SAN ANTONIO (AP) Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer on the first pitch he saw, Matt Carson added another three-run shot, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Texas Rangers 11-6 on Friday night.
Texas starter Anthony Bass and Los Angeles starter Erik Bedard combined to allow 10 runs in the first inning before the scoring finally settled down in the opener of a split-squad, two-game set at the Alamodome.
Bass, who’s on a minor-league contract but had previously shown some promise this spring training, gave up hits to the first three Dodgers he faced. It was capped by Puig’s blast.
Carson then followed with his home run, and when the Dodgers batted around, lead-off hitter Joc Pederson slapped a solo home run that put Los Angeles up 8-0.
”Both teams had to be thinking that we were going to run out of pitching pretty quick,” Carson said. ”I know I was thinking `Uh oh,’ because everybody else is back in Arizona.”
The Dodgers sent 13 batters to the plate, but Bass was not allowed to see Puig again. It didn’t matter. Puig lined a single into center off reliever Roman Mendez.
Puig went 2 for 3 and lifted his batting average above .200 this spring. Pederson was 3 for 4 and is batting .471.
The Rangers’ 1-2 hitters, Leonys Martin and Elvis Andrus, were a combined 4 for 5.
”I’ve played here (in the Alamodome) three years, and every time I know how Miguel Cabrera feels hitting the ball,” Andrus said. ”It feels so good.”
Maybe the Dodgers and Rangers found a few more fans by moving an exhibition game away from their spring training homes. But they likely didn’t find much help for their injury-plagued starting rotations.
Bedard, in his first year with the Dodgers after 11 big-league seasons, quickly loaded the bases by allowing three straight hits to the top of the Texas order. He allowed runs by issuing consecutive walks to Rougned Odor and Carlos Corporan.
The Dodgers’ starters got bad news earlier Friday when Hyun-Jin Ryu appeared headed to the disabled list after receiving an injection for tightness in his left shoulder. But the Rangers have been particularly hard-hit by injuries this spring. Yu Darvish (ligament transplant surgery) will miss the season and Ross Ohlendorf came out early from his start this week with tightness in his right groin.
Dodgers: Bedard, 36, said it was easy to dig a hole on the pitching mound, which was set up for temporary use at the Alamodome. The soft mound may have contributed to the two run-producing walks he issued late in the bottom of the first.
”I got a little tired in that inning,” he said.
Bedard has been a control pitcher much of his career. His best season was nine years ago when he went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA in his final season with the Orioles. His 221 strikeouts were fourth-best in the AL in 2007 before being traded to Seattle.
He struck out one Rangers batter to go along with his three hits allowed and two walks. He’s gone 3 1/3 innings and has given up five hits.
Rangers: Though Bass is on a minor-league contract, his chances to make the Rangers’ opening-day squad could not have been discounted entering Friday, considering the injuries to Texas’ staff and the fact that Bass pitched well in his last outing (no runs, three strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings). He had 5 1/3 scoreless innings this spring, but the Dodgers touched him for six hits, most of them well-hit. Though Carson’s home run was almost a bloop over the short right-field fence (275 feet down the line), Puig’s and Pederson’s homers easily cleared 350 feet. Even Justin Turner’s single lined to the right-center field wall.
”The balls that were hit off me were up in the zone,” Bass said. ”I’m fighting for a spot on the team, so I’m disappointed with the result.”
Dodgers: Los Angeles suffered no injuries, and the pitching staff breathed a sigh of relief when Clayton Kershaw only lost a bit of a tooth when hit by a line drive at the split-squad game back in Arizona against Oakland.
Rangers: Delino DeShields played for the first time in a week after a mild right hamstring strain. He’s a Rule 5 draft pick from the Astros and has to be offered back to Houston if he does not make the Opening Day squad and a trade cannot be made.
REMEMBER THE ALAMODOME: The quirky baseball configuration at the Alamodome – its seats are not movable for a traditional baseball layout – took another turn for the weird in the first inning when Martin’s popup to short right field was headed to Puig until it hit the basketball scoreboard. It deflected safely to the field for a base hit. The scoreboard is a holdover from the days when the Spurs played in the stadium from 1993-2002. Two batters later, Carlos Peguero reached base when Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez could not handle a bad bounce off the artificial surface used specifically for the baseball game.
FAMILIAR IN SA: The Dodgers remain a familiar sight with San Antonio fans, plenty wearing the colors of the Dodgers organization that had a 23-year presence here. The team’s Double-A affiliate was based in San Antonio from 1977-2000, with players such as Steve Howe, Fernando Valenzuela, Orel Hershiser and Mike Piazza making a stop.
UP NEXT: The teams conclude their two-game set Saturday afternoon. Zack Greinke is scheduled for his third spring training start for the Dodgers. He’s given up three earned runs with three walks and two strikeouts in five innings. The Rangers counter with Anthony Ranaudo, who’s coming back after discomfort in his throwing right arm held him just short of his scheduled 50-pitch count on March 12.