protect an arm that has undergone four different surgeries in his career, Kuo won't pitch in back-to-back games in the spring. In fact, he likely won't pitch back-to-back in April or even May if Honeycutt has his way. Kuo pitched in back-to-back games four times last season, though in two of those efforts he faced just one batter on the second day (he faced two and four batters in the other two second-day outings).
Broxton and Mike MacDougal will pitch in back-to-back games, as both are scheduled to pitch tomorrow after pitching today. Broxton is scheduled to pitch at Camelback Ranch in the day game Monday against Oakland. MacDougal, who pitched a scoreless ninth inning for the save today, is scheduled to pitch tomorrow night at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick against Arizona.
Matt Guerrier was originally scheduled to pitch on back-to-back days, but he threw too many pitches in his outing today so his Monday outing was scratched. Guerrier gave up two home runs and four runs in his one inning today. "He's not really a guy I worry about," Mattingly said. "I know he's a guy who can throw the ball where he wants and get in counts that he likes." Guerrier has allowed seven runs (six earned) and 12 hits, including three home runs, in the Cactus League.
- John Ely allowed three runs on four hits in the first inning today, but really settled down after that, retiring 12 of the final 14 batters he faced, five by strikeout. On the spring, Ely has struck out 15 batters and walked none in his 15 innings of work.
Matt Kemp hit his fourth home run of the spring, a no-doubter over the bullpen in left field in the sixth inning.
- Mattingly plans to manage both Dodger games on Monday.
- If the night game in Scottsdale doesn't get rained out, here are the position players scheduled to make the trip: Dioner Navarro, Hector Gimenez, Jamey Carroll, Ivan DeJesus, Jr., Aaron Miles, James Loney, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and Jay Gibbons
- The pitchers traveling to Talking Stick tomorrow night: Tim Redding (starter), MacDougal, Kenley Jansen, Blake Hawksworth, Ron Mahay, Travis Schlichting, and Lance Cormier
- Old friend Juan Pierre had a triple, two singles, two stolen bases, and scored two runs for the White Sox