Dodgers finish sweep of M's with 5-2 win
LOS ANGELES (AP) Joc Pederson used his bat, glove and arm to help Brett Anderson record his first victory with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Pederson continues to turn heads with every game he plays during his first full season in the big leagues. He singled home a run, made a diving catch to rob Mike Zunino of a hit and threw him out at the plate Wednesday night in a 5-2 win that completed the Dodgers' three-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners.
It was measure of payback for Pederson, who was thrown out trying to steal second base by the Mariners' catcher on consecutive nights.
''He threw me out yesterday and he got me again today, so I'm glad I could return the favor,'' Pederson said. ''Defense is huge, and it wins ballgames. To be able to take one away from someone is always nice to do. It brings some momentum to the team and it gives the pitcher some more confidence to make his pitch - knowing their teammates are back there doing what they can to make a play for them.''
Scott Van Slyke had a two-run double in support of Anderson (1-0). The left-hander allowed two runs - one earned - and six hits over five innings and struck out three in the annual Civil Rights Game, which included a pregame ceremony celebrating the 68th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's major league debut.
One of Seattle's runs came on a homer by red-hot Nelson Cruz, who has gone deep in a career-best five consecutive games.
''I don't think any park is pitcher-friendly to Nelson Cruz at this point,'' Anderson said. ''But I was able to keep the ball on the ground better and get some groundballs and some soft line drives. I've given the team a chance to win two times in a row, so I'll take that at this point. It was a pretty special day to be a part of.''
Taijuan Walker (0-1) gave up five runs, six hits and four walks in four innings. Last Friday at Oakland, the right-hander surrendered nine runs and nine hits through 3 1-3 innings in his first start of the season.
''His velocity was fine. He's just got to control the strike zone a little better,'' manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''We've got to get better efforts from our starters. We've got to get deeper into ballgames. We've got a real good bullpen, but they won't be worth a darn if we keep running them out there.''
The Dodgers, coming off back-to-back walkoff victories against Seattle in the first interleague series of the season for both clubs, did all of their scoring in the first three innings. They grabbed a 3-0 lead in the first on a two-out RBI single by Andre Ethier and Van Slyke's double to left field.
Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI single off the glove of first baseman Logan Morrison in the second, and Pederson singled home a run in the third. Gonzalez added a double in the sixth for his 19th hit in the team's first nine games.
The Mariners got on the board in the fourth when Cruz homered to right-center. They got another run in the sixth on an RBI groundout by Kyle Seager with the bases loaded, and were threatening for more when Robinson Cano ran himself into a costly out.
Paco Rodriguez had just walked Morrison when Cano inexplicably kept creeping down the third-base line, trying to catch catcher Yasmani Grandal napping. But Rodriguez frantically motioned and yelled to his batterymate, who reacted quickly and ran Cano back to third before Juan Uribe tagged him for the second out.
''Robby just thought the bases were loaded,'' McClendon said. ''Tonight, we got in the way of our talents, there's no question about that.''
Mariners: Felix Hernandez, whose second start of the season on Sunday at Oakland ended after five innings because of tightness in his right quadriceps, threw a side session Wednesday on flat ground and did not experience any setbacks. So, the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner is a go to start on Saturday against Texas at Safeco Field.
Dodgers: RF Yasiel Puig sat out his second straight game due to tightness in his left hamstring. ... LF Carl Crawford didn't start because of an injured left foot, which occurred Tuesday night when he scrambled back to second base after making a wide turn on a single. He pinch-hit in the seventh and struck out.
Mariners: LHP J.A. Happ (0-0) will start against the Texas Rangers on Friday night against RHP Yovani Gallardo in the opener of a nine-game homestand.
Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw (0-1) will start the opener of a three-game set against Colorado at Chavez Ravine on Friday against RHP Kyle Kendrick.