Today was a big day for Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Josh Beckett as he made his first start since undergoing TOS (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome) surgery last season. In his first action, the 33-year-old pitcher looked sharp in the first inning, allowing just a single to Yonder Alonso and struck out veteran Xavier Nady to end the inning.
Yasiel Puig led off the first for the Dodgers and popped out to first, but Andre Ethier actually got a hit off a lefty. However, Hanley Ramirez and Adrian Gonzalez both made outs to end the first inning. Picking up where he left off, Beckett was sharp in his second inning of work and seemed to have cleared a hurdle in his recovery. He allowed just one hit and struck out three Padres as his off speed stuff looked very sharp.
In the bottom of the second inning, Joc Pederson worked a one out walk, which was followed by a single for Tim Federowicz. Alex Guerrero was robbed of a single, but Pederson scored on the groundout to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Making his Dodger debut in the top of the third was Paul Maholm, who retired the side in order on just eight pitches.
Maholm would pitch another scoreless inning as the Dodgers and Padres traded zeroes until the fifth inning as the newly signed Dodger was relieved by Stephen Fife. Continuing the trend, Fife retired the Friars in order as the Dodger pitching showed how deep it was halfway through today’s game.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Guerrero and Justin Turner hit back-to-back singles and Puig brought him his countryman with a Sac Fly to left field, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. The Padres got on the board in the top of the sixth via an infield single from Alexi Amarista, cutting the Dodgers lead in half.
Sam Demel, the Dodgers fourth pitcher of the day, pitched a clean seventh inning and maintained the Dodgers 2-1 leading heading into the seventh inning stretch. With two outs, non-roster invitee Chone Figgins blooped a single to shallow left and stole second base immediately after. After working a nice at-bat, second base hopeful Dee Gordon tripled into the right center field gap, scoring Figgins and extending the Dodgers lead to 3-1.
The Dodgers next pitcher was non-roster invitee Daniel Moskos and after getting an out in the eighth inning, allowed a run-scoring double that cut the Dodgers lead in half. Rico Noel stole third base with just one out and with the infield drawn in, Rocky Gale tied things up with a single over Miguel Rojas’s head.
Moskos settled down to retire the side, but the Padres and Dodgers were tied at three heading to the bottom of the eighth. The Dodgers went in order in their half of the eighth inning and the two teams went to the ninth knotted at three.
New Dodgers pitcher, Stephen Smith who is without a name on the back of his jersey, allowed a leadoff double to Tommy Medica. After battling back to get two outs, manager Don Mattingly lifted Smith in favor of Fu-Te Ni against the Padres left-handed hitter. Ni allowed a walk, but got the Dodgers to the bottom of the ninth, with a chance to win it.
Miguel Olivo started the inning with a ground ball to third, but Darnell Sweeney smoked a single up the middle with one out. Figgins smacks a single to right, setting up Gordon with a chance to win the game. Unfortunately, the 25-year-old grounded out to first and Sweeney was thrown out at home. Mike Baxter grounded out to first to end the ninth inning and the two teams played to a tie, 3-3.
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