Scott Van Slyke’s two-run home run highlighted a five-run sixth inning that lifted the Dodgers to a win in their exhibition opener. [MLB.com box score]
The Dodgers’ first home run of the spring cleared the left-field bullpen — a no-doubter — and completed a cycle for the team in the inning. Tony Gwynn Jr. (single), Justin Sellers (double), Ivan DeJesus (triple) all scored runs in the inning. Coincidentally, all of them, including Van Slyke, are the sons of former major league players.
Ten different Dodgers collected hits, and Chad Billingsley’s two scoreless innings will be the focus of tomorrow’s notebook. A couple other tidbits that won’t make tomorrow’s editions:
Of the announced crowd of 5,788 at Camelback Ranch, the vocal majority were Dodgers fans. Makes sense, with Los Angeles being closer than Chicago, even though the White Sox were the designated “home team” in a facility shared by the two clubs.
It would be take less time to list the Dodgers who did not collect a hit, so here they are: Dee Gordon (0-for-2), Mark Ellis (0-for-2), Matt Kemp (0-for-2), Juan Rivera (0-for-2), Adam Kennedy (0-for-2), Russell Mitchell (0-for-2), Tim Federowicz (0-for-2) and Jeff Baisley (0-for-2).
Andre Ethier’s double into right field off White Sox starter Philip Humber was the team’s first hit of spring training.
Adam Kennedy – starting at third in place of expected opening-day starter Juan Uribe -made the best defensive play of any Dodger on a scorching grounder down the third-base line by ex-Dodger Paul Konerko in the second inning. Kennedy is expected to back up all over the infield and outfield this year.
If there was a player who helped himself the most Monday, it was undoubtedly Dan Johnson. Johnson, a career .235 hitter who unexpectedly homered in the final game of the 2011 season to lift the Tampa Bay Rays into the playoffs, signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox in the off-season. His two-run homer off Ryan Tucker in the ninth inning completed the scoring and bolstered his case to stick around in Chicago.