Dodgers 6, Rangers 4

Matt Kemp hit a towering two-run home run Sunday, his second of

the spring, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied for a 6-4 victory

over the Texas Rangers.

Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda gave up two runs in three innings,

but neither were earned. A two-out fielding error by Blake DeWitt,

who is in a battle for the Dodgers’ starting second base job,

opened the door for the Rangers’ two first-inning runs.

“What I am trying to do is to gradually, to being myself to my

peak as close to the first start of the season as possible,” said

Kuroda, who is expected to be the Dodgers’ No. 3 starter. “It’s

hard to do but that’s the goal.”

Rangers starter Derek Holland pitched well, giving up two hits

over three scoreless innings. He is in a battle for the No. 5 spot

in the rotation. Nelson Cruz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia had RBI

doubles.

The Rangers received a scare in the seventh inning when pitcher

Michael Kirkman was hit on the left side of his head by Reed

Johnson’s one-hop comebacker. The ball caromed off his ear and into

right field. Johnson ended up with a double.

Kirkman was removed from the game, leaving under his own power.

He was examined by a doctor but was not found to have a serious

injury.

“There’s no reason to leave him in there; you have to be

precautionary about that especially in an era of concussions and

head injuries,” pitching coach Mike Maddux said. “It was not a

sharply hit ball it was just right at his face and you just hope to

get a glove on those.”

With Dodgers manager Joe Torre expected back in camp Monday

after taking a split-squad to play in Taiwan, substitute manager

Don Mattingly figures to return control of the team. Mattingly had

been managing the club even before Torre left.

“I’m not sure if I’ll continue to manage these games or not,”

Mattingly said. “It’s something Joe wanted me to do early. I don’t

know what he has in mind going forward.”

Kemp’s home run in the sixth inning off Rangers reliever Pedro

Strop, tied the game at 4. Argenis Reyes put the Dodgers up for

good with an RBI single in the seventh inning and Brian

Cavazos-Galvez added a home run in the eighth.

Garret Anderson saw his first action of the spring for the

Dodgers, going 1 for 3 as the designated hitter. He singled to

right field in his first at-bat.

“Garret looked OK, we’re just getting him going,” Mattingly

said. “We’ll talk to him in the morning about playing the field

(Monday). I wanted to get him an extra at-bat so that’s why he was

the DH.”

NOTES: Recording artist Rihanna was in attendance Sunday. …

Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa was back on the field after

being briefly hospitalized Friday with stomach pains.