Rangers rotation hopeful retires first six batters before tough third inning
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Dodgers lefty Paul Maholm, facing off against Rangers rotation hopeful Tanner Scheppers, turned in a second straight impressive start in a 5-5 tie at Surprise Stadium on Saturday. Scheppers, trying out as a starter after a terrific 2013 season as a reliever, was strong for two innings before fading in the third.
The Dodgers took a three-run lead into the bottom of the ninth, but Mitch Moreland led off with a triple to spark a game-tying rally. The teams opted not to play a 10th inning after the three-hour, 19-minute draw.
Maholm, hoping to win a spot in the Dodgers' rotation, went three innings and allowed one run on three hits. He struck out four. In two starts, opponents are 3-for-17 off Maholm, and he has not walked a batter.
"I thought he was sharp," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. "He's right on schedule, going in the right direction."
Scheppers retired the first six batters he faced before giving up a pair of singles to Justin Turner and Mike Baxter to start the third. After Brendan Harris flied out, Scheppers walked Chone Figgins, struck out Joc Pederson and walked Adrian Gonzalez to force in a run. Scheppers, who threw two scoreless innings on 26 pitches in his first start, was pulled with two outs after throwing 57 pitches.
"He definitely got over his pitch count, and then got to the point where he couldn't stay on top of his fastball," manager Ron Washington said. "He couldn't find his release point."
Nick Martinez got the Rangers out of the third inning by striking out Andre Ethier with the bases loaded. Robbie Ross took over in the fourth inning and went 2 2/3 innings. He allowed one run on two hits and a walk with two strikeouts. He came out after 50 pitches. Neftali Feliz pitched a scoreless inning for the Rangers, allowing a walk and a single.
Turner, trying to win a spot in the Dodgers' infield picture, had two hits, as did Baxter.
Up next: Right-hander Colby Lewis makes his second start of the spring when he faces the Mariners in Peoria at 3:05 p.m. CT in a matchup available free via an exclusive audio webcast. Lewis, who is trying to come back from hip replacement and flexor tendon surgeries, faced six batters in his first start and allowed two runs on two hits and two walks. He retired just two batters while pitching against the Angels on Tuesday in Tempe.