Though the Dodgers dropped their second straight game to the Giants on Wednesday night, Josh Beckett was able to continue the team's streak of quality starts to open the season. Beckett allowed the requisite three earned runs in six innings, giving the Dodgers three quality starts in their first three games for the first time since the 1994 season.
But it was the two unearned runs that proved to be the difference in the game, scored on a two-run home run by Pablo Sandoval in the four-run third inning.
"I thought Josh was okay. He had the one bad inning, and really we should have gotten out of that. We gave them the extra out," said manager Don Mattingly. "Pablo hits a ball basically neck high, which is exactly where we were trying to go."
Beckett, who allowed two home runs Wednesday night, said he thought he pitched better than his final two spring starts, which included 14 runs and four home runs allowed in just eight innings.
"I made some pitches when I needed to, and didn’t make some when I needed to," said Beckett. "Overall, I felt I was getting on top of the ball better today than the last couple Spring starts."
Both Beckett and Mattingly were amazed at the home run by Sandoval, who lined a high pitch to right field that bounced off the top of the wall for a home run, the first allowed by the Dodgers this season.
"On Sandoval, I tried to go up there and the video showed I got it up, and I don’t know if he was looking for it but he hit it good," Beckett said.
"When you go neck high on a guy, you don't really expect him to tomahawk it out of the ballpark, but with Pablo we learned that you can never quite go bad enough," Mattingly said. "He seems to hit balls all over the place hard."