GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly figures his batting order on opening day will look a lot like what he tried Friday. He hopes the result will be familiar, too.
The Dodgers started their expected lineup for the first time in spring training and beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 in a game that included a three-run homer by James Loney and a fielding gem by the first baseman.
“That’s pretty much it,” Mattingly said. “That’s kind of what I’m looking at right now.”
Most of it had to look good, especially Loney, who had been troubled by tightness in his calf. Any worries about that lingering injury were gone in the first inning when Loney made a diving snag of a hard grounder by Brad Hawpe.
The next inning, batting sixth, hit a 2-0 pitch from Greg Reynolds over the Rangers’ bullpen in right field and on to an elevated walkway at Camelback Ranch. The towering shot, his first homer this spring, scored Andre Ethier, who doubled, and Juan Rivera, who walked.
Loney did not play in games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
“James knew exactly what he needed,” Mattingly said. “He needed a couple of days off.”
In the third, Ethier, batting fourth, hit a sacrifice fly to deep center. In the sixth, the Dodgers got an RBI single from Juan Uribe.
Dodgers starter Ted Lilly threw four scoreless innings, allowing one hit without a walk. He retired his last 11 batters.
“Not bad,” said Lilly, who was critical of his performance despite the numbers. “It was OK. The results probably were a little better than I pitched. But it’s always nice when you get away with mistakes.”
Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen didn’t get away with anything. He gave up back-to-back home runs in the fifth to Brandon Snyder and Luis Martinez.
“I’ve never given up two home runs in one inning. Never. It was kind of a funny feeling. I’m thinking, `What did I do? Hey, they just got me,”‘ he said.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)