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Dodgers continue their long-ball show in 5-4 win over Angels

Home runs, nice to have. Generally very helpful when you’re attempting to outscore the other team.

The Dodgers lost their two most powerful bats in the off-season -- Matt Kemp traded to the Padres, Hanley Ramirez signing with the Red Sox -- so they aren’t expected to be blasting rockets out of ballparks this year.

Which is not to say they won’t get their share, just that they won’t be leading baseball with their home-run total. Like they are this spring.

That’s right, a team supposedly built around gritty at-bats and line drives leads every team this spring with 42 home runs, five more than the second-place Cubs. They’re clobbering everything.

The Dodgers came up with two more homers Saturday afternoon in their 5-4 victory over the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer in the second inning, and Alex Guerrero crushed a solo shot in the third, both coming off Angels starter Matt Shoemaker. It was the fifth of the spring for Pederson, tying him with Yasiel Puig...

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Dodgers' Brandon League opts for weeks of rehabilitation over surgery

Dodgers reliever Brandon League said he was “devastated” when told his shoulder problems would sideline him for at least the first two months of the regular season.

“I feel like crap,” League said. “Worked three months, four months, in the off-season to avoid this stuff. And the fact that you get this news and the fact that I felt the best I’ve felt ever in spring training, it’s kind of devastating. I’m past that point now. I had my time to sulk in the hour flight. Got my goal in mind and I’m pretty good at reaching them.”

The results of League’s recent MRI examination were reviewed on Friday by Drs. Neal ElAttrache and James Andrews.

League said he was now on an eight-week rehabilitation program.

Surgery was a consideration.

League said he didn’t know how long an operation would have sidelined him, but said, “I know it’s more than eight weeks.”

The possibility of surgery could be revisited if League fails to complete his rehabilitation program.

“That’s my next option, I guess,” he...

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Paco Rodriguez remains nearly perfect but Dodgers fall, 8-4

If you’re nearly perfect, you’d think that would mean something in spring training. You know, like a job. But the exhibition season is littered with those with spotless ERAs and high batting averages sent back to the minors.

The Dodgers have plenty of roster openings in their uncertain bullpen and you’d have to think left-hander Paco Rodriguez has earned a spot. Anyway, you’d like to think so.

After another excellent outing in the Dodgers’ 8-4 loss to the Giants on Friday night at Camelback Ranch, Rodriguez has been about as perfect this spring as anyone would have reason to demand.

In his eight appearances, Rodriguez has not given up a run. In his 8 1/3 innings, he has surrendered only three hits and no walks while striking out 10. The only reason he’s not a slam dunk to make the team is because he can still be optioned. And that’s not a good enough reason, not the way he’s pitching.

He came into Friday’s game to replace Zack Greinke with two outs in the fourth inning and runners at...

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Dodgers' Brandon League to be sidelined for extended period

Reliever Brandon League is expected to be sidelined for a couple of months with shoulder inflammation, Manager Don Mattingly said.

"It's an extended period of time," Mattingly said.

The results of League's recent MRI examination were reviewed Friday by team physician Neal ElAttrache, as well as another doctor. League was diagnosed with posterior shoulder inflammation and prescribed rest.

"I think it's three weeks of rest," Mattingly said.

League would have to build his arm strength after that. He is also expected to pitch in minor league games to get in competitive form.

League pitched in only two games in the exhibition season, most recently March 9.

If League is placed on the 60-day disabled list, he wouldn't count against the team's 40-man roster. That could create an opening necessary to place a non-roster player such as Sergio Santos or David Huff on the opening-day roster.

League, 32, had a bounce-back season last year, posting a 2.57 earned-run average in 63 games. He is in the...

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Little reason for Dodgers to move an extra left-handed reliever

Here’s a -- what should we call it? -- situation that seemed unlikely before the Dodgers opened camp: A surplus of left-handed relievers.

Since they spent most of last season using just one, J.P. Howell, this was hard to see coming. Yet with only 10 days remaining before their season opener, they still have three left-handed relievers on their active roster – Paco Rodriguez, Adam Liberatore and Howell – plus are looking hard at non-roster invitee David Huff.

Now there’s one thing to have a surplus of left-handed relievers and quite another to have a surplus of good ones. But the Dodgers may actually have quality here, and for whatever credence you give spring training stats, some very good ones.

Which would naturally attract the attention of other teams in need of left-handed help in the bullpen. One report already has the Mets eyeing the L.A. bullpen, apparently watching Howell, Rodriguez and Liberatore.

Of course, other teams can scout and “eye” all they want, but there really is...

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Clayton Kershaw looks ready for prime time in Dodgers' 9-6 win

So many spring uncertainties. Will the Dodgers’ rotation stay healthy, the bullpen come together, the defense really be improved, Hector Olivera show up?

Nice to know there are some things you can count on, such as Stan Kasten saying he feels horrible about the continued TV blackout.

And Clayton Kershaw.

That’s right, the Dodgers' reigning MVP and Cy Young winner looks ready to rock ’n’ roll. That was made all the more evident by his little outing Thursday in the Dodgers’ 9-6 victory over the White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.

Kershaw went six strong innings, holding the White Sox to one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out eight. All in 88 neat pitches.

For what it’s worth, he lowered his 2015 spring ERA to 1.86 in his five appearances, striking out 20 in 19 1/3 innings. For what it’s worth, because it’s spring, and last year he left Arizona with a 9.20 ERA.

Yasiel Puig remains another player who would probably like to start the season immediately instead of April 6....

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