Carl Crawford makes strides with bat, arm; Josh Beckett has trouble with curve

Eric Stephen | True Blue LA

The Dodgers left fielder homered and made several throws in Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Athletics, during which Beckett was roughed up for the first time all spring.

Carl Crawford had his first real full baseball game experience of the spring on Sunday, getting involved in both halves of the five innings he played as the Dodgers lost 7-4 to the Athletics in Phoenix.

Crawford had two hits and scored two runs in his three at-bats, including his first home run of the spring. But he was also involved in several plays in left field.

"For Carl, it was a matter of timing. But the good thing for us was the three throws," said manager Don Mattingly. "To see him not too much in a hurry on that last one, kind of one of those where there could be a play but he knew better."

One of Crawford's throws looked particularly bad, during Oakland's five-run third inning, when a runner scored from second base on a single to left field and Crawford appeared to miss the cutoff man. But the throw itself wasn't bad, and was in fact the right play, to not try for the small chance at the out at home, and Mattingly said shortstop Luis Cruz needed to move to get that throw.

That throw didn't prove costly at all, and more importantly for Crawford and the Dodgers he is able to throw without pain and, as Mattingly noted, with something on the throws.

"I had caught for him out there before Stan (Conte, director of medical services) was bringing him back, and the ball had carry on it," Mattingly said. "The ball was coming through me, and that was 10 days ago. I knew if that was the worst it was, we were going to be okay."

Crawford is slated to play left field in each of the next two games as well, and will get Wednesday off.

That five-run rally came off Josh Beckett, who had his first bad outing of the spring. Beckett allowed seven runs in four innings, including two home runs allowed. The A's were able to get Beckett's timing down rather easily.

"He just couldn't get a breaking ball over. He said all day he didn't have a feel for the curve ball. It's a pretty big weapon for him because he can slow guys down," Mattingly said. "Usually he can flip it up there whenever he wants."

Up next for Beckett will be an abbreviated start on Friday night at Dodger Stadium, in the second game of the Freeway Series against the Angels.

Notes

  • Yasiel Puig did the impossible on Sunday. He came to the plate twice and made two outs, the first time he made more than one out in a game since Mar. 16. Puig, who did draw a pair of three-ball counts, saw his batting average plummet to .527.
  • Andre Ethier hit one over the wall in right field off A.J. Griffin in the first inning for his first home run of the spring.
  • Kevin Gregg, Paco Rodgriguez, and Josh Wall, all candidates for a bullpen spot, each pitched a scoreless frame on Sunday. Rodriguez, who has nine strikeouts in 10 innings, walked his first batter of the spring. The trio has combined for 25 strikeouts and three walks in Cactus League play.
  • Adrian Gonzalez, who was scratched from Sunday's lineup after getting hit on the right forearm by a pitch on Saturday, took batting practice on Sunday and is expected to play Monday.
  • Juan Uribe, scratched Saturday with tightness in his right hamstring, also took batting practice on Sunday.

Up next

Zack Greinke gets the call as the Dodgers head to Surprise to face Wade Davis and the Royals for the second time in six days on Monday night. Chris Capuano will start in a minor league game in the afternoon at Camelback Ranch.

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