LOS ANGELES DODGERS (13-12-4) at Arizona Diamondbacks (11-16-2)
Saturday, March 31, 2012 – 1:05 p.m., Talking Stick
LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. RHP Ian Kennedy
Spring Game 30/Road Game 16
Todays Starting Lineup:
Dodgers:Upcoming Spring Training Schedule:
@skinnyswag9 SS, Hairston 2B, @TheRealMattKemp CF, Ethier RF, Rivera LF, @jamesloney_7 1B, Uribe 3B, @AJEllis17 C, Kershaw P
Diamondbacks: Roberts 3B Bloomquist SS Upton RF Kubel LF Young CF Montero C Goldschmidt 1B Harbin 2BKennedy P
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?: The Dodgers and Diamondbacks meet for the first time this spring in the penultimate Cactus League contest for Los Angeles. Tomorrow, the two squads will tangle again at Camelback Ranch – Glendale in the Dodgers’ Cactus League finale. The National League West rivals will meet 18 times during the regular season, starting with a two-game series on May 14 and 15 at Dodger Stadium. Last year, the NL-West champion Diamondbacks won the season series with the Dodgers, 10-8.
HURLERS: LHP Clayton Kershaw will make his fifth and final Cactus League start this afternoon. The 2011 Cy Young Award winner is 2-2 with a 1.47 ERA (3 ER/18.1 IP) and a .203 opponents’ average against this spring. The southpaw’s next start will be Thursday, April 5 in San Diego’s PETCO Park, otherwise known as Opening Day, 2012. The start will be Kershaw’s second consecutive Opening Day assignment. He will be followed to the hill by:
● RHP Ronald Belisario will make his seventh appearance this spring. The native of Venezuela has allowed five runs in 7.0 innings this March, including a scoreless frame on Thursday against the White Sox.
● RHP Josh Lindblom will make his team-leading 10th appearance of the Cactus League season today. Thus far, Lindblom has a 4.50 ERA (5 ER/10.0 IP) this month and has struck out seven batters without a walk. The right-hander out of Purdue went 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA (9 ER/29.2 IP) in 27 appearances for the Dodgers last year.
● LHP Scott Rice gave up a run on Thursday vs. the White Sox and now has a 4.70 ERA (4 ER/7.2 IP) to go along with eight strikeouts and just two walks. The 30-year-old non-roster invitee is looking to make the Major Leagues for the first time in his 14-year professional career.
RACE TO THE FINISH: With just two games left, the Dodgers are looking to clinch their first winning Cactus League campaign since joining the league in 2009. Additionally, at 13-12 with five exhibition games left, the club is seeking its first winning Spring Training since going 17-16-1 in 2007. Yesterday, the Dodgers lost their fourth consecutive game, falling 9-4 to Milwaukee. Minutes later, the streak was snapped as the other split-squad put the finishing touches on a 6-3 victory over the Cubs in Mesa. Andre Ethier, James Loney, Luis Cruz and Matt Angle all had multi-hit games yesterday and LHP Chris Capuano looked spectacular on the hill, allowing just two hits and one run over 6.0 innings against the Brewers.
FOLLOW THE LEADERS: Dee Gordon went 1-for-3 with a triple yesterday, while Andre Ethier belted his third homer of the spring and drove in four runs. The duo have been two of Los Angeles’ hottest hitters this spring as Gordon ranks among the NL leaders in batting average (.382, 5th), steals (10, 2nd), runs (15, 1st) and on-base percentage (.460, 4th). Ethier leads the league with 42 total bases, is tied for the league lead with 16 RBI, nine doubles and three triples and leads the Dodgers in average (.400) and slugging percentage (.933).
(Los Angeles Dodgers Matt Kemp with Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun Friday, March 30, 2012 at Camelback Ranch-Glendale in Phoenix, Arizona © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers 2012)
WHO’S READY!: The 2012 regular season kicks off for the Dodgers in just five days in San Diego and the Dodger Stadium 50th anniversary season begins in 10 days. The Dodgers’ home opener against the Pirates has sold out, but a limited number of seats for the big day are available through the purchase of Full Season, 25-game Pick ‘Em and 15-game Mini Plan packages.
SING FOR THE FENCES: Today in Los Angeles, the Dodgers are holding the first Red, White and Dodger Blue National Anthem Auditions at Dodger Stadium. The goal is to select performers to sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” at home games this season. Singing hopefuls were lining up outside the stadium before 5:00 a.m. and hundreds of potential idols have turned out to let the judges hear their pipes. One participant will be selected to sing the national anthem at the Dodgers’ first home game in Los Angeles, as they take on the Angels next Tuesday, April 3.