The Dodgers and A’s were tied at 3 apiece after the top of the ninth inning at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Wednesday, when everyone agreed to go home. [box score]
“Four veteran umpires out there,” manager Don Mattingly quipped after the Dodgers “moved” (to borrow a common hockey phrase) to 1-1-1.
Most of the Dodgers’ starting position players were given the day off, but it was the first live-game action for starting pitcher Aaron Harang and relievers Kenley Jansen, Scott Elbert and Javy Guerra, all of whom are expected to play important roles out of the bullpen this season.
Harang had an awful four-batter stretch in the first inning, allowing two doubles, two singles and two earned runs –all with two outs. Otherwise he was perfect, but left with the Dodgers trailing 2-0.
“That’s why we throw 5 or 6 starts throughout the spring,” said Harang. The left-hander had been dealing with foot soreness earlier in the spring but he said that was not an issue today.
Jansen, Elbert and Guerra all threw scoreless innings, though it was a bit of a struggle for Elbert and Guerra.
Elbert allowed a walk and a single with two outs in his lone inning, the sixth, then struck out the A’s Cedric Hunter with runners on first and third. Guerra allowed a pair of walks in the seventh but was bailed out by a double play when he struck out Josh Reddick, and Eric Sogard was caught stealing third base, to end the inning.
Cory Sullivan, getting his first Cactus League start in left field, went 3-for-4. The rest of the Dodgers lineup went 1 for 25.
A few more notes:
Manny Ramirez was a late scratch from the A’s lineup due to back stiffness.
No word yet on his status for tomorrow’s rematch at Camelback Ranch. Ramirez won’t play again until Friday, Oakland manager Bob Melvin told reporters after the game, which means he won’t travel to Camelback Ranch to face the Dodgers on Thursday. Ramirez’s next chance to face the Dodgers will come during an interleague series in June — which falls after his 50-game suspension has expired.
Russ Mitchell, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Jerry Sands grounded into double plays.
Sands batted third today but Mattingly cautioned against looking into that. “It’s not a matter of where he’s going to hit in the lineup, just getting him at-bats,” he said. “With the guys who are out (of the lineup) today, it’s just where he fits.”
Mattingly spoke at length about how he’s defining the closer’s role this season. In sum, Guerra’s the closer but he’s not afraid to let Jansen or Mike MacDougal handle the ninth inning if the situation dictates it. More on that in tomorrow’s editions. Or a future blog. Haven’t decided yet.
Rollie Fingers and Bert Campaneris apparently don’t believe there should be ties in baseball. The two mainstays on the dominant 1970’s A’s teams spent the game on the concourse, facing away from the field, signing autographs.