The Dodgers opened their Cactus League schedule with a 6-4 win over the Chicago White Sox on Monday afternoon before a sparse crowd of 5,788 at Camelback Ranch. Chad Billingsley allowed one hit to the seven batters he faced, pitching two innings in an economical 21 pitches, with no walks and no strikeouts.
"My main focus the first time out there was throwing strikes," Billingsley said after he left the game. "I told A.J. Ellis to stay on the plate, that I wanted to pound the zone today."
Billingsley has worked on his mechanics during the offseason, essentially trying to make sure he lifts his leg up straight during his delivery. Billingsley said his foot would get away from him and he would drift toward the third base side.
"It felt nice and smooth the first time out there, to get good rhythm," said Billingsley, who mixed in some curves and changeups with his fastball. "It's always good to get back out there, be in a game atmosphere."
White Sox reliever Nestor Molina had the misfortune of facing several sons of major leaguers in the top of the sixth inning. Tony Gwynn Jr. singled off Molina, then stole second. Justin Sellers, son of Jeff, followed with a banana double down the right field line for the go-ahead run, then Ivan DeJesus Jr. followed with a triple down the right field line to make it 3-1. After a strikeout, Scott Van Slyke, son of Andy, made Molina wished he pitched to Jack Clark's son as Van Slyke blasted the first home run of the spring for the Dodgers, a two-run blast over the bullpen in left field.
"I just wanted to get the run in, but it was a pitch middle in, a sinker, and I just reacted to it," said Van Slyke.
All in all, four sons of major leaguers on the Dodgers hit for the cycle off Molina in the sixth inning (hat tip to Underdog for that note). Luckily for Molina, Jerry Hairston Jr. was off today.
Angel Guzman retired all four batters he faced for the win.
The Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday afternoon, with Ted Lilly scheduled to start for the Dodgers. Following Lilly on the mound for the blue crew will be Jamey Wright, Michael Antonini, Ramon Troncoso, and Josh Lindblom.
Barry Zito is scheduled to start for the Giants.
HR: Scott Van Slyke (1); Dan Johnson (1)
WP - Angel Guzman (1-0): 1 1/3 IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Nestor Molina (0-1): 1 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 5 runs, 1 strikeout