O’Koyea Dickson hit a two-run walk-off double in the Dodgers’ 3-2 victory over Team Japan. Sunday’s exhibition game at Camelback Ranch looked like it would be a victory for Japan, who had a 2-1 lead with two outs in the ninth.
Rob Segedin started the scoring in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI single to center field scoring Franklin Gutierez. Japan tied the score when Ginjiro Sumitani hit an RBI groundout. Japan then took the lead in the sixth inning on an RBI single by Sho Nakata.
Yuki Matsui entered the game in the ninth inning to record the save, but the Dodgers were not willing to give up. The Dodgers got runners on first and second due to walks, then O’Koyea Dickson hit a double to right field. Willie Calhoun and Omar Esteves scored and the Dodgers won their first walk-off victory of the spring.
While the Dodgers were playing team Japan, Rich Hill was playing a simulated game on one of the backfields. He struck out ten Minor Leaguers in five scoreless innings. His curveball was working, but this time, his fastball was under control too.
“For me, I keep it as simple as possible,” Hill said. “It doesn’t matter who’s in the box, whether it’s Miguel Cabrera or somebody No. 98 that you don’t know.”
Hill believes that when opening day comes, he will be even better than last year. This is good for the Dodgers who re-signed Hill after he posted a 1.83 ERA after being traded to the Dodgers last summer.
It’s only the middle of March, but Hill truly believes that he will have a very strong April.
“I was talking to Rick [Honeycutt, the Dodgers’ pitching coach] on the way back, and said it’s kind of like an engine, trying to get all the cylinders firing,” Hill said. “Definitely today, we had that going, just much more consistency with the delivery, which leads to much more consistency with the conviction on every pitch.”