Below are the Spring Training notes from the Dodgers:
LIKE A ROCK: The Dodgers look for a two-game spring sweep of the Rockies this afternoon after defeating Colorado 7-1 on March 31 at Talking Stick. Los Angeles will look to win its fourth-straight season series against its division rival in 2011 after going 11-7 against Colorado last year when the clubs kick off their 18-game season slate with a brief two-game set at Coors Field on April 5-6.
START THE COUNTDOWN: The start of the 2011 campaign is only a week away and next Thursday’s contest will mark the tenth time in L.A. Dodger history that the club will open the season against the Giants, and the seventh at Dodger Stadium. Included in those previous nine games, is the first game in Los Angeles Dodger history (4/15/58), the first game of Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda’s managerial career (4/7/77), and the first game of the 1988 season (4/4/88), when Los Angeles went on to win its sixth World Championship in franchise history.
CHALK UP ANOTHER - Yesterday, the Dodgers continued with their winning ways with a 6-2 victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch - Glendale. Los Angeles has won six of its last eight games, posting a record of 6-1-1 since March 15. Southpaw Ted Lilly earned his first victory of the spring, allowing two earned runs and striking out five over 6.0 frames. The Dodgers' offense was firing on all cylinders with 13 hits as Matt Kemp, James Loney, Juan Uribe, Aaron Miles and Ivan de Jesus registered multi-hit games.
- GOOD WOOD: The Dodgers have pounded out 11 or more hits in seven of their last eight games and are batting .314 (90-for-287) during their recent 6-1-1 stretch. Los Angeles’ team batting average has risen 22 points to .261 since March 14 and eight Dodgers in camp are hitting over the .300 mark: Juan Castro (.379), Ivan de Jesus (.317), Tony Gwynn Jr. (.308), Matt Kemp (.320), James Loney (.317), Aaron Miles (.350), Trent Oeltjen (.400) and Marcus Thames (.324).
CARROLL-ING AGAIN: Jamey Carroll pinch hit in the eighth inning yesterday in his first game action since March 14 after being sidelined with a bruised finger. Carroll served as the designated hitter in several minor league games over the past week to keep his timing and will return to the field today as the starting shortstop against the Rockies.
- ON THE HILL: Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda will make his fifth Spring Training start this afternoon after allowing three runs over 5.2 innings on Saturday against the Brewers. Kuroda recently donated $50,000 to the Japanese Tsunami Relief Fund and spearheaded a team autograph signing on Saturday, which raised additional funds for the recovery efforts in his native country. The 36-year-old is entering his fourth season with the Dodgers after setting career bests with 11 wins, 196.1 innings and a 3.39 ERA in 31 starts last season. Jonathan Broxton, who has tossed scoreless relief in five of his six spring outings, Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal and Ramon Troncoso are also expected to pitch for Los Angeles. The Rockies will counter with 23-year-old right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who went 3-3 with a 2.87 ERA in six starts against the Dodgers last season.
DREAM TEAM: Prior to today’s game, the Dream Team, a collection of some of the best 13-and-under female baseball players in the country, will be presenting a team jersey to Tommy Lasorda and the Dodgers in memory of Christina-Taylor Green. The team, touched by Christina’s story, will be wearing a patch honoring her memory during their upcoming tournament in Gilbert, Arizona.
IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to Assistant Director, Public Relations Yvonne Carrasco! Yvonne shares her big day with NFL quarterback Peyton Manning (35) and the great magician Harry Houdini, who would have celebrated his 137th birthday today.