Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Blake feels fine after back pain
By Tony Jackson
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers third baseman Casey Blake is expected to return to Cactus League action on Wednesday after going through all of the team's pregame drills Tuesday without feeling any pain in his back. Blake had left Monday's game with San Francisco after two innings because of discomfort.
"Casey was fine," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "He did everything, hitting, fielding, running. He'll probably be back on schedule tomorrow."
Team leaves for Taiwan on Wednesday
The Dodgers' traveling party will depart from Phoenix at 8 a.m. Wednesday for Taiwan, where a split squad will play three exhibition games against Taiwanese teams. The team, which is scheduled to include left fielder Manny Ramirez, first baseman James Loney, Taiwan natives Hong-Chih Kuo and Chin-lung Hu and Torre, will return Monday.
Torre's coaching staff for the trip will consist of members of the Dodgers' minor league staff, including Triple-A manager Tim Wallach and pitching coach Jim Slaton. The major league staff will remain at Camelback Ranch with the bulk of the big league club. Hitting coach Don Mattingly will be in charge during Torre's absence.
Some relief in loss to Rockies
The Dodgers plodded through a hideous, 12-0 loss to the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday, a game in which they committed two errors and a passed ball and misplayed several other balls that were ruled hits. But the afternoon had some notable developments, including the first appearance of the spring for back-end relievers Kuo, George Sherrill and Jonathan Broxton.
Kuo turned in the only perfect inning for the Dodgers, getting Ian Stewart to ground to first and striking out Ryan Spilborghs and Clint Barmes.
"I looked up, and the inning was over," Torre said.
Sherrill gave up three runs, but they were all unearned because Dexter Fowler, who would have been the final out in what would have been a scoreless fourth inning, reached on a passed ball by Brad Ausmus. Sherrill, in his first spring training with the Dodgers after being acquired from Baltimore this past summer, then failed to survive the inning, walking Melvin Mora and giving up a two-run double.
"We had been forewarned that spring training is not [Sherrill's] favorite time of year, so we're not concerned," Torre said.
Broxton pitched the third and gave up hits to three of the first four batters, but he got out of the inning and allowed only one run.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.