Kids look all right as Dodgers drop spring opener to White Sox

Joc Pederson
Joc Pederson went two for two at the plate with a double and a run in the Dodgers’ spring training opener against the White Sox on Wednesday at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

It was the first of 31 practice games, to be followed by 162 regular-season games, and then they hope, a long postseason run.

That makes for a serious amount of games, so there’s no getting too excited about one exhibition game, let alone the very first one.

But it’s the every-journey-starts-with-one-step routine, the Dodgers getting the first spring game of the season out of the way Wednesday, even if it was a 6-4 loss to the White Sox at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.

Teams tend to shrug off any underwhelming performances by veterans and check the enthusiasm level of prospects in the spring.


So if Andre Ethier started off his preseason bid to win back a starting outfield job by striking out in his only two at-bats, nobody was going to get too excited. Second baseman Howie Kendrick and catcher Yasmani Grandal each went 0 for 2 with a strikeout, and it was yawns.

Better to take encouragement from the kids, and there was plenty of that to go around.

Joc Pederson, who most think has that third outfield job to lose, was the designated hitter and went two for two with a double and a run. Corey Seager had a hit, a run batted in and a walk in two plate appearances. Alex Guerrero had two hits in as many at-bats. Less heralded O’Koyea Dickson, a 12th-round pick in 2011, hit a solo home run.

And if L.A.’s first three pitchers Wednesday -- Erik Bedard, Juan Nicasio, Carlos Frias -- were something shy of impressive in their opening appearances, bullpen candidates Sergio Santos, Adam Liberatore and Josh Ravin each threw a perfect inning of relief.


It was one down and a very long way to go. But it was one down.

Follow Steve Dilbeck on Twitter @stevedilbeck