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Carlos Frias stays grounded in rout of Giants

Harry How/Getty Images

PHOENIX -- If Friday night was a test for Carlos Frias, he certainly passed, doing everything that was asked of him in the Dodgers' 13-0 drubbing of the Giants at Camelback Ranch.

In competition for the fifth starter spot at least one time through the rotation in April, Frias was impressive in his effort on Friday night with four scoreless innings, striking out three with one walk.

Frias in his brief two-year stint in the majors has a 54.2-percent ground ball rate, good for 36th-highest among the 308 pitchers in baseball with at least 100 total innings pitched in 2014-2015. On Friday night it was even better.

He allowed 12 balls put into play, and 11 of them were on the ground. The only ball scored a line drive was a poke to right field by Hunter Pence in the third inning in a play where Pence almost literally threw his bat at the ball. Some of those ground balls against Frias found holes, and he allowed six hits, but got out of it thanks to some help from his friends.

"Everything was good. I was able to attack the strike zone and be ahead in the count," Frias said after outing.

Double play grounders helped diffuse anything in the first and second innings, then Frias was helped on an errant pitch by this extremely athletic play by catcher Austin Barnes to end the third inning.

"There were maybe a couple hard-hit balls. There was a lot of weak contact. He was going after hitters and trusting his stuff," manager Dave Roberts said of Frias. "If you look at stuff, his stuff plays."

Frias in six Cactus League appearances this spring has a 2.45 ERA with 10 strikeouts and two walks in 14⅔ innings.

"I just try to do my job," Frias said. "Anything I can do to help the team win, I am going to do it."

That included hitting an RBI single of his own. Not bad for a hitter who is 1-for-28 with 16 strikeouts in his career. On the play, he was also thrown out trying to stretch the single into a double.

"I don't know, that was a bad decision," Frias said, laughing. "I have never hit a double."

That wasn't the only memorable pitcher plate appearance by a Dodgers pitcher on Friday. Relief pitcher Louis Coleman batted in the top of the fifth. His only major league plate appearance came on July 3, 2011. He struck out then, but on Friday he walked on five pitches!

"I asked him if he was familiar with the Statue of Liberty, if he could just stand there," Roberts joked about Coleman batting.

Coleman on the mound also retired all four batters he faced, keeping his spring ERA spotless. Coleman has struck out 11 of 28 batters faced this spring (39.3 percent), with no walks.

Up next

The Dodgers have a day-night split squad on Saturday, a full busy day of baseball ahead. The day game is on the road in Peoria to face the Mariners, with Scott Kazmir facing off against Wade Miley.

In the nightcap, Zach Lee puts his best foot forward in the fifth starter competition, facing the White Sox at Camelback Ranch. Carson Fulmer goes for Chicago.