LOS ANGELES (AP) — The first two years of Brandon McCarthy’s contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers hardly went as planned.
He signed for $48 million and made four starts his first season before needing Tommy John surgery. He tried to come back last season, but struggled in 10 appearances with a 4.95 ERA and dealing with a case of the yips.
But after throwing three innings Saturday in the Dodgers’ 4-4 tie with the Angels in the teams’ final preseason game, McCarthy and the Dodgers are hopeful he’s now ready to charge ahead.
“It was good tonight,” McCarthy said. “I tried something new with (Albert) Pujols. It’s not something I’ll try again.”.
Pujols hit a two-run homer off McCarthy in the third. The Dodgers scored their runs on two-run homers from Justin Turner and Joc Pederson.
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McCarthy was given the final spot in the rotation, despite a mediocre overall spring (5.63 ERA).
“He’s built up to where he needs to be,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s progressed throughout the spring, gone the right way every week.”.
The Angels started right-hander Jesse Chavez, who spent last season as a reliever, including his last 23 games with the Dodgers after starting the year with Toronto. In need of a starter, he earned a spot in the Angels’ rotation after going 2-0 with a 3.06 ERA this spring.
Against the Dodgers, he went 3 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on Turner’s fifth home run of the spring.
“It was a good way to end spring training,” Chavez said. “All the boxes are checked and we’re ready to rock.”.
Pederson’s sixth home run of the spring came in the sixth against Andrew Bailey. The Angels tied the game in the ninth on a Tony Sanchez double.
Angels: Made their final two cuts after the game, designating relievers Kirby Yates and Austin Adams for assignment. That meant relievers Bud Norris and Blake Parker made the team. Parker was a surprise, but has struck out his last 17 consecutive batters.
Dodgers: SS Corey Seager, who had been out with an oblique injury, rejoined the team from camp and started. He had two singles in three at-bats. Because of his injury and the World Baseball Classic, Saturday marked the first time all spring the Dodgers started what is generally expected to be their opening-day lineup.
Seager, the NL Rookie of the Year, appeared in just his fourth game all spring. The two singles were his first hits. Roberts said he would start in the opener and was ready to go. “He was confident all spring,” Roberts said of Seager. “He just wanted to get healthy. I guess spring training is overrated for Corey.”.
The Angels believe the addition this season of second baseman Danny Espinosa and left fielder Cameron Maybin will not only improve their defense, but add to their speed on the bases. Maybin stole five bases this spring, and the Angels had 53 stolen bases in their 35 games.
Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco is scheduled to start for the Angels on opening day in Oakland on Monday. Nolasco (4-6, 3.21 ERA last year in 11 starts for the Angels last season) will be making his third career opening-day start.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to make his seventh consecutive opening-day start Monday in San Diego. He would tie Don Drysdale and Don Sutton for the most such starts by a pitcher in Los Angeles Dodgers history, and Sutton for most consecutive starts.