Saturday was an interesting day for the Albuquerque Isotopes.
The Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate lost Ivan De Jesus Jr., who had started 49 games at second base, in the blockbuster nine-player trade with the Boston Red Sox. De Jesus is not on the Pawtucket Red Sox’s roster as of yet and there may be room for him in Boston. Could be a good opportunity for De Jesus, the 25-year-old former prospect who batted a respectable .273 in 23 major-league games this season.
Jerry Sands wasn’t packing his bags for Pawtucket, likely because he was claimed on the waiver wire by a rival team and could not be immediately included in the trade. One of two players to be named later (Rubby De La Rosa is the other), Sands hit his 25th home run of the season in the Albuquerque Isotopes’ 4-2 win in Memphis.
“It’s been crazy,” Sands told the Memphis Commercial Appeal. “That’s part of the business. It’s exciting that people are interested in me. I’m valuable to some people. I’m here for the time being, so I’m just trying to help this ballclub win some games.”
The Dodgers salvaged a point in the standings before an announced crowd of 13,655 — a Cactus League record — at Camelback Ranch. [box score]
Dodgers right-hander Aaron Harang pitched four interesting innings; the stage was set when a whipping wind blowing out to left field picked up prior to the game. Brandon Belt benefited when his fly ball to left turned into a two-run homer that gave the Giants a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning.
But those were the only runs Harang allowed, thanks in part to a first-inning double play started by Justin Sellers at third base. Harang walked none, struck out four, and allowed seven hits in his third appearance of the spring.
The Dodgers got a run back in the bottom of the first. Sellers led off with a double and came around to score on a single by Juan Rivera. That was the only run the Dodgers’ lineup — counting only Rivera, Matt Kemp, James Loney among the projected opening-day starters — could produce against journeyman left-hander Brian Burres in three innings.
Kemp singled in Tim Federowicz in the fifth inning and Luis Cruz homered (to left field, naturally) in the sixth to put the Dodgers ahead 3-2.
In the eighth inning, Gregor Blanco doubled off minor-league pitcher Shawn Tolleson and scored the tying run on a sacrifice fly by Belt.
That accounted for all the scoring which, naturally, barely accounted for the story in the Dodgers’ third tie game of the Cactus League (8-4-3).
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: