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Dodgers relievers have a strong showing in 3-2 loss to Rangers

Dodgers relievers have a strong showing in 3-2 loss to Rangers
Dodgers reliever Adam Liberatore pitches into the eighth inning of a game against the Giants during a spring training game on March 7. (Tim Warner / Getty Images)

The Dodgers lost to the Texas Rangers, 3-2, dropping L.A. to 16-14 in Cactus League play.

ON THE MOUND: Adam Liberatore, Brandon Morrow and Ross Stripling all threw scoreless innings after Scott Kazmir completed his three-inning stint. All three relievers have a decent chance to make the big league roster. Liberatore excelled last season before injuring his elbow. The Dodgers have been pleased with Morrow, who signed a minor league contract this past winter. He will pitch again Monday as one more test of his readiness. "To see how he rebounds tomorrow, we're really looking forward to seeing that," Manager Dave Roberts said. Stripling could be a long reliever, although the team won't commit to that role for him until they determine the best way to slot their rotation. Alex Wood could also make the team as a reliever, if Hyun-Jin Ryu wins the fifth spot among the starters.

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AT THE PLATE: Yasiel Puig doubled off Rangers starter Cole Hamels in the second inning. Puig has not hit well this spring, batting .233 and dealing with familiar kinks in his swing. But he still has an aptitude for hitting left-handed pitchers such as Hamels. After his hit, Puig got caught in a rundown on a routine grounder to the shortstop . . . Joc Pederson hit a home run in a minor league game.

EXTRA BASES: The Dodgers want reliever Pedro Baez to stretch his arm out for a two-inning stint before the team will feel comfortable having him on the major league roster, Roberts said. That means Baez, who is recovering from a bone bruise on his pitching hand, probably will begin the season on the disabled list. Baez could throw a session of live batting practice as early as Monday, but Roberts sees no reason to rush him back. "We're going to be conservative with Pedro," Roberts said.

UP NEXT: Chicago White Sox on Monday at Camelback Ranch, 1 p.m. No TV, no radio.

Follow Andy McCullough on Twitter @McCulloughTimes

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