Dodgers’ Mookie Betts back in action after brief bout with food poisoning

Mookie Betts watches the ball sail into the sky on an infield pop fly during the first inning of a spring training game on March 2.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Mookie Betts wasn’t too worried when he became ill at the end of last week. While the country was dealing with the growing COVID-19 outbreak, Betts knew what was ailing him, and it wasn’t the highly contagious virus. He had food poisoning. He knew immediately because he gets it semi-regularly.

“It seems like it’s once a year so hopefully this is my once,” Betts said. “We’ll just cross the bridge when it comes next year.”


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Betts returned to the Dodgers’ lineup Wednesday against the Milwaukee Brewers after missing four games because of the illness. He said he lost three or four pounds but was healthy. The 27-year-old resumed working out with the team Monday. He said he doesn’t know what he ate that left him sick.

“I’ve had it so many times,” he said.

The illness interrupted Betts’ transition to his new club after being acquired from the Boston Red Sox along with left-hander David Price last month. He did not seem worried about the time away from the team facility.

Experts frown on plans by the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants to play games at alternate locations rather than at their home stadiums with no fans.

“I’m good,” Betts said. “Everything’s good now. It was a little bug that came and went and everything is fine.”

Betts batted leadoff and played right field Wednesday — the two spots he’s expected to occupy for the Dodgers this season. He popped out in the first inning and grounded out to third base in the third inning. He exited after four innings. He is batting .238 (five for 21) with a walk, double, and run batted in across eight Cactus League games.

Pederson progressing

Joc Pederson could play in a Cactus League game next week, manager Dave Roberts said. Pederson hasn’t appeared in a big league game all spring because of a hip injury. He took five at-bats and played the field over five innings in a minor league game Sunday.

“I know that the days that he swings and he’s running out there, he feels good and recovering well,” Roberts said. “But I don’t think that he’s done any throwing to bases. He’s swinging the bat, took the at-bats. He’s moving along.”