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Michael Grove sharp for Dodgers, Mookie Betts & David Peralta shine in WBC tuneups

Third tie of the spring for LA

MLB: Spring Training-Seattle Mariners at Los Angeles Dodgers Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There have been 13 ties in spring training games this season, and the Dodgers have three of them. The latest was a 2-2 contest against the Mariners on Wednesday night at Camelback Ranch, with all the scoring coming in the final two frames.

Drew Evens Avans was the hero in this one, with a two-out triple in the bottom of the ninth to score Jahmai Jones with the equalizer.

Michael Grove was efficient in his three scoreless innings, throwing only 26 pitches while allowing a single and striking out two. In three starts this spring, the right-hander has allowed one run, walked none, and struck out five.

Grove and Thursday’s starter Ryan Pepiot might be pitching for more than just ramping up for the season this spring, especially with Tony Gonsolin’s sprained ankle slowing him in camp. With Gonsolin’s readiness for opening day now in question, an opportunity rises for Grove or Pepiot to start the season on the major league roster.

“There’s a reason people talk about depth and trying to prepare for things that are unforeseen. Obviously Tony is the best option and we’re going to do what we can — I don’t want to put him to bed just yet,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters at Camelback Ranch earlier Wednesday, per SportsNet LA. “But to have Michael and Ryan ready, having got their feet wet last year, certainly gives you a little more peace of mind.”

This game was heavy with pitchers on the 40-man roster, as Evan Phillips, Caleb Ferguson, Jimmy Nelson, Shelby Miller, and Alex Vesia each followed with scoreless innings of their own.

World Baseball Classic tuneups

In nighttime exhibition games Wednesday, Venezuela beat the Astros 9-8 in Florida. David Peralta had two hits and a walk, incuding an RBI single and RBI triple. The latter in the eighth inning provided Venezuela the insurance run they needed for a one-run win.

Mookie Betts walked in his first two plate appearances for Team USA against Anthony DeSclafani and the Giants in Scottsdale, then doubled off the center field wall in the fifth inning against Sean Manaea before he was removed for a pinch-runner.

Betts played right field on Wednesday, but will play second base as well during the WBC, as he has twice with the Dodgers this spring.

Up next

The Dodgers are back under the sun on Thursday, playing the A’s at Hohokam Park in Mesa (12:05 p.m. PT, SportsNet LA), with Pepiot on the mound making his third start of the spring.