In the last game A.J. Ellis hit a home run, Andruw Jones played first base. It was August 26, 2008, in the fifth inning of a game at Cashman Field in a game between the Las Vegas 51s and the Fresno Grizzlies. Ellis took Brad Hennessey deep, and had not gone deep since, in a span of 713 plate appearances (456 in Triple A, 141 with the Dodgers, and 116 more during spring training).
Until today, that is.
Ellis took Chris Malone over the left field wall with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, capping an improbable comeback by the Dodgers, giving them a 7-5 victory over the Rockies at Camelback Ranch. The Dodgers were down 5-0 entering the ninth, but rallied for seven runs off Michael Marbry and Malone.
Hiroki Kuroda became the first Dodger starting pitcher to pitch into the seventh inning today, but he only faced one batter in the inning and didn't record an out. He gave up five runs on eight hits in his six complete innings, walking one and striking out four. His next outing will be Tuesday in Anaheim, in a shortened final tuneup before the regular season. Kuroda is slated to pitch on Sunday, April 3 at home against the Giants.
Kuroda was followed with three scoreless innings, one apiece from Matt Guerrier, Jonathan Broxton, and Mike MacDougal. For Broxton, he plans to pitch just twice more this spring, on Saturday and Monday, per Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
Ivan DeJesus had three hits today, and has five hits and a walk in his last nine plate appearances.
The Dodgers play two games tomorrow, and each fifth starter candidate gets a start. Tim Redding will start the day game in Tucson against the Diamondbacks, and John Ely will start the night game in Peoria against the Mariners. The game in Tucson is a benefit for victims of the January 8 shootings in the city, and will be played at what was formerly known as Tucson Electric Park. James Loney, Andre Ethier, Tony Gwynn Jr., and Jamey Carroll are scheduled to make the trip to Tucson, the longest of the spring for the Dodgers outside of the one game in Las Vegas.