Dodgers’ Capuano struggles with the long ball
PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Chris Capuano had problems with home runs for the second straight start.
Trying to earn a job in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation, Capuano allowed long balls to Mike Zunino and Franklin Gutierrez during a three-run third inning Saturday in a 9-5 loss to the Seattle Mariners.
Capuano started with two perfect innings that included three strikeouts before Zunino homered leading off the third.
In a rotation led by Clayton Kershaw, additions Zach Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, and Josh Beckett, Capuano is competing with Aaron Harang and Ted Lilly.
“I don’t worry about getting a spot in that rotation,” Capuano said. “It doesn’t change what I do or how I go about my business. I’m going to get my work in, and I’m going to compete hard in every game. Ultimate decisions aren’t up aren’t up to us as players, and it doesn’t behoove us to pay attention to the process of making them.”
The 34-year-old left-hander was 12-12 with a 3.72 ERA in 33 starts last year. He has allowed four homers in two spring training outings, and he went straight to the bullpen after the third inning to work on his fastball command.
“There will be a time to make some tough decisions, but that’s a little ways down the road,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He needs to keep working and to keep refining.”
Seattle has won eight exhibitions in a row and has 20 homers in nine games.
“We have a lot of options, and a lot of talent we can mix and match into a lineup,” manager Eric Wedge said. “If there was ever a year to play a lot of spring games and let guys show us all of what they can do, this is it.”
Gutierrez was 2 for 3 with four RBIs and raised his spring training home run total to three.
“It’s still early, but the most important thing to take from these games is that we’re doing something right,” he said. “We have a lot of talent here, a lot of guys that can hit the ball a long way. I don’t think anybody tries for home runs, but we’re being aggressive within the strike zone. That’s the key to success, no matter when the games are played.”
Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma allowed one run and two hits in two innings. Dodgers reliever Chad Billingsley gave up three runs and five hits in 2 1-3 innings.
NOTES: Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez is to throw a bullpen session Sunday and to make his 2013 spring training debut on Thursday. The Mariners have two games that day, and Hernandez is expected to pitch against Kansas City rather than Oakland, Seattle’s opening-day opponent. … Dodgers OF Andre Ethier was scratched from Friday’s lineup due to a blister but played Saturday and was 2 for 2. Ethier’s right elbow was hit by a pitch from LHP Oliver Perez in the fifth inning. Ethier was immediately removed for a pinch runner, and Mattingly said he was not hurt.