May is sharp as Dodgers beat Cubs in spring training game
The Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 5-2 on Thursday in Mesa, Ariz.
MAY THE FIFTH? Dustin May, a strong candidate to be the Dodgers’ fifth starter, gave up one run and two hits in five innings, striking out six. The Major League Baseball Twitter account featured his strikeout of Javier Baez, which ended with the scoreboard flashing “100” on strike three. “It’s always cool to look back and see 100,” May said. “I’ve still got to get guys out.” In 13 2/3 innings this spring, May has 17 strikeouts and a 2.63 earned-run average. Clayton Kershaw, Trevor Bauer, Walker Buehler and Julio Urías are the apparent first four in the Dodgers’ starting rotation.
LINEUP JUMBLE: The Dodgers rolled through the postseason last year with a set lineup, in which Max Muncy batted fourth and Cody Bellinger batted sixth. Manager Dave Roberts said he is “thinking through” whether to bat Bellinger fourth and Muncy sixth. “Both guys are very talented, you could argue interchangeable,” Roberts said. “I don’t think I can make a wrong decision.” Bellinger is batting .167 this spring, with one home run, one walk and seven strikeouts in 19 plate appearances. Muncy is batting .211, with one home run, eight walks and 10 strikeouts in 46 plate appearances.
FULL NELSON: The Dodgers added pitcher Jimmy Nelson to the 40-man roster, all but clinching a spot for him on the opening day roster. Nelson did not pitch last season and has pitched 10 games over the past three seasons, slowed by shoulder, elbow and back injuries. He threw at least 175 innings in each of the previous three seasons, and he has thrown seven innings this spring, without giving up an earned run. Roberts said Nelson could be used as a high-leverage reliever, a long reliever, and a spot starter.
While MLB and its players’ union jockey for leverage ahead of new CBA negotiations, a pitcher is injured trying to bat and the game might suffer.
EXTRA BASES: Catcher Will Smith singled twice and drove in three runs. He’s batting .343 this spring. … Closer Kenley Jansen, throwing no harder than 91 mph, struck out two of the three batters he faced. Jansen has faced 25 batters this spring, walking one and striking out 12.
ON DECK: Kershaw and the Dodgers face the Oakland Athletics on Friday at 6 p.m. at Camelback Ranch. TV: SportsNet LA. Radio: AM 570.
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