The Dodgers lost the first of their two games today, falling 8-6 to the Rockies at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. The Dodgers rallied for four runs in the top of the ninth to tie the game, prompting the running bus that was waiting for them near their center field clubhouse to shut off its engine. But Tim Wheeler hit a two-run shot off Logan Bawcom in the bottom of the ninth to win it for Colorado.
Andre Ethier continued his torrid spring for the Dodgers with three more hits, including two doubles, and a walk. This spring, he is 10 for 20 with six doubles, a triple, and a home run. "A bunch of them have been down the left field line, which is really a good sign for me. He's staying on the ball, he's using the whole field," manager Don Mattingly said of Ethier after the game.
"Whatever happened last year with the knee, it's almost like a two-year process, with the ankle and the knee," Mattingly added. "He's good enough to make corrections and get away with it and look okay. But you forget about how good he was when he was all the way squared up. I'm hoping that this is it, because he looks really good right now."
Nathan Eovaldi pitched three scoreless innings, allowing four hits with no walks and a strikeout. Eovaldi said threw his changeup effectively on Saturday, and mixed in his curveball as well. Eovaldi, who is essentially the sixth starter and will start in Triple A Albuquerque barring injury, will continue to pitch in big league games for the forseeable future, including one of Friday's split squad games.
Mattingly said after the game that he wasn't sure whether or not Eovaldi would come with the team to Southern California for the Freeway Series, as it may depend on when Chris Capuano is slated to pitch. Eovaldi is aware of his role, but is also seizing the opportunity to make an impression on the coaching staff and front office.
"I just want to show them I'm ready and prepared for the job," Eovaldi said.
Home runs: Andrew Brown (1), Tyler Colvin (1), Tim Wheeler (1)
WP - Josh Roenicke (1-0): 1/3 IP, 1 strikeout
LP - Logan Bawcom (0-1): 2/3 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs
The Dodgers head back home to Camelback Ranch tonight to finish their day, battling the San Francisco Giants for the second time this spring. Aaron Harang makes his third Cactus League start for the Dodgers, opposed on the mound by Brian Burres, whom you may remember from his win against the Dodgers on April 29, 2010 in which he threw more balls than strikes.
Jamey Wright, Ramon Troncoso, Josh Lindblom, and Matt Chico are also scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers.
Game Time: 7:05 p.m. PDT
TV: Prime Ticket (Vin Scully)
Radio: KTNQ 1020 AM (Fernando Valenzuela is here to call his first game of the spring, joining Jaime Jarrin and Pepe Yñiguez); the MLB.com audio broadcast can be heard on MLB Gameday Audio