Joe Torre concerned about Dodgers’ errors
— The eight-inning gem by Hiroki Kuroda and a late offensive burst Friday night might have camouflaged the Dodgers’ defensive shortcomings, but Manager Joe Torre said he’s concerned about the alarming number of errors his team has made in the infant season.
“We feel we’re a better team than that,” Torre said. “We’re going to have to go out and play like it.”
The Dodgers committed two more errors in their 7-3 victory over the Florida Marlins, raising their four-game total to seven.
Casey Blake made the first mistake, failing to scoop up a routine grounder by Cody Ross in the fifth inning.
Russell Martin fielded a bunt by Cameron Maybin in the sixth, only to throw the ball into right field. Maybin scored later in the inning to put the Marlins ahead, 1-0.
A defensive miscue also resulted in a second-inning double for John Baker, as a fly ball he hit to shallow right field floated between first baseman James Loney, second baseman Blake DeWitt and right fielder Reed Johnson. The ball went off DeWitt’s glove.
With a fielding percentage of .986 that ranked fourth in the National League and a pair of Gold Glove winners in Matt Kemp and Orlando Hudson, the Dodgers were one of the top defensive teams in baseball last season. Hudson signed with the Minnesota Twins as a free agent.
“We still are,” Martin said. “We’ve made mistakes here and there, but it happens. It’s a long season, though.”
Ethier likely out for the series
Andre Ethier was out of the lineup for the second consecutive game because of a swollen left ankle, and Torre said he was unlikely to play in Miami this weekend.
“Andre’s not comfortable yet,” Torre said.
Ethier, who was hurt Wednesday retreating to first base on a pick-off play, tested his ankle in agility drills under the supervision of trainer Stan Conte and physical therapist Sue Falsone. He also hit in the batting cages.
Johnson started in right field in Ethier’s place, and Loney took his place as the No. 3 hitter.
By the way, Ethier turns 28 years old Saturday.
Twice, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt visited the mound Friday. Both times, Kuroda retired the next batter, as he forced Dan Uggla to fly out to center in the sixth and struck out Jorge Cantu to end the eighth.
Opposing hitters were previously batting .667 immediately after Honeycutt’s excursions out of the dugout.
Asked if he communicates more effectively in Japanese, Honeycutt laughed.
“He just shook his head like he knew Southern,” the Tennessee-born Honeycutt said of Kuroda.
The Dodgers took part in their second of three home-opening ceremonies. The next will be at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.... Sidelined reliever Hong-Chih Kuo is tentatively scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday. He could be sent on a minor-league rehabilitation shortly after.... Ronald Belisario, who was five weeks late to camp, could pitch to hitters in extended spring training as early as this weekend.... Former fifth-starter candidate James McDonald pitched five innings of one-run ball for triple-A Albuquerque in his season debut Thursday.