GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Dee Gordon gave the Chicago White Sox a taste of what the Los Angeles Dodgers hope will become familiar to National League opponents this season.
The Los Angeles leadoff man tied up a close game with his legs, then the Dodgers pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning for a 4-3 win Monday.
The Dodgers trailed 3-2 when Gordon opened the sixth inning with a bunt single, stole second, continued to third on a throwing error by the catcher and scored on a sacrifice fly by Jerry Hairston Jr. Gordon has 10 steals this spring.
“He’s done it two or three times this spring,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He gets on, they throw it away, he scores on anything.”
Jerry Sands hit an RBI single in the ninth to win it.
Sands, expected to make the club going into spring training, has had “a rough camp … to be kind of honest,” Mattingly said.
The Dodgers are looking for a right-handed hitter who can fill in on Andre Ethier’s days off.
“You never know,” Mattingly said. “A hit that finds a hole, wins a game. From that point, he can relax a little bit and all of a sudden we see who we’re looking for.”
White Sox starter John Danks allowed two earned runs and five hits in seven innings. Afterward, manager Robin Ventura said Danks would start on opening day.
“I think that’s cool,” Danks said.
“It’s an honor. It’s something everyone dreams about, throwing on opening day,” he said. “I’ve had the opportunity to watch five of them. You can’t help but think, `Man, what if that were me out there?”
Danks pitched four scoreless innings before giving up an RBI double to Ethier and a run-scoring single by Matt Treanor in the fifth.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley gave up 11 hits and three runs in 5 2-3 innings. He allowed nine hits in the first three innings, retired all six batters in the fourth and fifth and gave up two more hits before leaving in the sixth.
“Everything felt pretty good today,” he said.
Early on, “I threw some decent pitches but they were just finding the holes,” he said.
Said Mattingly: “He kept us in it, gave us a chance to win it. That’s what you ask in the regular season: Get off to a bad start, hang in there and give us a chance. That’s really what he did today.”
Paul Konerko had three hits for the White Sox, raising his average to .362. Dayan Viciedo had two hits and is batting .140.
NOTES: Dodgers LHP Ted Lilly, projected as the No. 3 starter, won’t be able to pitch as scheduled Tuesday because of neck stiffness. It’s possible Lilly’s regular season debut could be pushed back until after the Dodgers’ first five games. … Dodgers LHP John Grabow opted out of his minor league contract and became a free agent. … White Sox SS Alexei Ramirez made a spectacular short-hop catch and throw from deep in the hole to nail Juan Rivera at first. . ..Coming into the game, White Sox slugger Adam Dunn was tied for the Cactus League lead in walks (11) and was tied for sixth in homers (4)… Billingsley threw 101 pitches, 65 for strikes. … The Dodgers were the home team at the stadium both teams call home. … Danks threw 81 pitches, 59 for strikes.