Cory Sullivan in his heyday of 2007, when he had two doubles and scored twice… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )
Cory Sullivan is what you might safely call a long shot. As in, the longest of shots.
He’s a 32-year-old outfielder, trying to catch on with his fifth team in five years. A left-handed hitter who last season played for the Phillies’ triple-A team, and was then released.
But Sullivan must have learned how to make an entrance during all his stops, because he is off to a big-time start with the Dodgers.
After getting three hits Wednesday, he came back Saturday in the nightcap of a split-squad contest to break a tie score with a crushing, ninth-inning grand slam that propelled the Dodgers to a 10-6 victory over the White Sox.
After seven spring games, Sullivan now leads the Dodgers in hitting (.455) and runs batted in (6).
Sullivan’s best season was his rookie year with the Rockies, when he hit .294 with four homers, 30 RBIs and 12 steals in 378 at-bats. But after three seasons with Colorado he battled injury and threatened to slowly fade away.
The game began poorly for the Dodgers when Chad Billingsley, the rotation’s would-be No. 2, started and could not last the desired three innings. He gave up three runs on six hits and a walk, though he wasn’t exactly to blame for all three runs charged to him.
Billingsley left with two runners on and one out in the third, handing the ball over to Josh Lindblom.
That would be Josh Lindblom, young buck fighting for the only opening on the team as the final reliever. Safe to say, he did not advance his cause.
Lindblom immediately surrendered a three-run homer to Tyler Flowers, Chicago’s backup catcher. He gave up another run in the fourth inning. In his 1 2/3 innings of work, he was charged with two runs on three hits.
It was their second game of a long day, the Dodgers having tied Seattle, 5-5, in split-squad game during the afternoon.
Saturday night on offense against the White Sox, the Dodgers also picked up a pair of solo home runs. Juan Rivera hit his second in two days, and new utility manJerry Hairston Jr. hit his first of the spring in the sixth to tie the score, 5-5.
The Dodgers scored their first run in the third inning on what may actually prove a more familiar means when shortstop Dee Gordon beat out an infield hit to shortstop. Then he stole second and scored on aTony Gwynn Jr. double.
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