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Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton pitches scoreless inning

He faces four batters, throwing primarily fastballs. Manager Don Mattingly downplays significance, saying, 'You can't make a big deal out of it' in context of struggles at end of last season.

March 01, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton works against the Chicago White Sox in a spring training game Monday at Camelback Ranch.
Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton works against the Chicago White Sox… (Harry How / Getty Images )

Reporting from Phoenix — —

In his first appearance of the exhibition season, Jonathan Broxton faced four batters — too early in the spring and too small a sample size to draw any conclusions.

But at least he didn't look the way he did in the second half of last season, when he unraveled and was replaced as the Dodgers' closer.

"It felt good to get out there and back on the mound," Broxton said.

Like Broxton, Manager Don Mattingly downplayed the significance of the scoreless fourth inning in the Dodgers' 6-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.

"It's better than having to give up a couple of runs and really struggle," Mattingly said. "It wouldn't have been the end of the world if he was like that. You can't make a big deal of it."

Broxton said he threw primarily fastballs, the first of which was popped up by Paul Konerko. Alex Rios reached base on an error that probably should have been ruled an infield hit; Carlos Quentin grounded into a forceout; and A.J. Pierzynski grounded out to Broxton to end the inning.

Broxton said he's considering throwing more split-finger fastballs this year.

Then again …

"If I locate my fastball, that's all I need," he said. "I don't want to get beat on my third pitch. I'm probably just going to stay hard."

Kershaw's spring debut

Opening-day starter Clayton Kershaw pitched in his first game of the spring, holding the White Sox to one unearned run over three innings. He struck out three.

Mattingly chuckled recounting how Kershaw started the game — walking Juan Pierre on four pitches and falling behind to No. 2 hitter Gordon Beckham, 2-0.

"Typical," Mattingly said, referring to Kershaw's tendency to be wild early in games.

Gibbons is ill

Left fielder Jay Gibbons has been out for a couple of days because of flu. Mattingly said his hope is that Gibbons can work out Tuesday and make his spring debut as a designated hitter Wednesday.

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