Ethier hits 2-run HR, Dodgers fall to Rockies
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) Andre Ethier hit his first home run this spring, connecting against Colorado starter Jhoulys Chacin as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost to the Rockies 6-4 in a split-squad game Saturday.
A two-time All-Star, Ethier hit a career-low .249 last season and fell out of the everyday lineup. Joc Pederson's strong play this month has him in the lead for the starting job in center field.
Ethier, who turns 33 next month, went 1 for 2 and reached base four times as the designated hitter. He's 6 for 11 in the past four games.
''He's been considered (for an outfield spot) the whole time,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''He's kind of finding his rhythm a little bit. He's swinging the bat good right now.''
After retiring the first six hitters, Dodgers non-roster invite Chad Gaudin left with biceps pain after Nick Hundley doubled and Trevor Story tripled to start the third.
Chacin exited with no outs in the fourth, giving up four runs, seven hits and two walks.
Dodgers: Gaudin, charged with two runs in his first start, called the injury nothing more than a ''tweak'' and insisted he wouldn?t miss any time.
Gaudin last pitched in the majors in 2013, when he made 12 starts with San Francisco.
''I know I can pitch,'' Gaudin said. ''I?m just going to prove everything all over again.''
Rockies: Chacin was held to 11 starts last season due to shoulder issues. He has a 6.52 ERA this spring.
''I feel fine,'' he said. ''It?s a good thing that right now nothing counts.''
Dodgers: With LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (shoulder tightness) possibly headed to the disabled list, LHP Brett Anderson will pitch in a minor league game Tuesday so he can move up a spot in the rotation.
Rockies: SS Troy Tulowitzki was scratched from what would have been the first time he?s played consecutive days since returning from hip surgery.
''He?s fine,'' manager Walt Weiss said. ''Mapping out his workload, I just made a decision to give him a day today. It has nothing to do with how he feels physically.''
1B Justin Morneau (left elbow tendinitis) is expected to return in a couple days.
DE LA ROSA UNCERTAINTY
An MRI Saturday revealed a left groin strain and nothing worse for Jorge De La Rosa, whose start Friday was cut short by the recurrent injury. It remains uncertain if the lefty will be ready to start the home opener April 10.
''I want to take my time. I don?t want to be worse,'' De La Rosa said. ''If they want me to skip one or two starts, I?m going to do it. I want to make sure I?m healthy for the rest of the season.''
De La Rosa added ''all my career I?ve had problems'' with a tight groin.
Former Rockies star Larry Walker began a five-day stint as a special instructor. He sat next to Weiss during his morning media briefing, and the ex-teammates began bantering immediately.
''He?s my personal assistant,'' Weiss said.
''I?m going to keep him from charging the umpires,'' Walker said.
''It?s important to have former players part of what we?re doing now, especially this former player,'' Weiss said.
''That?s enough,'' Walker said.
Walker was happy to see Morneau, a fellow British Columbia native, win the NL batting title last season while wearing Walker?s old No. 33.
''Homeboy,'' Walker said.
Dodgers: LHP David Huff starts Sunday against Cleveland.
Rockies: RHP Kyle Kendrick, picked to start opening day, makes his fourth start Sunday against Arizona.