Martinez breaks out in Dodgers win, Urías starts for Mexico

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
J.D. Martinez shined in his best performance of the spring.

A huge game from J.D. Martinez led the Dodgers to a 9-7 win over the Cubs on Friday.

It had been a slow start to spring training for the new Dodger. Entering the game, Martinez was batting just .188 in spring without any homers. That changed in a hurry as he had a big day.

The Dodgers’ DH went 2-4 with a home run and a double and five runs driven in. Both of his hits and all of his RBI came in the fourth inning, when the Dodgers batted around and put up an eight spot.

First, Martinez hit a three-run homer for Los Angeles’ first runs of the game. After the rest of the lineup added three more runs, Martinez came up again and drove in two with a double.

Martinez is set to play a big role in the offense this year. In the offseason, the Dodgers signed the veteran slugger to a one-year, $10-million deal to be their DH. Martinez producing will be essential to fill the gap left by the departures of big hitters Trea Turner and Justin Turner.

At 35, Martinez is entering his 13th season as a major leaguer. With Boston, he hit 16 homers with a .789 OPS in 2022, batting .319 against left handers. He now reunites with close friend Mookie Betts in Los Angeles for 2023.

Miguel Vargas also had a good game at the plate, going 2-3 with his first homer of the spring. He is batting .438 since being cleared to swing after fracturing his finger early in camp. Additionally, he continued to play well defensively at second base, where he turned three double plays today along with shortstop Chris Taylor.

Ryan Pepiot threw three innings as the starter, allowing one earned run and striking out four. The top prospect continues to impress as he looks to earn a spot in the rotation until Tony Gonsolin returns from injury. Pepiot has posted a 2.00 ERA and 13.00 K/9 through his first four starts of spring.

Lastly, Phil Bickford threw a scoreless inning and got a hold. His ERA this spring is now just 1.59 as he looks to bounce back from a shaky 2022 season.

The Dodgers will play their Camelback Ranch roommate in the White Sox tomorrow, with Michael Grove scheduled to start.

World Baseball Classic

Julio Urías made his second start of the World Baseball Classic as Mexico took on Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals. He had a rough first inning, allowing two homers and four runs before Mexico even got to hit. After that, however, Urías settled in and was able to get through four innings without any more damage.

Austin Barnes played well as the starting catcher for Mexico. He went 2-4 with a run scored, increasing his batting average in the WBC to .357. His double to begin the seventh inning started the rally in which Mexico would tie the game and eventually plate the go-ahead run.

Mexico defeated Puerto Rico 5-4 to advance to the semifinals, where they will take on Shohei Ohtani and Japan.

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