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Rich Hill impresses in spring debut

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LHP throws 2 scoreless frames in first 2017 spring start

MLB: Spring Training-Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Hill did Rich Hill things on Sunday, impressing in his spring debut in the Dodgers’ 10-8 win over the Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park.

Hill pitched two scoreless, hitless innings in his first start of spring training on Sunday, striking out a pair of hitters. He walked his first batter of the game, Jonathan Villar, but then promptly picked him off.

Seeing Hill on the mound again was a reminder of just how fun he is to watch in game action. Hill had the curveball working especially well, as Hernan Perez can attest based on this whiff in the second inning.

The 37-year-old Hill has been through a ton in his pro career, and part of his success in the last year and a half has come from a renewed commitment to, as he calls it, living in the moment. That singular focus has him, though it might sound cliche, taking each game one pitch at a time, so much so that when he makes a comment like this it is more believable than had it come from a different player.

Notes

The Dodgers hit three home runs on Sunday, including back-to-back solo shots in the eighth inning by prospects Cody Bellinger and Alex Verdugo. Both left-handed batters hit the home runs against Brewers left-hander Andrew Barbosa, a non-roster invitee.

Cuban free agent infielder Jose Miguel Fernandez made his Dodgers debut, playing the final two innings at second base on Sunday. He walked on four pitches in his only plate appearance, in the ninth inning.

Right-hander Shea Spitzbarth retired the Brewers in order in the ninth inning to earn the save, the second straight day the Dodgers got a save from a pitcher up from minor league camp wearing No. 90.

Relief pitcher Pedro Baez has been held out a few days with a bruised right thumb, per Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. Baez was hit in the thumb by a comebacker during batting practice last week and missed his scheduled bullpen session on Friday. X-rays of the thumb were negative.

After three different pitchers covered the first four innings for Milwaukee on Sunday, the Brewers had David Goforth, starting the fifth inning.

The Dodgers are back home on Monday afternoon to face the Rockies at Camelback Ranch, the first of two straight games against Colorado. Kenta Maeda will start for the Dodgers on Monday and is expected to pitch two innings.