Big league pitchers excel as Dodgers tie Mariners 2-2

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
A plethora of MLB arms had scoreless outings before runs crossed in the late innings.

The Dodgers covered the first eight innings of the game with only pitchers on the 40-man roster. Those arms held the Mariners scoreless, as Seattle didn’t break through until the ninth.

Michael Grove started the game for his third outing of the spring. He was excellent, with one hit being his only baserunner allowed through three scoreless innings. Grove struck out two and lowered his spring ERA to 1.50. His off-speed pitches looked excellent.

Grove is fighting for more big-league time this season. He made his debut last year in May, getting called straight up from Double-A for a spot start, and ended up making six more appearances throughout the year. Grove is one of the first depth starters the Dodgers will call upon this year, and it’s possible he ends up having some outings out of the bullpen as well. Grove’s 3.79 ERA and 3.46 K/BB rate in the minors last year indicate that he is ready for a bigger MLB role.

Evan Phillips, Caleb Ferguson and Alex Vesia were the three returning relievers that posted scoreless innings. It was the third appearance of the spring for all three. Phillips and Ferguson both allowed a hit and a walk but avoided any damage, while Vesia retired the side 1-2-3 with two strikeouts. All three of these relievers were key contributors in 2022 and have posted 0.00 ERAs so far in the spring.

The final two shutout frames came from Shelby Miller and Jimmy Nelson, who both made their second appearance of the spring. They both struggled in their first outings and looked better in their respective innings tonight. Miller allowed two hits but struck out two, and Nelson forced three straight groundouts to retire the side.

The Dodgers scored their two runs courtesy of hits from prospects Ryan Ward and Drew Avans. Ward, who is batting .400 this spring, tallied an RBI single in the eighth to score the first run for either team.

After the Dodgers allowed two runs in the top of the ninth, Avans tied the game in the bottom half with an RBI triple that narrowly missed being a walk-off home run.

The Dodgers are back to playing at 12:05 PST tomorrow as they travel to Mesa to play the Athletics. Ryan Pepiot is the scheduled starter, and after Tony Gonsolin sustained an ankle injury that could sideline him for Opening Day, Pepiot may be competing for a rotation spot to open the year.

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