Joc Pederson, Carlos Frias lead Dodgers to 8-0 victory over Arizona Diamondbacks

first_imgThe Dodgers also got home runs from Andre Ethier and Justin Turner before the announced crowd of 50,164 at Dodger Stadium. The home runs, and Pederson, have been constants as the calendar flipped from April to May.“It’s fun seeing someone who’s always smiling no matter what,” Ethier said of Pederson. “We’re always trying to give him that smile.”Unbeknownst to the 23-year-old outfielder, a couple of teammates provided the Dodger Stadium DJ with new walk-up music Friday. The songs by “boy bands” Hanson, One Direction and New Kids On The Block were a departure from Pederson’s usual choice of hip-hop.“I’m sure if things didn’t go the way they did,” he said, “I would’ve been pretty upset.”Pederson arrived in the major leagues with plenty of hype. To some, his preternatural combination of power and a .463 on-base percentage is no surprise. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error In the midst of Joc Pederson’s superlative spring training back in March, Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire remarked that we could be watching “the potential of a superstar in the making.”So far, so good. Pederson hit his fifth home run of the regular season Friday in the Dodgers’ 8-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. This one was a grand slam — the first of his career and the first by any Dodger player since Yasiel Puig hit one early in his magical summer of 2013.Pederson is working on a magical season of his own. He’s been the leadoff hitter for exactly two games, but it’s quickly become difficult to envision him moving out of the role. Pederson’s predecessor, Jimmy Rollins, has only six hits in his last 51 at-bats after an 0-for-3 performance Friday.center_img But what to make of the potential of Carlos Frias? The lanky right-hander spent parts of seven seasons in the minor leagues before he finally debuted with the Dodgers last year. In his first start of 2015, Frias threw 5 1/3 shutout innings against the Diamondbacks.Friday marked Frias’ third start at any level this season; he’s also made three relief appearances between the majors and Triple-A.Manager Don Mattingly said earlier this week that Frias had the potential to start every fifth day. But considering his last major league start, the potential seemed minimal.Frias (2-0) last started Sept. 17, 2014 against the Colorado Rockies. He didn’t make it through the first inning. In fact, he became the only pitcher in the modern era to allow 10 hits while getting fewer than three outs. The Dodgers lost the game 16-2.Frias could not have looked more different Friday.“I have more experience this year,” he said. “I’ve been preparing my mind, myself, for when I get the opportunity to pitch.”Using a steady diet of fastballs that reached 98 mph, to go along with a cutter and not much else, Frias allowed only four singles and walked one batter. He was pulled with runners on first and second base and one out in the sixth inning.Pedro Baez then mowed down the heart of the Arizona lineup — Paul Goldschmidt, Mark Trumbo and David Peralta — to preserve the shutout.Ethier (2 for 3) had two of the Dodgers’ six hits. Arizona pitchers issued six bases on balls — three by starter Rubby De La Rosa, who was once a Dodgers prospect in the same signing class as Frias.De La Rosa allowed five runs, all on the home runs by Pederson, Turner and Ethier in the second inning. The two starting pitchers talked at the stadium prior to the game. They were meeting at an interesting time: De La Rosa, the former top-flight prospect with a faded triple-digit fastball, crossing paths with a less-heralded teammate in Frias, who is just now finding his place in the majors at age 25.Their conversation probably wasn’t too profound.“We didn’t talk about baseball,” Frias said. “He knew we were pitching against each other today.”last_img

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