Greinke strikes out 6 in Dodgers' 11-3 win over Rangers
SAN ANTONIO (AP) Zack Greinke turned in his best work of the spring Saturday, tossing four shutout innings and six strikeouts as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Texas Rangers 11-3 to complete a split-squad two-game sweep.
Greinke struck out the side of Leonys Martin, Elvis Andrus and Ryan Ludwick in the first. Andrus had been the Rangers' hottest hitter, reaching base safely in five of his last six plate appearances. Martin and Andrus were a combined 5-for-6 on Friday against the Dodgers, but went 0-for-3 against Greinke in the spacious Alamodome.
''It's a big stadium, so you have that feel that it's closer to a real game,'' said Greinke, who also gave up three hits in his third spring training appearance. ''A big crowd, and you had your away routine where you wake up in your hotel and take the bus out to the game, which you really don't do for spring training.''
Andrus said Greinke was tough to face.
''He controlled every breaking pitch,'' Andrus said. ''It looks like he has about 20 different pitches.''
The Dodgers got a pair of home runs from Adrian Gonzalez, his first of the spring. Kike Hernandez led off the game with a homer off Anthony Ranaudo, and Justin Thomas sent one out in the third. He has hit safely in 10 straight games and has a .469 batting average this spring.
Dodgers: Besides the four innings of work on the mound, Greinke showed two other parts of his game - hitting and fielding.
The Dodgers did not use the designated hitter. Greinke struck out swinging at Ranaudo's high fastball in the second, leaving a man on first, and sent Andrus sprawling on a nice fielding play for the out to lead off the fourth.
''I was trying to get comfortable out there, like it was the regular season,'' said Greinke, a .219 hitter with 224 career at-bats and 49 hits.
In the field to start the second inning, Greinke, a first-time Gold Glove winner last year, grabbed Joey Gallo's dribbler in front of the mound and tossed to Gonzalez for the out at first.
Rangers: Ranaudo gave up the leadoff homer, but it might well have been caught in any other park - it barely cleared the wall not far from the 275-foot sign down the right-field line.
Ranaudo, a right-hander obtained in a trade with Boston after he was International League Pitcher of the Year last season at Pawtucket, threw four innings and gave up six hits with three earned runs. He struck out two and walked two.
It was his first appearance since feeling discomfort in his throwing arm held him just short of his scheduled 50-pitch count March 12.
''I needed to make adjustments more quickly,'' Ranaudo said. ''I wasn't happy with that, and those are the little things I need to get accomplished as the season gets closer.''
Dodgers: Starting pitcher Erik Bedard was expected to have his left triceps evaluated upon returning to Arizona. He reported tightness in his throwing arm during Friday's start. Bedard, 36, could pick up a start if Hyun-jin Ryu is placed on the disabled list after receiving an injection in his throwing shoulder Friday.
Rangers: Delino DeShields showed no ill effects after his return Friday from a weeklong right hamstring strain. He was 0-for-4 at the plate over the two days but had three putouts in the field.
LOCAL APPEARANCE: Dodgers reserve catcher Tyler Ogle, who grew up in nearby New Braunfels, played in both games this weekend in front of the home crowd. Ogle, who played collegiately at Oklahoma, had a pinch-hit strikeout Friday, but went 1-for-2 Saturday and was a replacement catcher.
BASEBALL IN SA: This was the third year of Major League Baseball at the Alamodome, and the two games between Texas and L.A. drew more than 46,000 (25,434 Saturday while it was steadily raining outside the covered stadium).
Dodgers: L.A. has a full-squad return to Glendale on Sunday for left-hander David Huff's start against Cleveland. It'll be his second start from four appearances. He's given up five hits and an earned run (four strikeouts) in 5 2/3 innings.
Rangers: Yovani Gallardo takes the mound Sunday in a full-squad game against Seattle in Peoria, Arizona. It's Gallardo's third appearance, and all five of his runs in 5 2/3 innings pitched this spring have been earned. He's looking to rebound from his only losing record (8-11) in eight seasons.