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Spring Training

March 8, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Arizona 5, Angels 2 AT THE PLATE: Albert Pujols struck out looking at a sharp-breaking curve and grounded out to shortstop in two at-bats against Archie Bradley, Arizona's top pitching prospect, his spring average falling to .066. But Pujols drove in a run with a sharp single to center field against Matt Stites in the fifth inning. Outfield prospect Matt Long had a run-scoring double in the fifth. ON THE MOUND: Garrett Richards was dominant for two innings, retiring six batters in a row and hitting 97 mph. But he fell behind on counts in the third and fourth innings and gave up five runs and eight hits, including Didi Gregorius' two-run double and Paul Goldschmidt's run-scoring double.
April 12, 2014 | By Chris Foster
Most UCLA football fans would say, "Who?" when asked to point out Sam Handler . That doesn't mean they haven't noticed him. Handler, the walk-on receiver who had Fabio -like hair, was easy to spot. Those locks earned him the nickname "Sunshine. " He has been harder to pick out this spring. Handler shed the hair for charity this past Christmas, donating it to Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides hairpieces to financially disadvantaged people younger than 21 who had long-term hair loss because of medical treatments.
March 11, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Dodgers 7, Royals 5 AT THE PLATE: Scott Van Slyke hit a two-run home run in the eighth inning against Scott Alexander. The situation is the kind in which the Dodgers think Van Slyke will be able to help them this year: in the late innings, against a left-handed pitcher. "We feel like he's going to thump some lefties," Manager Don Mattingly said. Alex Guerrero tripled off the top of the center-field wall in the ninth inning. ON THE MOUND: Dan Haren gave up seven hits and a walk over four innings but held the Royals to one run. He started the fourth inning by loading the bases without recording an out and limited the damage to one run. Haren isn't scheduled to pitch in the Dodgers' season-opening series in Australia, but is still preparing as if he will.
April 7, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
While the Dodgers were preparing to open a two-game series against the Detroit Tigers, Brian Wilson was at a minor league game. Wilson is fine with that. The Dodgers' bearded $10-million setup man is looking ahead. “I was signed for multiple reasons. For clubhouse, leadership, certain advice to certain pitchers, but most of all I was signed so I could play in October,” he said. “That's what this team was built for. That's the whole reason they signed me last year. It's the exact reason why they signed me this year.
March 22, 1987
Off the field, it's hard to catch three Dodgers standing still at the same time. But on a recent day in their locker room, Rick Honeycutt, Mariano Duncan and Matt Young were game to try new styles for spring. Honeycutt leaned toward khakis and classics. Duncan went for bright colors and trim fit. Young, lately traded from the Seattle Mariners, liked just about everything--including a sample of sunglasses between takes--but liked his new uniform best.
March 3, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Angels 3, Arizona 2 AT THE PLATE: The Angels took advantage of wild pick-off attempts to score their first two runs. Leadoff man Kole Calhoun, who drew two walks, took third base on Eury De La Rosa's errant throw past first base and scored on J.B. Shuck's sacrifice fly in the sixth inning. Shuck took third on Marcos Mateo's errant throw to first and scored on John Hester's two-out bunt single in the eighth. ON THE MOUND: Closer Ernesto Frieri, whose wife gave birth Friday to the couple's second child, threw a one-two-three fourth inning in his spring debut.
March 17, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
AT THE PLATE: Kole Calhoun hit a walk-off home run, the second of his two hits against the Giants. He also stole a base. Erick Aybar (two hits) and Howie Kendrick (two runs batted in) make for a hot-hitting middle infield, with Aybar at .333 and Kendrick at .387. ON THE MOUND: Hector Santiago (against the Giants) and Joe Blanton (against the Cubs) each pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up three runs and four hits. Joe Smith, the Angels' $15.75-million relief solution, blew a 6-3 lead against the Giants by giving up four runs and four hits.
March 23, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Angels 5, Indians 2 AT THE PLATE: Albert Pujols had an eventful day, hitting a run-scoring triple to right-center in the first inning - his first triple as an Angel - getting hit in the left elbow by a pitch in the third and doubling to left in the fifth. Josh Hamilton singled twice and drove in two runs with outs, and Ian Stewart, making a late push for a utility spot, hit a solo homer in the eighth. ON THE MOUND: Reliever Michael Kohn entered with a 7.36 earned-run average in eight spring appearances, walking four and striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings and struggling to find his rhythm.
March 15, 2014 | By Bill Shaikin
Angels 4, Rockies 4 (10) AT THE PLATE: Mike Trout hit a home run that cleared the 410-foot sign in center field with plenty of room to spare. Matt Long, a longshot for a backup outfield spot, homered to raise his spring average to .444. Albert Pujols had two hits; he has seven hits in his last 14 at-bats after starting the Cactus League with one hit in 15 at-bats. ON THE MOUND: Jered Weaver worked five innings, giving up three runs and nine hits, including a long home run to Carlos Gonzalez.
January 21, 2010 | By Bill Shaikin
The $90 seat is out at Camelback Ranch this spring, and free parking is in. The Dodgers have quietly eliminated the 198-seat VIP section at their spring home, in which fans were offered such perks as preferred parking, food coupons, sunscreen and "cool, scented towels." "Based on fan feedback, we determined that premium seating in spring training wasn't necessary," Dodgers spokesman Josh Rawitch said Wednesday. Those VIP seats were sold for $90 last spring, the highest price in the Cactus or Grapefruit leagues.
April 4, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
Chad Billingsley will pitch Sunday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, the first of his five scheduled starts on a minor-league rehabilitation assignment. Billingsley, who is recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, last pitched in the major leagues on April 15 of last year. Standing in the Dodgers clubhouse Friday before the team's home opener, Billingsley said, “It felt like a year since I'd last been at the stadium. You almost forget how beautiful the stadium is.” When the Dodgers departed spring training for their season-opening series in Australia, Billingsley remained in Arizona.
April 2, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
In one corner of the Angels clubhouse Tuesday night there was at least some sense of urgency after an 8-3 loss to the Seattle Mariners dropped the club to 0-2 on the season. The Angels, remember, killed their playoff hopes by going 17-32 in the previous two Aprils. “We're not in spring training anymore -- these are real games,” pitcher C.J. Wilson said after allowing six runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings. “We need to put our best foot forward every night and try to win games.
April 2, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
SAN DIEGO -- Complaints about the season-opening series in Australia resurfaced before the Dodgers' 5-1 victory over the San Diego Padres on Wednesday at Petco Park, this time centered around how the overseas trip might have resulted in injuries to Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson. Kershaw, who strained a back muscle pitching in Australia, will be sidelined, at least, for the remainder of the month. Wilson joined him on the 15-day disabled list with an irritated nerve in his elbow.
March 28, 2014 | Kevin Baxter
The Angels had a dismal spring last year, losing a major league-worst 20 games. And that lethargy carried over to a regular season in which the team spent just one day above .500. It's been a different story this spring, with the Angels' 7-5 win over the Dodgers in Thursday's Freeway Series opener running their exhibition winning streak to nine games. And that has the team hoping success, too, will carry over into the regular season. "We want to finish spring strong," outfielder Josh Hamilton said.
March 26, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
PHOENIX - Angels fans won't have Joe Blanton to kick around anymore. The Angels released the struggling and oft-criticized right-hander on Wednesday and ate the remaining $8.5 million on his contract, a move that was probably more difficult for General Manager Jerry Dipoto to digest than Blanton. "It's regrettable, it's a mistake on my part, there's no one else to blame," said Dipoto, who signed Blanton to a two-year, $15-million deal before 2013. "I made the call on signing Joe Blanton, and obviously this isn't the way he or I wanted it to work out. Unfortunately, that's the way it goes sometimes.
March 26, 2014 | By Dylan Hernandez
For Chone Figgins, his reunion with the Angels in the Freeway Series will mark a triumph. Games against his former team used to a be painful reminder of what he left behind. Over the next three days, when the Dodgers and Angels face each other in their annual exhibition series, they will be a testament to his perseverance. Figgins is on the Dodgers' major league roster, a minor miracle considering how he has spent the last several years. He went into spring training on a minor league contract.
March 24, 2014 | By Mike DiGiovanna
Angels 11, Giants 4 AT THE PLATE: Josh Hamilton doubled to left-center field in the fourth and hit a run-scoring double to right-center in the fifth to improve his spring average to .391 (nine for 23). J.B. Shuck, battling Collin Cowgill for a reserve outfield spot, had a single and a two-run double. Chris Iannetta walked twice and hit a solo homer, his third of the spring. Grant Green hit a two-run double in the eighth. ON THE MOUND: Tyler Skaggs, who entered with a 6.14 earned-run average in four games, gave up one run and seven hits in 51/3 innings, striking out two and walking three in a 96-pitch effort that Manager Mike Scioscia called "a huge step forward" for the 22-year-old left-hander.
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