Right-hander spins four shutout frames against former teammates
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Former teammates Dan Haren and C.J. Wilson each twirled four scoreless innings and Scott Van Slyke hit a grand slam, but prospect C.J. Cron's three-run homer helped the Angels force a 4-4 tie at Tempe Diablo Stadium on Thursday.
Starting the sixth inning of a scoreless game, Angels reliever Dane De La Rosa walked A.J. Ellis, uncorked a wild pitch, hit Hanley Ramirez and gave up a single to Adrian Gonzalez to load the bases. The next batter, Van Slyke, who's competing for a spot off the Dodgers' bench, took a 1-2 fastball out to left field to give the Dodgers a four-run lead.
Three batters later -- after a groundout, a walk, a stolen base and a popout -- De La Rosa left the game with right forearm tightness.
Mike Trout almost had an inside-the-park home run in the first inning. The Angels' 22-year-old center fielder hit a line drive to straightaway center field that Yasiel Puig came up short on with a dive attempt, allowing the ball to trickle to the fence. But Puig got it in quickly and Ramirez's relay throw just beat Trout to home plate, with instant replay upholding the out call from umpire Pat Hoberg.
Trout's hit was one of only three given up by Haren, the former Angels pitcher who didn't issue a walk, struck out three and put his Cactus League ERA at 1.50.
Wilson pitched four hitless innings in his second Spring Training start, issuing two walks and striking out four while focusing on establishing his changeup.
"Today I felt like I had my rhythm," Wilson said. "I was nice and loose, I wasn't trying to muscle the ball. I was just relaxed and trying to be more rhythmic out there, and that helped out."
Puig was removed from Wednesday night's 10-3 win over the Reds with soreness in his upper back, but started on Thursday and went 0-for-4 from the leadoff spot. De La Rosa's fastball almost caught Ramirez where he previously broke a rib, but instead hit him in the left triceps and the Dodgers' shortstop said he was fine.
Second baseman Howie Kendrick (now batting .400 on the spring) and first baseman Carlos Pena (competing for a spot off the Angels' bench) each had two hits. The Angels got on the board with a sacrifice fly by catcher John Hester in the seventh.
Up Next: Pitching prospect Zach Lee gets his first start of the Spring on Friday. Lee had been slowed by a strained lat muscle. By giving the start to Lee, the Dodgers set up Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu to start the two season-opening games in Australia, although Manager Don Mattingly won't confirm it. The game can be seen live on MLB.TV.