Betts and USA lose WBC championship, Dodgers play split-squad games

Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
Japan won their third World Baseball Classic title.

Mookie Betts and team USA were defeated in the World Baseball Classic championship game, falling to Japan 3-2.

Betts led off and went 2-5 in the loss. In the end, Betts finished the World Baseball Classic with a .313 batting average.

Will Smith, the only other Dodger playing for USA, did not appear in the championship game.

Betts and Smith will now report back to Arizona with just over a week to go until Opening Day.

Guardians game

Clayton Kershaw made his third and best start of the spring. The longtime ace got through five innings with two runs allowed and three strikeouts. He surrendered four hits and zero walks along the way. Kershaw got the win, which brings his record to 1-1 this spring.

Out of the bullpen, Brusdar Graterol, Yency Almonte and Shelby Miller all made scoreless appearances. Graterol and Almonte threw an even inning each, while Miller got through 1 1/3 without allowing a baserunner. Additionally, Miller struck out two, making this his best outing of the spring.

David Peralta had a big game at the plate. In only his second start back from the World Baseball Classic, Peralta went 2-3 with a three-run homer. His big day brought his spring OPS up to .620, after he only had one hit in seven games entering the day.

Lastly, James Outman went 2-4 and tallied the other run driven in as the Dodgers won 4-2.

Giants game

Noah Syndergaard got roughed up as the starter against San Francisco. Throwing 4 1/3 innings, Syndergaard allowed six hits and six earned runs, picking up the loss. His velocity wavered from 90-94 mph, possibly due to the rainy conditions of the field.

In relief, Andre Jackson allowed his first earned run of the spring. Across 1 2/3 innings, Jackson allowed two hits but struck out three. After struggling in 2022, Jackson has dominated this spring with a 1.17 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.

In less that an inning of work, Phil Bickford allowed three earned runs. His ERA this spring ballooned to 5.68 before he exited the game after only recording two outs.

Freddie Freeman was the only batter to have a multi-hit game for the Dodgers. Freeman also drove in the only run of the day on a sixth inning single. Freeman has posted a 1.339 OPS this spring.

The Dodgers fell to San Francisco 12-1.

Roster moves

After their games ended, the Dodgers reassigned three pitchers to minor league camp, including standout prospect Gavin Stone. This was bound to happen eventually, as Stone does not hold a spot on the 40-man roster.

“I think it’s a certainty we’re going to see him at some point this year,” Dave Roberts said to SNLA after Stone’s eight strikeout performance on Sunday.

Veterans Jake Reed and Adam Kolarek were also sent down from big league camp.

Next, Ryan Pepiot is slated to start as the Dodgers take on the Mariners at 6:40 PM on Wednesday.

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