Dodgers 10, White Sox 6.

The Dodgers concluded a long day of baseball with a ninth-inning rally against the Chicago White Sox before an announced crowd of 8,310 at Camelback Ranch on Saturday. [box score]

Cory Sullivan’s grand slam — his first home run of the spring –capped the comeback win for the Dodgers (4-1-2), who trailed 6-5 after the White Sox scored the go-ahead run off Michael Antonini in the eighth inning.

The game began at 7:05 p.m. local time and ended three hours and 39 minutes later (the Dodgers’ two games Saturday lasted a combined 6 hours and 16 minutes). Players and coaches get to report bright and early tomorrow for a 12 p.m. game against the Cubs –they had played no earlier than 1 p.m. local time through the first week.

With the teams even at 5-5, Antonini surrendered an RBI double to Ray Olmedo in the bottom of the eighth inning. But Ivan DeJesus scored from third base on a wild pitch to tie the game at 6 in the top of the ninth. That merely set the stage for Sullivan’s dramatic grand slam.

Chad Billingsley struggled in his second Cactus League start, allowing six hits and three runs –all earned –in 2 1/3 innings. His line would’ve looked better if Josh Lindblom had not allowed a three-run homer to Tyler Flowers, the first batter he faced out of the bullpen. Both runners belonged to Billingsley.

“I struggled a little bit early just finding my rhythm,” he said, “but overall I was pretty happy. My curveball was sharp. I threw some changeups, my fastball was missing a little down and off the plate but that’ll come.”

While Nate Eovaldi threw three innings earlier in the day, Billingsley appeared to get a quick hook, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. He said he was given a pitch count in the 50-60 range, not an innings quota (Billingsley threw 53 pitches).

Juan Rivera and Jerry Hairston Jr. hit home runs. One day after his minor heart scare, Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless seventh inning, allowing one hit and striking out one.

Updates on Ethier, Sellers.

Andre Ethier’s absence was an easily overlooked facet to a crazy game in Peoria. Ethier was a late lineup scratch due to “mid-back stiffness” that he experienced during batting practice Saturday morning.

“I talked to Dre,” Mattingly said. “He said ‘I didn’t get stretched out.’

“They treated him and let him go home. We’ll see him tomorrow morning.”

The manager expressed only mild concern that Ethier recently complained of a stiff back during the team’s first full-squad workout of the spring. Ethier was already scheduled to sit out tomorrow’s game against the Cubs and that won’t change.

Justin Sellers left Saturday’s game complaining of a headache after being struck in the chin by a batted ball in the third inning. “Doctors cleared him and sent him home,” Mattingly said. “Last I heard, there was no concussion.”

Dodgers 5, Mariners 5

With the Dodgers playing the first of two split-squad games Saturday, starter Nate Eovaldi tossed three scoreless innings and Matt Treanor hit his first home run of the season before an announced crowd of 8,507 at the Peoria Sports Complex. [box score]

After the Dodgers took a 2-0 lead on Treanor’s home run and an RBI groundout by Juan Uribe, the Mariners rallied for five runs off relievers Jamey Wright and Ronald Belisario. Wright gave up a long home run to Kyle Seager in two innings, and Belisario coughed up three hits, one walk, and four runs — three earned –in his lone inning of work.

The Dodgers rallied with three runs in the eighth inning off Seattle reliever Jeff Marquez.

Josh Fields finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, maintaining his lofty spring average at .636 (7 for 11). Trent Oeltjen went 1-for-4 and scored a pair of runs, and six other Dodgers collected one hit apiece. James Loney’s fourth-inning double was his first extra-base hit in eight spring at-bats.
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Dodgers sign NFL’s Jarrad Page.

Jarrad Page made enough of an impression at the Dodgers’ open tryout last Thursday to earn a contract. The team announced today that it has signed the Minnesota Vikings safety and former two-sport star at UCLA, who will report to minor-league camp and play outfield.

Page, 27, played 90 baseball games over two seasons in college. He batted .233 with three home runs in 2003-04 and .149 with one home run in 2004-05. Page was taken by the Milwaukee Brewers in the fifth round of the MLB Draft out of high school in 2002, in the 36th round by the Colorado Rockies in 2005, and in the seventh round in 2006 by the Angels.

But he didn’t turn pro in anything until 2006, when the Kansas City Chiefs drafted Page following an All-American senior season for the Bruins’ football team. His NFL career includes stints with the Chiefs (2006-09), New England Patriots (2010), Philadelphia Eagles (2011, until his release on Nov. 16) and the Vikings.

Page will wear number 48 with the Dodgers.

Dodgers 9, Rangers 0.

In their most lopsided result of the spring, the Dodgers crushed a Rangers lineup that featured all but one of their projected opening-day starters. [box score]

Clayton Kershaw, making his first Cactus League start, allowed three hits and a walk in three innings against his hometown team. He induced consecutive comebackers to Josh Hamilton (on a grounder) and Adrian Beltre (line drive) to end the first inning. Kershaw also picked off Nelson Cruz at first base; of his 42 pitches, 28 were strikes.

“This is as normal as it gets,” Kershaw said. “I threw everything –some sliders, curveballs; my changeup was terrible.”

In what the Dodgers hope is a normal occurrence, Matt Kemp went 2-for-2 with a home run, Juan Rivera batted cleanup and belted his first home run of the spring, and Andre Ethier went 2-for-2 with a triple. Prospect Alex Castellanos hit his second home run of the spring, his second in as many days.

The Dodgers are 3-1-1 after starting 2-6 last season, but manager Don Mattingly isn’t placing value on results yet — even a lopsided victory. “I’d much rather see us swing the bats,” he said, “but I also know we’ll hit a stretch where we don’t score.”

A few more notes:
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Longtime ump Wendelstedt dies at 73

Didn’t have enough room in the paper for all of this, so wanted to share the Associated Press obit. Some great stuff from Don Drysdale’s scoreless streak, 1988 NLCS and quotes from Tommy Lasorda …

NEW YORK (AP)– Longtime umpire Harry Wendelstedt, who worked five World Series
and made a call involving Don Drysdale that became one of baseball’s most disputed plays
in the late 1960s, died Friday. He was 73.
Wendelstedt died at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla., near
the umpiring school he ran for more than three decades in Ormond Beach. He had been
diagnosed several years ago with a brain tumor.
Wendelstedt called seven NL championship series and four All-Star games, and was behind
the plate for five no-hitters. He was on the major league umpiring staff from 1966-98.
His son, Hunter, is a big league umpire and wears the same No. 21 that his father wore.
The Wendelstedts worked games together in 1998 — it was Hunter’s first year in the majors
and Harry’s last season.
Hall of Fame manager Tom Lasorda has championed Wendelstedt for enshrinement in
Cooperstown.
“He’s got as good a chance as anybody. He deserves it,” Lasorda told The Associated Press
after learning of Wendelstedt’s death.
Lasorda said he was scouting for Los Angeles and was in the stands when Wendelstedt made
his most notable call on May 31, 1968, at Dodger Stadium.
Drysdale was trying for his fifth straight shutout — and was heading toward setting a
then-record of 58 2-3 scoreless innings — when San Francisco loaded the bases with no outs
in the ninth inning.
Drysdale threw a 2-2 pitch that struck Dick Dietz on the elbow, and the shutout streak
seemed to be over. But Wendelstedt, the plate umpire, immediately ruled that Dietz didn’t
try to get out of the way. Wendelstedt called the pitch a ball and told Dietz to get back
in the batter’s box.
“I’d never seen that call before in the big leagues,” Lasorda recalled. “Never had seen
anyone make it.”
After a heated argument, the game resumed. On a full-count pitch, Dietz flied out and
Drysdale wound up pitching a shutout. Orel Hershiser set the shutout record of 59 innings
in 1988, pitching under Lasorda.
“Harry had a wide strike zone, he liked to see hitters swing the bat,” Lasorda said,
laughing. “Dick Dietz. Harry, he got him out. And the streak continued.”
Later in that 1968 season, Wendelstedt called balls-and-strikes when Gaylord Perry of the
Giants pitched a no-hitter against St. Louis. The next day, on Sept. 18, Wendelstedt was
at third base when Ray Washburn of the Cardinals no-hit San Francisco.
Not that all of Wendelstedt’s contested calls went in favor of pitchers. In the 1988 NLCS,
Wendelstedt confiscated the glove of Dodgers reliever Jay Howell after it was found to
have pine tar. Wendelstedt ejected Howell, drawing some lip from Lasorda, and the reliever
was subsequently suspended.
“We got along pretty well,” Lasorda remembered. “Nothing too bad.”
Harry Hunter Wendelstedt Jr. spent well over half his life in the umpiring field. Even
after his retirement, his umpiring school kept producing many young umpires who wound up
working in professional baseball.

Jansen leaves camp with “fluttering” heart.

Kenley Jansen left the Dodgers’ spring training facility Friday after reporting symptoms a team spokesperson described as a “fluttering” heart.

Update (11:20 a.m.): Jansen returned to Camelback Ranch after being examined by Dr. John Monroe and played long toss under the supervision of team trainer Nancy Patterson. Afterward, Jansen said he felt fine, though he admitted the incident “scared me a little bit.”

“Last night I kind of woke up with my heart beating fast,” he said. “Not out of rhythm, but it was just going pretty fast.”

Jansen said an accelerated heart beat woke him up around 2:30 in the morning –”I didn’t dream about anything, I just woke up” — and the symptoms persisted for around 30-40 minutes. He felt well enough in the morning to report to camp, where he was given an EKG test, then was taken to see the doctor as a precaution.
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Dodgers 7, A’s 2.

The Dodgers came within a couple innings of a shutout against the A’s at Camelback Ranch, getting two scoreless innings from Chris Capuano in his first Cactus League start Thursday. [box score]

Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal, Todd Coffey and John Grabow all threw scoreless relief innings in their spring debuts. Stephen Fife allowed a run in the seventh inning and Wilfredo Ledezma allowed the A’s other run in the ninth.

Adam Kennedy started at DH and went 2-for-2. Andre Ethier finished 1-for-2 with a two-RBI double in the fourth inning, raising his spring batting average to .500. Matt Kemp went 1-for-3 with an RBI single and two strikeouts. His spring average sits at .143.

Alex Castellanos, who was acquired in the Rafael Furcal trade last
season, blasted the game’s only home run off A’s reliever Travis Schilchting in the
sixth inning.

Dee Gordon stole his first base of the spring, swiping second base after drawing a walk to lead off the game.

A few more notes:

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Mattingly on the 9th inning: “I really don’t know what the right decision is.”

Kenley Jansen or Javy Guerra?

The question of who should pitch the ninth inning has entered Don Mattingly’s mind, even though Guerra was 21 for 23 in save opportunities last season –an outstanding 91.3 percent conversion rate. With both pitchers throwing a scoreless inning in their spring debut Wednesday, the question was put to Mattingly again: Have you thought about swapping their roles?

“It’s hard not to with those two,” he said. “Kenley with what he was able to do last year — but you guys look at the very end, but you don’t think about what happened at the beginning, and that’s how it got to there.”

For the uninitiated: Jansen had an 11.42 ERA through his first eight appearances of 2011. Once Jonathan Broxton’s season was over, Guerra grabbed the closer’s role, and was pretty firmly entrenched by the time Jansen was even part of the conversation. As a mostly middle-inning reliever, Jansen allowed only two runs the final four months of the season, displaying the makeup of a closer along the way.

“It’s hard not to think of Kenley kind of like that,” Mattingly said. “I’m going to go back to what I’ve always talked about: Javy kind of took that role last year and didn’t drop the ball. It’s hard to say to a guy ‘you didn’t do the job.’ He did the job. That’s kind of where I can see it right now.”
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A’s 3, Dodgers 3. Update.

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:
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