Designated hitter Matt Davidson homered, and shortstop Corey Seager added an RBI single, propelling the Los Angeles Dodgers to a narrow 2-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics in the 2021 Cactus League opener for both teams.
Boy, was it ever good to have baseball back, even if it was only for seven innings.
In the top of the third frame, second baseman Zach McKinstry singled on a liner to center with nobody out and later advanced to second on a DJ Peters walk. McKinstry wound up at third after a Mookie Betts flyout to right and ultimately scored when Seager umbrellaed a single to center, giving the Dodgers the early 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Oakland tied the game when former Los Angeles outfield prospect Cody Thomas scored after pinch-running for left fielder Mark Canha. The inning began with a Canha walk, followed by DH Mitch Moreland being hit by a pitch. Thomas crossed the plate after first baseman Seth Brown grounded out to Michael Busch at second base.
The Dodgers took the lead for good when Davidson, who was acquired through a free-agent minor league contract earlier in February, homered on a line drive to left-center field off Oakland reliever Argenis Angulo.
The Dodgers used a total of six pitchers on the afternoon. 32-year-old, non-roster invitee Mike Kickham started the game for Los Angeles, throwing two full innings while surrendering just one hit and a walk.
Garrett Cleavinger threw the fifth, allowing the run by Thomas.
Jackson was credited with the win, and Grove collected the team’s first save of the spring. Grove struck out two of the three batters he faced.
Angulo suffered the loss for Oakland.
Peters ended up drawing walks in each of his two plate appearances.
The contest was played in front of 2000 fans at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, AZ, the home Cactus League venue for the Athletics.
Cactus League play continues on Monday when the Dodgers face the Rockies at Camelback Ranch.
First pitch is slated for 12:05 p.m. Pacific time.