Signs of a new era were everywhere Friday at Dodger Stadium: Improved scoreboards, expanded concessions with privately run booths--featuring pizza, hamburgers, tacos and yogurt--and a new-look lineup.
Darryl Strawberry drew cheers with every step he took. Brett Butler singled his first two times up.
But there were still some kinks to work out. The state-of-the-art high resolution DiamondVision board wasn't on line yet. Neither were televisions at the new concessions stands, causing some unhappy fans among the crowd of 44,781 to miss considerable action while in long lines.
And on the field the future took a step forward when Jose Offerman, just inserted in the game, slashed an eighth-inning single to score the tiebreaking run in the Dodgers' 4-2 victory in the opening game of the Freeway Series.
Through seven innings, the teams were tied, 2-2, behind impressive pitching from starters Kirk McCaskill and Ramon Martinez.
Offerman, the heir apparent at shortstop but currently listed behind Alfredo Griffin and fighting for a spot on the roster, came up against reliever Cliff Young with runners on first and second and singled hard up the middle in the eighth.
When Junior Felix bobbled the ball in center, Stan Javier continued to third and scored moments later on Mike Sharperson's sacrifice squeeze.
Offerman later got the last out of the game when he fielded a ball in deep short and turned a potential hit into a force at third.
The late rally made a winner of Jim Gott (1-1) and improved the Dodgers' record to 14-17. Jay Howell pitched the ninth to earn his third save.
The Angels are 12-14, and Young suffered his first spring loss in 10 games.
McCaskill continued his impressive pitching, holding the Dodgers to one run and six hits in six innings. He struck out four.
The most troublesome hitter for McCaskill was Martinez, who went two for two and drove in Lenny Harris with an opposite field second-inning double.
Martinez turned in a strong seven innings, giving up only five hits and striking out seven, but he gave up a run in the second on a walk to Lance Parrish, a double by Gary Gaetti and a run-scoring groundout by Felix, and another run in the fourth on another run-scoring single by Felix.
The Dodgers tied it in the seventh against Floyd Bannister on a leadoff single by Mike Scioscia, a sacrifice, a botched rundown and a run-scoring single by Juan Samuel.
Freeway Series Notes
Both teams started their probable opening day lineups, with the exception of the newest Angel, Dave Parker, who sat because there was no designated hitter Friday. The Dodger lineup: Brett Butler in center, Juan Samuel at second, Darryl Strawberry in right, Eddie Murray at first, Kal Daniels in left, Lenny Harris at third, Mike Scioscia catching and Alfredo Griffin at short. The Angels: Luis Polonia in left, Luis Sojo at second, Wally Joyner at first, Dave Winfield in right, Lance Parrish catching, Gary Gaetti at third, Junior Felix in center and Dick Schofield in right. . . . Lineup cards were exchanged by Dodger batting coach Ben Hines and new Angel first base coach Bruce Hines--his son.
The Angels placed three pitchers on the 15-day disabled list Friday: Bert Blyleven, who has a strained right shoulder after off-season surgery and has not made an appearance this spring; Bob McClure, who has a torn posterior labron in the left shoulder and has not appeared in a game this spring; and minor leaguer Jeff Richardson, who has a strained right shoulder and is in the Angels minor league camp in Mesa, Ariz. . . . The Angels still have to trim three players to get down to a 25-man roster. . . . Angel coach Jimmie Reese, the oldest man in uniform in the majors, remains hospitalized in Orange County with phlebitis in the left leg. St. Joseph Hospital said he is improving but will remain hospitalized a few more days.
New Dodger Kevin Gross will start against Mark Langston in tonight's game at 7 at Anaheim. They were teammates in Montreal.