Spring training stats don't mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things, unless of course your team is the one hitting bombs all day. The Dodgers broke out the lumber today in Phoenix, hitting four home runs to defeat the Milwaukee Brewers 7-1 at Maryvale Stadium. Tony Gwynn led off the game with a home run off old friend Takashi Saito, and the Dodgers followed his lead the rest of the way.
Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Aaron Miles (he of the 16 career home runs) all went deep, and the Dodgers had four doubles as well. Fellow 25th man candidates Ivan DeJesus and Justin Sellers each hit two-baggers. Sellers and Jerry Sands did double duty today, as both played in the B game this morning against the Mariners as well. Sands walked in his only plate appearance against the Brewers.
Today was the first game in the field for Jay Gibbons, who started in left field. Gibbons, who provided some adventurous efforts in left field last season in his short Dodger tenure, was in left again today in the third inning when Wil Nieves hit a drive to left center field. But, since this game was not televised anywhere, we didn't know exactly where the ball was hit, and were treated to this play call from Brewers' announcer Brian Anderson: "Back is Gibbons, this is gonna be…caught by Kemp!"
What sounded like a ball to left field was actually left center, and Kemp made a sweet play. Add that play to Kemp's booming opposite field home run -- someone in the press box was overheard saying of Kemp's blast, "that just sounded big" -- and The Bison had a good day.
John Ely started for the Dodgers, and pitched well again, allowing one hit in his three innings of work, striking out two. Ely has pitched six innings this spring, and has no walks and seven strikeouts. Ron Mahay gave up the only Brewers' run, a towering shot to centerfield by Prince Fielder.
Aside from all the home runs today, there were some fireworks as well at the end of the sixth inning. Roman Colon struck out Casey McGehee to end the inning and, according to the Brewers' radio broadcast, McGehee took exception to Colon's demonstration on the mound after the inning-ending K. Both Colon and McGehee began jawing back and forth with one another, then both benches joined in and briefly emptied, but like in most cases, nothing really happened.
Tomorrow, the game is televised, which means we will be able to see the scheduled spring debut of Hong-Chih Kuo. James Loney, out since Sunday with a swollen left knee, is also expected to play tomorrow, against Seattle at Camelback Ranch.