Spring Training Preview: Dodgers Open Cactus League Play Against Athletics

The Los Angeles Dodgers unofficially begin their World Series title defense Sunday afternoon with a matchup against the Oakland Athletics at HohoKam Stadium in Mesa, Arizona. The Cactus League opener will be shortened to seven innings as both teams build up their pitchers.

The Dodgers start non-roster invitee Mike Kickham, and Garrett Cleavinger, Andre Jackson, Dennis Santana, Edwin Uceta and Michael Grove are also expected to pitch. Kickham, who signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers in January, is schedlued to go two innings.

He’s 1-4 with a 9.95 ERA in 20 career Major League games (five starts).

The A’s counter with prospect Daulton Jefferies, who made his MLB debut with the team last season as the 29th man added to the active roster for a doubleheader. He started the first game of the twinbill against the Texas Rangers, allowing five runs on five hits and two walks in two innings of work.

The right-hander faces a Dodgers lineup that includes regulars Mookie Betts and Corey Seager slotted at the top. They’re followed by Austin Barnes and AJ Pollock. The Dodgers otherwise have bench players and Minor Leaguers in the lineup.

Among them is DJ Peters, who manager Dave Roberts had already indicated would start in each of the first two games. “I hope we get a chance to see DJ make his debut this year,” Roberts said. “I think with DJ, the care, the love of the Dodgers, the work ethic, you can’t debate that.

“His ability to play all three in the outfield, very good and very consistent. I think now in the batter’s box, the power has never been in question. It’s just a matter of the consistent contact. Because if he can touch it, it’s going to be hit hard somewhere. DJ looks like he’s in a good place mechanically and mentally. I’m eager to get him out there.”

Dodgers lineup

RF: Mookie Betts
SS: Corey Seager
C: Austin Barnes
LF: AJ Pollock
1B: Matt Beaty
3B: Edwin Rios
DH: Matt Davidson
2B: Zach McKinstry
CF: DJ Peters

A’s lineup

CF: Ramón Laureano
SS: Elvis Andrus
3B: Chad Piner
LF: Mark Canha
DH: Mitch Moreland
C: Austin Allen
RF: Buddy Reed
1B: Seth Brown
2B: Tony Kemp

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