This post comes to you from the bus on the way back from Jacksonville, where the Dodgers took on the Jacksonville Suns in an intrasquad game today. The players representing the club’s Double-A affiliate were victorious, 8-3. Dodger third baseman Bill Mueller led off the second inning with a solo homer over the right field wall on his first swing in a Los Angeles uniform, while prospects Delwyn Young, Andre Ethier and Joel Guzman each hit two-run homers for Jacksonville. Ethier’s bomb actually cleared the pavilion in right field, landing in the parking lot outside the stadium — and he drew two walks.
On the mound, Justin Orenduff pitched two scoreless innings to earn the victory while Jonathan Broxton closed out the win with a scoreless ninth inning, striking out two. Center fielder Matt Kemp went 3-for-4 and catcher Dioner Navarro threw out two of the three runners attempting to steal off him. It was an impressive showing for the Dodger prospects, who you’ve all heard so much about.
Other guys you might be interested in were Nomar Garciaparra (0-for-3), Oscar Robles (2-for-3 with an RBI) and Chad Billingsley (2.0 IP, 3 hits, 1 ER).
Now, February has come to an end and the Dodgers will play their first game of the Grapefruit League season on Thursday against the Braves at Holman Stadium. If you’re reading this from Vero Beach, tickets are still available. Brad Penny will start the opener for the Dodgers, followed by Aaron Sele, Lance Carter, Kelly Wunsch, Tim Hamulack and Danys Baez. Friday’s rematch between the two teams in Orlando will feature Brett Tomko in his first start for the Dodgers.
Plus, there was a little more news today: Tommy Lasorda will be enshrined in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. Tommy spent nine years in the International League, where he became the Montreal Royals’ all-time winningest pitcher, earning him a spot in the country’s Hall of Fame. That marks the fifth Hall of Fame into which Lasorda will be inducted, joining the National Baseball Hall of Fame (1997), the National Italian American Hall of Fame (1989), the Montgomery County Coaches Hall of Fame (2002) and the South Atlantic League Hall of Fame (2001). In the meantime, Tommy is heading to Japan tomorrow as part of the World Baseball Classic.