The Dodgers rallied from a four-run ninth-inning deficit before losing, 8-6, to the Colorado Rockies on Saturday before an announced crowd of 12,465 at Salt River Fields. [box score]
Dodgers starter Nate Eovaldi threw three innings, allowing four hits, no walks and striking out one. His fastball reached into the mid-90s — per the in-house radar reading at Salt River Fields — in his third spring appearance.
Most impressively, Eovaldi was able to work out of some jams to preserve the shutout. He allowed a leadoff single in the second inning that led to a first-and-third, one-out bind, but struck out Wil Nieves and inducing a groundout by Guthrie to end the inning.
Eric Young and Marco Scutaro singled to lead off the third inning. Each moved up a base with one out, but Eovaldi escaped this jam, too.
The score was 0-0 in the fourth inning when Andre Ethier smacked his second double of the game; he later came around to score on a Tony Gwynn Jr. single.
Ethier went 2-for-2 and is now batting .474 (9-for-19) this spring with eight extra-base hits.
“He’s swinging the bat good,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Ethier. “A bunch of them have been down the left-field line, which is really a good sign for me. He’s staying on the ball, he’s using the whole field.
“Whatever happened last year with the knee, it’s almost like a two-year process, with the ankle and the knee. He’s good enough to make corrections and get away with it and look OK. But you forget about how good he was when he was all the way squared up. I’m hoping that this is it, because he looks really good right now.”
But the Dodgers’ lead was short-lived, as the Rockies tagged three different longshot bullpen candidates for two runs.
Fernando Nieve allowed a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Chris Nelson and Andrew Brown led off with a single and a double, respectively, and Nelson scored on an RBI single by Guthrie. Young then singled to drive in Brown.
The Rockies scored twice off Temple City’s Ryan Tucker in the sixth inning to take a 4-1 lead. Brown led off the inning with a solo home run, and Wil Nieves scored on an infield single, the fourth and final hit of the inning.
In the bottom of the eighth inning, Colorado tagged Will Savage for two more runs on two hits, putting the Rockies ahead 6-2.
That merely set the stage for high Cactus League drama in the top of the ninth. Tim Federowicz hit an RBI double, Lance Zawadzki drove him in with a sacrifice fly, and Jeff Baisley scored Dee Gordon on a double into the left-field corner.
With the score 6-5 and Baisley on second base, Trent Oeltjen slapped a single into left field to score Oeltjen and tie the game.
Out of pitchers, the Dodgers gave the ball to Bawcom in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs and DJ LeMahieu on third base, Wheeler smacked the fourth pitch he saw out to right field.
A few more notes:
The Dodgers wore green hats and uniform tops in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, which led Tommy Lasorda to write on his Twitter account: “I always thought St. Patrick was Italian. Are you wearing Dodger green today?”
Josh Fields went 1-for-2, raising his spring average to .409. Twelve different Dodgers had base hits.
The Rockies’ clubhouse is immaculate. The visitor’s clubhouse is tucked behind an unmarked door behind the center-field wall.