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Cactus League

SPORTS
March 10, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
PHOENIX - The Dodgers' bullpen, expected to be a strength, has struggled in Cactus League play. Brian Wilson and Brandon League - former All-Star closers - gave up four runs and got just three outs Monday as the Dodgers surrendered a lead in the eighth inning or later for the third time in six games. For Wilson, the runs were the first he has given up this spring. But League has given up four hits, four walks and five runs in 22/3 innings and the club's top seven relievers have a combined earned-run average of 4.07.
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SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Temperatures are rising in the Phoenix area, but the Angels offense has cooled considerably since the team banged out 15 hits in a 15-3 win over the Chicago Cubs in their Cactus League opener on Feb. 28. In eight exhibition games since, the Angels, who face an Arizona split squad Saturday at Tempe Diablo Stadium, have combined for 25 runs and 69 hits. Only three Angels regulars seem to be swinging the bat well: catcher Chris Iannetta, who is hitting .500 (four for eight)
SPORTS
March 8, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
TEMPE, Ariz. --  Kole Calhoun is having a little identity crisis. "I've kind of had these weird baseball personalities," the Angels right fielder said. "Am I a leadoff guy? A power guy? A guy who steals bases? I don't know. I just want to play, and you can define what it is that I do. " The Angels want Calhoun to bat leadoff, but they don't need him to be Rickey Henderson . They'd gladly take Calhoun's final two months of 2013, when he was called up from triple A in late July and hit .282 with a .347 on-base percentage, a .462 slugging percentage, eight home runs and 32 runs batted in. "With some of the adjustments he's made with his swing and approach, he's really become a tough out," Manager Mike Scioscia said.
SPORTS
March 1, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Dodgers 5 AT THE PLATE: Yasiel Puig drove in his second run of the spring with a sacrifice fly in the second inning. Dee Gordon stole two bases and scored a run. Top outfield prospect Joc Pederson doubled in a run in the ninth inning. Non-roster player Clint Robinson was three for three with a run scored, raising his spring average to .667. ON THE MOUND: With rain predicted for Saturday, Dan Haren feared the game would be canceled and alter his throwing program.
SPORTS
February 28, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Dodgers 5, Chicago White Sox 0 AT THE PLATE: Top prospect Joc Pederson hit a two-run, opposite-field home run. Adrian Gonzalez doubled to left-center in the second inning, his second double in as many days. Reserve outfield candidate Mike Baxter doubled in a run in the eighth inning. Nonroster player Clint Robinson was two for two with a home run and scored two runs. ON THE MOUND: Setup man Brian Wilson, closer Kenley Jansen, Chris Perez, J.P. Howell, Jamey Wright and Matt Magill each pitched a scoreless inning in relief.
SPORTS
February 28, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Angels' Cactus League opener has a bit of an opening day feel about it. Jered Weaver, the ace, is the starting pitcher. The Angels are fielding their everyday lineup, minus the injured Josh Hamilton. The starting rotation appears set, at least for now. After Weaver starts Friday, C.J. Wilson is set to start on Saturday, followed by Hector Santiago on Sunday, Garrett Richards on Monday and Tyler Skaggs on Tuesday. Joe Blanton, the sixth starter for now, will probably start on one of the three days the Angels have split-squad games and pitch in the middle innings on other days.
TRAVEL
February 28, 2014 | By Charlie Vascellaro
Sure, there are changes in the ballclubs that populate Arizona's Cactus League, as those teams begin to mold themselves into contenders. But the biggest change this spring may be the new Cubs Park in Mesa. The park is part of the league's consolidation trend for the Phoenix area: The Chicago team's new home is at the busy junction of Arizona 101 and 202 loop highways on the Tempe-Mesa border. Some design elements will remind you of the Cubs' historic Wrigley Field. The left-field party deck is modeled after the famous rooftops of the Chicago neighborhood surrounding Wrigley.
TRAVEL
February 28, 2014 | By Charlie Vascellaro, Special to the Los Angeles Times
For baseball fans, spring training may be the best time of year. For Dodgers fans, the Camelback Ranch ballpark and player development facility in Glendale, Ariz., provides a ringside seat to a hope that is both eternal and immediate, given the team's current lineup of talent. For Angels fans, a star-studded cast has returned for the team's 22nd consecutive season at Tempe Diablo Stadium. And if you're not a baseball fan, there's always the beauty of the Sonoran Desert and a variety of resort accommodations and entertainment options along the Cactus League's periphery.
SPORTS
February 26, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 1 AT THE PLATE: Yasiel Puig batted .517 in the Cactus League last year. One game into the exhibition season this year, he's batting .667. Puig was two for three and drove in Carl Crawford for the Dodgers' only run with a third-inning double to left-center field. Designated hitter Justin Turner, a candidate for the team's vacancy at second base, was one for two with a double and a walk. ON THE MOUND: After Clayton Kershaw gave up three runs in two innings, Javy Guerra, Seth Rosin and Jose Dominguez combined to shut out the Diamondbacks over the next four innings.
SPORTS
February 25, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
As the Cactus League opens for play Wednesday, the most immediate story line is not difficult to determine: Is there really a rivalry between the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks? The Dodgers won the National League West. The Diamondbacks complained when the Dodgers jumped into the Chase Field pool to celebrate the division title, then mocked them for sending A.J. Ellis to Australia to promote the season opener rather than, say, Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers and Diamondbacks face each other Wednesday and Thursday, then once more in Arizona, then twice in Sydney, in the opening series down under.
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