Ramirez returns, homers to send Dodgers over Texas
Mar. 08, 2014
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup and hit his first homer this spring, a two-run shot in the first inning that sent the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Texas Rangers 2-1 Friday.
Ramirez was pulled in the sixth inning Thursday as a precaution after he was hit by a pitch in his right triceps. The All-Star infielder, who hit .345 with 20 homers in 86 games last season, is batting .167 this spring.
Carl Crawford drew a walk from Martin Perez, and Ramirez homered to center field.
Ramirez's return from thumb and hamstring injuries on June 4 last season helped spark a 46-10 run that carried Los Angeles from last place to first in the NL West.
"I think Hanley is getting his timing," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He's not one of those guys I worry about."
Despite the home run, Perez was mostly happy with his three innings of work in his second spring start. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out two.
"I feel pretty good," said the 22-year-old Perez, who broke his forearm last spring but came back to go 10-6 with a 3.62 ERA. "I still need to attack more with my fastball. My other pitches are good. The only thing I have to work on is my fastball. A couple of hitters, I was behind in the count."
Los Angeles starter Zach Lee worked two innings, giving up two hits.
Rangers: Perez could be a key to the rotation, especially with Derek Holland likely sidelined with a knee injury until midseason and Matt Harrison expected to open the season on the disabled list after undergoing back surgery last year.
Dodgers: Making his first spring start, Lee faced a major league lineup from top to bottom.
"It's always good to face a whole lineup of big league guys," he said.
The organization's minor league pitcher of the year last season is experiencing his first major league camp.
"It's kind of been shock and awe, really," said Lee, who was headed to LSU as a quarterback before he signed with the Dodgers in 2010 for $5.25 million. "I've been trying to be respectful, while also getting as much knowledge as possible."
Rangers: Harrison threw his first bullpen session in more than 11 months. He had been bothered by tightness in his lower back following two back operations. He is scheduled for another bullpen session Sunday.
Texas shut down right-handed reliever Nate Adcock because of numbness in the fingers on his throwing hand.
Dodgers: Zack Greinke is scheduled to throw to hitters Saturday for the first time since he strained his right calf while throwing only four pitches in his first spring start Feb. 27 against Arizona.
"Just knowing he's back on the mound is a good thing," Mattingly said.
SECOND TO NONE
Dee Gordon continued to look very comfortable at second base with a defensive gem in the third inning. He fielded a hard-hit grounder from Shin-Soo Choo, turned and completed the out with a quick throw to first.
It was another sign that Gordon is the leading contender to be the opening day second baseman. Mattingly, however, wasn't ready to give him the job just yet.
"He hasn't won any Gold Gloves yet," Mattingly said. "We're not ready to anoint him. But he's played well."
CALL FOR THE HALL
Dr. Frank Jobe, who died at age 88 on Thursday, was honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame during induction ceremonies last year. But Jobe, famous for performing the first Tommy John surgery in 1974, is not enshrined in Cooperstown.
"With all due respect to the Hall of Fame, they need to fix that," said Stan Conte, the Dodgers' director of medical service.
Conte said there has to be a place in the Hall for a man he calls a pioneer.
Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley is working his way back from Tommy John surgery last April. When asked if Dr. Jobe belongs in the Hall of Fame, Billingsley said: "Absolutely."