Break up the Dodgers! They’re a juggernaut, an unstoppable baseball force, a superhuman sports power that your children’s children will one day sing about.
The Dodgers beat the Angels, 9-1, on Monday in Tempe, like they ever do much of anything else. That left them leading the Cactus League, and all teams in National League, this spring with a 6-1-2 record. Only the Tigers (6-1-3) can feign being at their lofty heights.
Somebody needs to investigate the Dodgers’ March 6 loss to the evil Giants. Something clearly funny was going on that day, because otherwise they are a machine that leaves other little teams quivering in their wake.
They can play small ball, they can play long ball, they can probably play bocce ball.
Of course, a 6-1-2 spring record actually means … absolutely nothing. Other than for now, the Dodgers are feeling fairly good about themselves. And coming off last year’s mediocrity, that’s at least something.
Monday they had their way with the Angels from the first batter on. Dee Gordon did what the Dodgers hope he can do when these things really matter: he led off with a bunt single against Jered Weaver, stole second, advanced to third on an Adam Kennedy grounder to second and scored on an Andre Ethier double.
Former Angels outfielder Juan Rivera doubled in two more. Then in the third he hit a solo homer off Andrew Taylor.
In the fifth inning it was back to small ball. Matt Kemp singled, stole second, advanced to third on a groundout and scored when Rivera bounced out.
Then in the sixth inning it was back to long ball. Such a versatile team. Pinch-hitter Justin Sellers crushed a three-run homer off Matt Shoemaker. The Dodgers added one more in the eighth inning when Alex Castellanos continued to open eyes with a run-scoring triple.
Meanwhile, their pitchers followed Sunday’s effort when seven pitchers combined to shut out the Cubs on five hits. This time five pitchers held the Angels to one run on three hits.
Aaron Harang gave up one run in his three innings while catcher Chris Iannetta doubled in the third and scored on a pair of groundouts.
Angel Guzman, Chris Withrow, Wil Ledezma and Scott Rice followed with six scoreless innings.
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