Cody Bellinger hit a first-inning grand slam and rookie starter Mitch White and four relievers limited the Arizona Diamondbacks to four hits as the Los Angeles Dodgers were 9-2 winners Sunday evening in their first exhibition game at Dodger Stadium in 2020.
Bellinger drove in a fifth run with a two-out single in the third off rookie starter Taylor Widener (0-1), part of a three-for-four day.
White (2-0) allowed a homer to the second batter he faced, Ketel Marte, then retired the next 14 batters, striking out two, before being relieved by Adam Kolarek after five innings.
Dodger reliever Kenley Jansen retired all three batters he faced in the ninth on 11 pitches, a week after reporting to the team late because he tested positive for the coronavirus.
The other Dodger with a publicly confirmed positive test for the coronavirus, designated hitter A.J. Pollock, was hitless in four at-bats, two days after reporting to the team.
Arizona’s lineup included a player with a confirmed coronavirus test, leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun, who was hitless in four at-bats.
The Dodgers other runs came on Justin Turner’s third-inning sacrifice fly, Corey Seager’s fifth-inning double, Chris Taylor’s seventh-inning single and Rocky Gale’s eighth-inning single.
Designated hitter Stephen Vogt singled in Carson Kelly in the eighth for the Diamondbacks other run.
Baseball’s rules changes for 2020 include the use of the designated hitter in all games involving National League teams. The DH had been limited to American League games and interleague games when an American League team is the home team.
Like most sporting events around the world, fans were barred from attending the game under public health directives prohibiting public events and gatherings in an attempt to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
The Dodgers had been scheduled to play their first exhibition game at Dodger Stadium March 23 against the Los Angeles Angels but the coronavirus outbreak prompted cancellation of spring training games after March 12.
The Dodgers will play two more exhibition games in preparation for Thursday night’s opener of the abbreviated 60-game regular season against the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium. They will face the Diamondbacks again Monday and Los Angeles Angels Tuesday, both at Dodger Stadium.
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