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Walker Buehler is sharp and so are the Dodgers as they win two split-squad games

Dodgers right-hander Walker Buehler pitches during the National League Division Series against the Nationals on Oct. 9, 2019.
The Dodgers’ Walker Buehler, shown in last year’s playoffs, threw two hitless innings with two strikeouts and no walks Saturday in a 14-2 win over the Rockies.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

The Dodgers won two split-squad games Saturday, defeating the Colorado Rockies 14-2 at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, Ariz., and the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-4 at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.

ON THE MOUND: Walker Buehler threw two hitless innings with two strikeouts and no walks against the Rockies, his fastball touching 96 mph. The 25-year-old right-hander and de facto team ace said his goal in his third full season is to log 200 innings, a mark no Dodger has reached since Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in 2015. He is encouraged that he “felt better in the playoffs last year than I did at any point of the year,” he said. Relievers Joe Kelly and Brusdar Graterol each threw a scoreless inning against Colorado, with their fastballs reaching 98 to 99 mph. “It’s a nice, easy97 to 98 miles per hour,” manager Dave Roberts said of Graterol, acquired from Minnesota for Kenta Maeda. “It’s effortless, the way he throws.” Ross Stripling pitched two scoreless one-hit innings, and left-handers Caleb Ferguson and Scott Alexander each threw a hitless inning against the Diamondbacks.

The highly disappointing and mysterious Dodgers career of Yadier Alvarez came to a sudden and surprising end Saturday he was designated for assignment.

AT THE PLATE: The Dodgers sent 16 batters to the plate in an 11-run, nine-hit fifth inning against the Rockies that featured two home runs by outfield prospect Cody Thomas, a former Oklahoma quarterback who has four homers this spring. Austin Barnes hit a three-run homer, Enrique Hernandez hit a two-run double, and Zach McKinstry had a single and run-scoring double in the inning. Left fielder Zach Reks hit an opposite-field homer in the second and a double in the fifth. Justin Turner had two hits and two runs batted in; Gavin Lux had two hits, including a triple, and an RBI; and Luke Raley hit a solo homer in the first inning against the Diamondbacks.

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EXTRA BASES: Blake Treinen, who is expected to play an important late-inning relief role after signing with the Dodgers this winter, took another step toward pitching in a game by throwing live batting practice. He is expected to make his Cactus League debut in the middle of this coming week. … In addition to his two hits, Reks made a diving catch of David Dahl’s drive to left in the first inning against Colorado.

UP NEXT: Left-hander Victor Gonzalez is scheduled to start against Texas right-hander Corey Kluber at Camelback Ranch. TV: SportsNet LA, noon PST. Radio: 1020.


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