Pepiot makes solid start, Dodgers get two-hit in loss

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Dodgers lost to the Mariners 5-1.

Ryan Pepiot made his fifth start of the spring as Los Angeles was defeated by Seattle on Wednesday night.

Although the box score does not look great for Pepiot, he pitched better than the scoresheet indicates. Pepiot looked confident and got through the first four innings with only one run allowed. He ran into trouble in the fifth, falling into a bases loaded jam with zero outs. Pepiot was able to generate a 5-2-3 double play, but then was taken out of the game and the bullpen allowed both remaining runners to score.

In the end, Pepiot was charged with three earned runs over 4 2/3 innings of work. He struck out six and walked two, continuing an improved K/BB ratio that he has shown this spring. Through 13 2/3 innings, Pepiot’s 3.80 K/BB rate is a drastic improvement over his 1.56 clip in the majors last year.

Pepiot may begin the season as the fifth starter in the Dodgers’ rotation as Tony Gonsolin rehabs his ankle injury. He dominated Triple-A last year with a 2.56 ERA and will look to translate that success to the majors if he gets the spot over Michael Grove. Dave Roberts said after the game that the competition between Pepiot and Grove is “close.”

It was an extremely quiet game offensively for the Dodgers. Singles from Bradley Zimmer and Kody Hoese were the only two hits they tallied, with their only run scoring on a fielder’s choice from Miguel Vargas. Luke Williams scored the run after pinch running following a Max Muncy walk.

Austin Barnes returned from the World Baseball Classic to start at catcher. He batted second and went 0-3 with two strikeouts before exiting the game.

Although James Outman went 0-3 at the plate, he made his mark on the game playing right field, where he recorded an impressive outfield assist. On a single with a runner on first, he threw out the baserunner attempting to reach third. He recorded a second assist later in the game, although that one was facilitated by Miguel Vargas as the cut-off man.

Roster cuts

The Dodgers sent five players down from major-league camp after the game.

Left-hander Justin Bruihl and infielder Yonny Hernandez were optioned, and catchers Patrick Mazeika and David Freitas as well as outfielder Ryan Ward were reassigned.

As the roster continues to shrink, James Outman remains with the big league team. It now appears his main competition to make the Opening Day roster stand in Bradley Zimmer, Steven Duggar and Luke Williams. Outman is the only player of that group to already hold a 40-man roster spot, so that could give him a leg up.

Tomorrow is exactly a week before Opening Day. The Dodgers will take on their season opening opponent Diamondbacks for the final time this spring at 1:10 PM. Michael Grove is scheduled to start in what may be his final audition for the rotation before the season gets underway. The Dodgers are 13-9 this spring.

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