Taylor, Dodgers offense picks it up in final exhibition
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Taylor hit a two-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense showed some life in its final spring tuneup, beating the crosstown Angels 5-0 Tuesday night.
The Dodgers open the season Friday in Denver’s thin air against the Colorado Rockies, and based on this spring, it seems like they could use the jolt from hitter-friendly Coors Field. Cody Bellinger, Mookie Betts and Max Muncy all batted under .200 this spring, although manager Dave Roberts was happier with their cuts toward the trail end.
“Mookie, the last couple of nights, swung the bat really well,” he said. “And I do like the way Cody’s intent on swings was the last couple of nights. It was really good.”
Newcomer Freddie Freeman drew two walks Tuesday, and Muncy ripped an RBI double to right-center. Muncy tore an elbow ligament on the final day of the regular season last year and missed the playoffs.
“Max is his toughest critic, but I think his superpower is that he has a very good way of looking over a baseball and can run counts, take walks,” Roberts said. “But for him to square it up like that, put it in the gap, I know that felt good. He’s very dependable as a ballplayer.”
In a sluggish spring, the Dodgers had consecutive victories just once and never won three in a row. But with the season opener later in the week, the sense was that the club is where it needs to be.
“(Spring) was a small snapshot, a small moment in time,” Roberts said. “To say that we got everything we wanted to get accomplished ... we did everything we wanted to do in three weeks and everybody (else) had the same schedule and I feel good where we’re at going into opening day.”
The Dodgers scored three early runs off Angels right-hander Michael Lorenzen. After seven seasons with the Reds, Lorenzen joined the Angels as a free agent in November. He grew up in nearby Fullerton and went to Cal State Fullerton.
His first outing at Anaheim in an Angels uniform will come soon enough. Wearing the uniform just down Interstate 5 in Los Angeles was nearly as satisfying.
“It’s awesome to come home, sign with the Angels, throw my first game in a big-league stadium at Dodger Stadium, just down the street, you can’t beat it,” Lorenzen said. “I’m pinching myself daily.”
Angels star Mike Trout sat out a second straight game with a stomach bug. He is expected to play in the season opener Thursday at home against the Houston Astros.
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