Taylor shines in Dodgers’ 6-4 victory over White Sox

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Freddie Freeman returned to the lineup in the win.

After struggling mightily this spring, Chris Taylor had a big game in Saturday’s matchup with the White Sox.

Taylor entered the day batting just .091 without any extra-base hits. He turned it around against Chicago, going 2-4 with an RBI single and his first home run.

It was a rough 2022 season to begin Taylor’s four-year contract with the Dodgers. He batted just .221 and was dead last in strikeout rate among all major leaguers with 450 plate appearances.

A rebound in contact rate will be key for Taylor to contribute well to the Dodgers this year. He will see significant innings between left field, center field and shortstop, so it will be important to the Dodgers’ success for Taylor to find his swing again.

Entering his eighth season in Los Angeles, Taylor is one of the longest tenured players on the team. He will look to return to his 2021 self at the plate, when he hit 20 home runs and earned his only career all-star selection. He was above-average in OPS+ all five years before his tough 2022.

Freddie Freeman went 2-2 with a walk as the DH in his return to action. He last played for Canada in the World Baseball Classic, where he sustained a hamstring injury in their game on Tuesday.

Freeman is expected to play first base for the Dodgers tomorrow as the final step in his return to health. He is batting .421 this spring as Opening Day draws near.

Michael Grove made his fifth start of the spring. He ran into trouble in the first inning, allowing two runs and throwing 28 pitches before getting removed with two outs. He took the hill again to begin the second with a clean slate, and then settled in to pitch three shutout innings from that point forward.

Grove struck out six in his 3 2/3 total innings. He has struck out over 10 batters per nine this spring, which is a good improvement after only totaling 7.36 strikeouts per nine in the majors last season. Additionally, Grove has only walked one batter in total this spring. He will see time in the majors this year as a depth starter and relief option.

Out of the bullpen, Yency Almonte, Brusdar Graterol, Shelby Miller and Victor González threw a scoreless inning each. This was especially good for Miller and González, who have both struggled up to this point in the spring.

The Dodgers moved up to first place in the Cactus League with their win today. Tomorrow, they will host the Athletics with Dustin May scheduled as the starter.

World Baseball Classic

Mookie Betts and David Peralta faced off as USA battled Venezuela in the World Baseball Classic quarterfinal.

Betts went 1-4 with an RBI and a run scored as the United States won to move on. Peralta was also 1-4.

The biggest swing of the game came from former Dodger Trea Turner, who hit a go-ahead grand slam for USA in the eighth inning.

Will Smith is also on the USA roster, but did not appear as J.T. Realmuto did the catching.

The United States is now slated to take on Cuba tomorrow in the WBC semifinals.

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