Dodgers 12, Diamondbacks 1
LOS ANGELES, July 20 – The Los Angeles Dodgers continued to knock the ball all over the yard Monday night. They clubbed 15 hits, including four doubles and three home runs, en route to a 12-1 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks in exhibition play.
Early Lead for Diamondbacks, Dodgers Respond
Julio Urias – the probable #3 in the starting rotation – started for the Dodgers, while Taylor Clarke – fighting for a bullpen spot – started for the Diamondbacks. Both teams managed to get one baserunner in the first, but neither scored.
Designated hitter Ildemaro Vargas opened the scoring in the second with a tape-measure home run off the top row of the left-field bleachers. That lead, like the one Sunday night, was short-lived, however. The Dodgers responded with a vengeance in the bottom of the second, as a double by shortstop Corey Seager, a two-run homer by DH Joc Pederson, a walk by second baseman Chris Taylor, a single by catcher Will Smith, and a three-run homer by right fielder Mookie Betts made the score 5-1.
Catcher Stephen Vogt said after the game that Clarke “lost command of his slider and changeup a little bit. He put himself in a couple of holes that he had to pitch his way out (of). It was two fastballs that kind of leaked over the middle of the plate in fastball counts. Major league hitters – especially those two guys, Betts and Pederson – (did) what they do to fastballs.” He mentioned earlier that Clarke pitched very well in the first and fourth innings. Later, he added, “Taylor threw a lot of quality pitches tonight. His curveball and fastball were very, very good.”
Dodgers Turn Game into Rout
The score remained 5-1 until the fifth, when Diamondbacks reliever Andrew Chafin had a nightmare of an inning. He opened the frame by walking first baseman Max Muncy. After third baseman Justin Turner flied to right, three straight singles, a two-run double, and a three-run home run followed. The singles came from center fielder Cody Bellinger, Seager, and left fielder A.J. Pollock. The double came from Pederson, and the homer came from Taylor. This made the score 11-1. It became 12-1 in the seventh, when Pollock led off against new pitcher Kevin Ginkel with a single. Two batters later, a double by Taylor drove in pinch-runner Terrence Gore to complete the scoring for the evening.
“Did Not Play Diamondback Baseball”
Manager Torey Lovullo said that “the pitching over the last couple of nights has not set a great tone for us.” Lovullo indicated that they will use these two games as a learning experience, as anyone would expect. “We’ll identify the things that we need to improve on; we’ll continue to work and make sure we’re ready for Friday.”
Although there were some good moments, Lovullo said, “I can’t sugar-coat it. We didn’t play good baseball. We didn’t play the way we could – we did not play Diamondback Baseball. I think these guys are going to understand what they have to do over the next three days to make sure that we’re ready to go.”
Two Bright Spots
Two off-season acquisitions had nice outings in relief for the Diamondbacks. Héctor Rondón – signed away from the Houston Astros in free agency – pitched a scoreless sixth. Jeremy Beasley, who came over from the Los Angeles Angels in the Matt Andriese trade – pitched a scoreless eighth. He struck out leadoff man Edwin Rios. After surrendering a single to Matt Beaty, he got Kike Hernandez to ground into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play. Lovullo said that although he is not in competition for a spot on the team at this time, “I was really encouraged by what I saw…. He’s not in our ‘today’ plan, but, certainly, we’re excited about what he gave us today, and you might see him at some point during the year.”
The Diamondbacks will, thanks to the generosity of the Los Angeles Angels, play an intrasquad game Tuesday in Anaheim. They will then continue to San Diego and play another intrasquad game Wednesday. After they take Thursday off, they will open the regular season Friday against the San Diego Padres. Madison Bumgarner will pitch for the Diamondbacks against 24-year-old Chris Paddack, who will be the fourth-youngest Opening Day starter in Padres history.
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