The hit by pitches are adding up and starting to resonate with players. Tonight’s game story.

Clint Hurdle

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was ejected after pitcher Justin Wilson was ejected for hitting Justin Turner with a pitch Tuesday. (Associated Press photo)


Dodgers shortstop Justin Turner was measured but outspoken in his postgame comments tonight — not only about getting hit by a 97-mph fastball, but the fact that he’s far from alone.

One late, important result that won’t make the early editions: The Giants (56-44) beat the Phillies in the 14th inning, so the Dodgers (56-46) are now a full game out of first place in the National League West.

Click here for the story.

The box score is here.

Dodgers 5, San Diego Padres 4: Julio Urias debuts, and the Dodgers hold on for a win.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The story of the game was Julio Urias, the 17-year-old prodigy who needed 14 pitches to mow down the San Diego Padres’ first three batters. Mike Brito, the scout who signed Urias, had a cigar hanging from his mouth as he walked the Dodgers’ clubhouse after the game.

Don Mattingly said Urias will be in the rotation by May “at the latest”: “For me, with young guys, you know it’s going to be a little while. You have to build him up. He hasn’t thrown that many professional innings. To me, you can like him all you want but you really need to grow up, and part of that is the expectation for a 17-year-old. You’re always going to get a lot better. Well, he has to get a lot better, right?

“I had a kid a couple years ago in the (Arizona) Fall League who was a can’t-miss, can’t do anything (wrong) and he’s still not in the big leagues,” Mattingly continued. “I think it’s just easier to let him grow up. He looked really good. For 17, 18, 19 or 20 he looked really good, but I still think we have to let him grow up.”

So we shall. The game that followed Urias’ debut was a good one for a number of Dodgers. Dee Gordon tripled, scored a run, and laid down a bunt for a base hit. He also stole his ninth base (in nine tries). Miguel Rojas went 2 for 3, raising his average to .440. Hanley Ramirez singled, stole second base and scored on an RBI single by Adrian Gonzalez.

The major-league portion of the Dodgers’ bullpen had no trouble. Javy Guerra, J.P. Howell, Kenley Jansen and Chris Perez combined to throw three scoreless innings.

San Diego rallied for four runs in the eighth inning off minor-league right-hander Romulo Sanchez. Sanchez got out of his own bases-loaded jam by striking out former Dodgers farmhand Alex Castellanos to end the inning.

Mattingly said after the game that Guerra, and possibly Jansen and Howell, would pitch in tomorrow’s game against the Colorado Rockies.

The box score is here.

There’s another game here starting in 80 minutes.

Some notes and observations:

Mike Baxter had a busy day in the field. He played right field, center field and first base in the game. He hasn’t played first base to this point in spring training but he told me that he played the position in college (Vanderbilt) and has been taking ground balls with the other infielders throughout camp.

• Gordon’s bunt hit was not a drag bunt, just a 10-footer between home plate and the mound that made the Padres scramble. He beat the throw by a step.

• The Dodgers drew seven walks in the game. Andre Ethier had two.

Carl Crawford went 0 for 3, lowering his Cactus League batting average to .138. More from the bad batting average department: Joc Pederson (0 for 1), .192; Hanley Ramirez (1 for 4), .229; Tim Federowicz (0 for 3), .077.

• I wonder which can’t-miss prospect Mattingly was referring to. Could it have been this guy?

Dodgers 10, Cincinnati Reds 3: Alex Guerrero homers, Yasiel Puig leaves, Hyun-Jin Ryu goes 4. Update.

Alex Guerrero

Dodgers second baseman Alex Guerrero hit a grand slam, his first extra-base hit of spring training, on Wednesday.

GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Alex Guerrero’s fifth-inning grand slam gave the Dodgers the lead for good in their 10-3 win Wednesday night over the Cincinnati Reds.

Guerrero, who was 4 for 15 with four singles to begin his first major-league spring training, hit the first pitch he saw from Jeff Francis high over the left-field fence to give the Dodgers their first runs of the game.

Adrian Gonzalez also homered as the Dodgers improved to 3-4-1.

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched four innings and allowed single runs in the first and second innings, both earned. He allowed four hits, all singles, walked two and struck out three. The left-hander said after the game that he did not throw a slider until the third inning — then used it effectively. He struck out the side in the third, including Reds slugger Joey Votto on a slider.

Ryu was originally scheduled to pitch three innings, but Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt gave him the option of pitching the fourth and coming out after 10 pitches. He got three outs — a walk, a double-play ground ball, and another groundout — before reaching his 10-pitch limit.

Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig left the game after four innings after experiencing symptoms of inflammation in his upper left back/shoulder area. He was seen grimacing at home plate during his second at-bat of the game, in the top of the fourth inning, against Francis. Puig played the bottom of the fourth inning without making a play in the field, did not bat in the top of the fifth inning, and was replaced by Mike Baxter in the bottom of the fifth. He was the first Dodgers position player to leave the game.

Puig told reporters after the game that he would be able to play tomorrow.

9:25 p.m. update: Here’s what Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said about Puig after the game:

Puig said this via the club’s official Twitter feed:

Reds starter Homer Bailey no-hit the Dodgers through three innings. Francis pitched a 1-2-3 fourth inning before allowing singles to Gonzalez and Juan Uribe — a blooper that fell between three fielders in right-center — and walking Joc Pederson. Guerrero then cleared the bases with his home run.

Tim Federowicz padded the Dodgers’ lead with a two-run double in the sixth inning and scored on an RBI single by Miguel Rojas. Minor-league call-up Aaron Bates hit an RBI double in the seventh inning. Uribe’s sacrifice fly allowed Baxter to tag up and score the Dodgers’ final run.

Jose Dominguez and Paco Rodriguez pitched scoreless relief innings. Matt Magill pitched a scoreless seventh inning and allowed a solo home run to Neftali Soto in the eighth.

The box score is here. Some more notes and observations:
Continue reading

Kuo back to the DL; Elbert called up

Ten days after being activated from the disabled list, Hong-Chih Kuo is headed back.

The Dodgers placed Kuo on the 15-day disabled list today but have yet to cite an injury. The left-handed reliever, who has had four elbow operations, was expected to be the team’s setup man this season but has struggled to stay healthy. Kuo was first sent to the DL on April 16 with a lower back strain.

The Associated Press is reporting from Pittsburgh that Manager Don Mattingly declined to discuss specifics of the injury but said it could be long-term. Kuo was expected
to return to Los Angeles late tonight.

On the season, Kuo has appeared in nine games and pitched 4 2/3 innings, surrendering five hits, six walks and six earned runs for a less-than-stellar 11.57 ERA and 2.36 WHIP.

In his place, the Dodgers have recalled Scott Elbert from Triple-A Albuquerque. The left-hander has struck out 16 against nine walks in 14 1/3 innings this season.

Elbow woes shelve Ethier, Broxton

Tom Hoffarth reports from Dodger Stadium that Andre Ethier has been scratched from the starting lineup today because of a sore left elbow. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said the right fielder, who has an MLB-best 29-game hitting streak, is available to pinch hit, which could put his streak in jeopardy with just one at-bat.

“We’d have to. We’re here to win games even if that puts him in a bind,” Mattingly said.

Meanwhile, embattled reliever Jonathan Broxton will get an MRI on his right elbow after last night’s struggles in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs. The right-hander issued consecutive four-pitch walks to Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena before being removed by Mattingly. After the game, Broxton and Dodgers trainer Stan Conte told Mattingly about the pitcher’s elbow discomfort.

Broxton’s decrease in velocity has been noted this season. One year after notching the save in the All-Star Game, he is 1-2 with a 5.68 ERA in 14 appearances.

In Broxton’s absence, Vicente Padilla will continue to be the first option to close for the Dodgers.

Broxton out as closer

KABC Radio’s Joe Block is reporting via Twitter that Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti has told him that Jonathan Broxton has been removed as the team’s closer.

For now, it looks like it will be the always-adventurous closer-by-committee, with Colletti hinting that the leading candidates are right-hander Vicente Padilla and left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo, who has been on the disabled list with a back strain since April 16. Kuo is eligible to come off the DL on Friday.

Broxton’s decreased velocity has been an issue this season, as is his 1.85 WHIP in 10 1/3 innings. The big right-hander suffered his first blown save of the season last night, allowing a two-out walk and single before an infield error and misjudged fly ball turned a 4-3 Dodgers lead into a 5-4 loss.

MLB takes over Dodgers

Just days after Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt received a $30 million loan from Fox to cover payroll obligations, Major League Baseball announced today it is taking over the tyeam.
Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says in a release that he will appoint a representative to oversee the “business and the day-to-day operations of the Club.”
Selig’s statement:
“Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club. I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt’s ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days.
The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future.”

Dodgers hire Soboroff as vice chairman

In light of recent news that Dodgers owner Frank McCourt had to borrow $30 million from Fox in order to meet payroll obligations, this is an interesting move. Steve Soboroff will spearhead efforts to improve the fan experience and strengthen ties to the community.

How much Soboroff is getting paid remains to be seen. There’s also this: Soboroff plans to meet with fans to listen to their ideas for improving the experience at Dodger Stadium. Hmmm … where to start?

Press release from the Dodgers:

LOS ANGELES – Civic and business leader Steve Soboroff is joining the Los Angeles Dodgers as vice chairman with responsibility for leading efforts to improve the fan experience at the stadium, strengthening ties to the region’s community and philanthropic organizations, and expanding conservation and sustainability programs at Dodger Stadium. He will report directly to Dodger Owner Frank McCourt.

Soboroff, who begins in the new role today, will coordinate the implementation of recommendations from former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton’s team to enhance safety, security and the overall fan experience at Dodger Stadium. Soboroff will also step up efforts by the Dodger organization to expand the positive impacts of the Dodgers throughout Southern California.

“Steve understands this city as few others do, and his contributions have made Los Angeles a better place,” said McCourt. “Not only will he infuse great ideas and energy to the Dodger organization, but he will use his trademark ‘get-it-done’ approach to extend the Dodgers’ positive impact on Los Angeles. It starts with a quality fan experience in the stadium, and extends throughout the Southern California community.”

Soboroff is a former president of the City’s Recreation and Parks Commission, former CEO of the award-winning Playa Vista community, and currently board chairman of both the Weingart Foundation and the EXPO Center in Exposition Park. As senior advisor to former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Soboroff played a lead role in putting together the Alameda Corridor project, and is widely regarded as the person who brought the Staples Center to Downtown Los Angeles.

“The fan experience starts with a safe, comfortable, family environment, and extends from there,” said Soboroff. “That’s the recipe for success in the city’s parks, at Playa Vista and in every neighborhood throughout Los Angeles. It is about having the right plan, and putting that plan into action. People throughout the city and country can expect their phone to ring from me, so be prepared to talk about innovative partnerships that help kids, advance sustainability, improve transportation to and from the ballpark, and create a second-to-none fan experience.”

Soboroff also plans to meet with fans and other Dodger stakeholders to hear their ideas for improving the Dodger experience. “You will see me in every section of the ballpark checking things out, listening to fans, and taking strong actions in a number of areas. And I’m in a hurry,” Soboroff said. “The Dodgers are one of the great professional sports franchises in the world, and an important civic institution in Southern California. Frank has empowered me to set a new standard when it comes to the fan experience and the Dodgers’ impact on the Los Angeles community.”

A lifelong Dodger fan, Soboroff lived in the San Fernando Valley as a teen. He and wife Patti raised their five children in Los Angeles.

Dodgers call up power-hitting prospect Jerry Sands

According to Ken Gurnick at MLB.com, outfield prospect Jerry Sands has been called up from Triple-A Albuquerque and Xavier Paul has been designated for assignment.

Sands, 23, is in the Dodgers’ starting lineup for tonight’s game against Atlanta, playing left field and batting seventh. He was hitting .400 (10 for 40) with five home runs and 17 RBIs at Albuquerque.

As the organization’s position player of the year last year, Sands hit 35 home runs between Class A Great Lakes and Double-A Chattanooga.

Paul, 26, was hitting .273 (3 for 11) with no home runs or RBIs while trying to find playing time behind Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Marcus Thames and Tony Gwynn Jr.

Furcal on the DL; De Jesus called up

Another season, another trip to the disabled list for Rafael Furcal.
The Dodgers shortstop has been placed on the 15-day disabled list after breaking his left thumb while sliding headfirst into third base during a 6-1 win over the San Francisco Giants
on Monday night.
Furcal, 33, is expected to miss about four to six weeks.
The Dodgers recalled rookie infielder Ivan De Jesus, who started the season in Los Angeles but went went 0 for 7 with five strikeouts, from Triple-A Albuquerque. De Jesus was sent down last Tuesday when third baseman Casey Blake came off the disabled list.
Furcal, who was batting just .192 from the leadoff spot, is returning to Los Angeles to get examined by a hand specialist.
He missed about two months last season with injuries to his lower back and right thigh.
Furcal, who is making $12 million this season, is in the final year of a three-year, $30 million contract. The Dodgers hold a $12 million option for next season, but it becomes guaranteed if Furcal reaches 600 plate appearances.