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Walker Buehler struggles to get results in Dodgers’ exhibition loss to Rangers

Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 3 of the World Series in October.
(Tony Gutierrez / Associated Press)

Rangers 4, Dodgers 3 (eight innings)

ON THE MOUND: Walker Buehler threw 40 pitches over three innings out of the stretch in an effort to get his “mechanics down,” but it didn’t translate into results. The right-hander gave up four runs and five hits, including a solo homer to Joey Gallo — the fourth of the spring for the Rangers slugger — and a two-run shot to Rougned Odor in the first. Texas added another run on back-to-back doubles by Delino DeShields and Isiah Kiner-Falefa in the second. Kenley Jansen, his fastball touching 91 mph, gave up a single in a scoreless fourth. Left-hander Victor Gonzalez, who has looked sharp all spring, struck out one in a one-two-three fifth.

AT THE PLATE: The Dodgers scored twice in the fifth when Chris Taylor walked, Gavin Lux doubled to the wall in left-center field, Sheldon Neuse hit a run-scoring single to right and Zach Reks grounded into a double play, scoring Lux, who is five for 11 this spring. DJ Peters crushed a solo homer well beyond the left-center-field wall in the eighth. Taylor, the versatile utility man, made his first spring start at third base and made a nice play to his left to field a grounder hit by Brock Holt and throw to first for the out.

The Dodgers expect pitcher Julio Urías to be an integral part of the pitching staff this season.

EXTRA BASES: Cody Bellinger, who is recovering from surgery on his right shoulder, played three innings of defense in an intrasquad game Sunday, and manager Dave Roberts said the center fielder remains on track to play in an exhibition game around March 15. … The Dodgers expect Brusdar Graterol to be ready for a one-inning relief role by opening day, even though he hasn’t yet thrown off a mound. It appears Joe Kelly, slowed by arm soreness, will not be ready to start the season. “Brusdar is ahead of Joe right now,” Roberts said. “Joe is a ways away.”

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UP NEXT: Julio Urías is scheduled to throw three innings in his second spring start against the Chicago White Sox at noon PST at Camelback Ranch. Right-hander Mike Wright is scheduled to start for the White Sox. TV: SportsNet LA.


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