The Oakland Athletics lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-3 on Thursday at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona. While the Dodgers’ starter Kenta Maeda shined, the A’s starting pitcher Rich Hill was quite shaky. Ultimately, seven of the final eight runs scored by Los Angeles came when Hill was on the mound.
Hill started the game for the Oakland Athletics, but only lasted 2.1 innings before being pulled by Bob Melvin. In that short amount of time, Hill gave up five hits and three walks which resulted in the Dodgers’ seven runs. He only struck out two.
Like during the 2015 season, the Oakland Athletics just could not drive in any runs during Thursday’s spring exhibition game. The Dodgers were able to score seven runs on just eight hits while the A’s only scored three runs on ten hits. Besides their silent bats, Oakland’s defense was also not up to par. Danny Valencia, Renato Nunez and Joey Wendle all made fielding errors. Although, Wendle’s error was questionable.
On a positive note, Valencia, Billy Butler, and prospect Bruce Maxwell were the offensive highlights of the day for the A’s. Valencia and Maxwell both hit solo home runs — Maxwell in the fifth and Valencia in the sixth — while Butler collected two hits in three at-bats. Additionally, top pitching prospect Sean Manaea shined once again in his second outing this spring after taking the mound the sixth inning. He pitched 2.2 innings and only allowed one run on one hit.
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This second weak start from Hill is not instilling any confidence in the fans regarding their new starting pitcher. In his two outings so far this spring, Hill has accumulated a 19.64 ERA over just 3.2 innings pitched. Now, spring training is not an indicator of how someone will perform during the regular season, but the six walks he has dealt over his two starts is a little concerning.
Andrew Lambo continues to impress this spring even though he seems to be on the chopping block for making Oakland’s Opening Day roster. Lambo has made 18 plate appearances so far during spring camp and currently has a .444 batting average with four runs, two homers, and five RBI. Since it is unlikely he will make the A’s roster, Lambo is putting on a good show for the scouts who are at these games and he is definitely increasing his chances of being signed by another team should Oakland let him go at the end of March.
Ryan Dull pitched in relief in his third game this spring and continued to dominate. He has yet to allow a run over his three outings. In the three innings he has pitched, Dull has only given up one hit and walked two batters. Even though it was speculated that he may start the 2016 season in Triple-A due to him having spent little time at that level, Dull may be on the Oakland Athletics’ roster come Opening Day if he continues to pitch like this.
Lastly, Oakland Athletics’ prospect catcher Maxwell has been doing quite well in his first big league camp this year. He is currently batting .286 with only one strikeout in eight at-bats. The A’s pitching depth is quite thin at the moment, so it is reassuring to know that they have Maxwell waiting in the wings should he be needed.