GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBSLA.com) — When word spread that Dodgers legend Sandy Koufax was present at the team’s Spring Training facility, fans were nostalgic. But no one was more recollective than Dodgers pitcher, Josh Beckett.
Ten seasons ago, when a 22-year-old Beckett was a starter in the Marlins organization, Koufax visited their camp. Beckett was amongst the pitchers to recieve instruction from the Hall of Famer.
The result of those sessions provided the Marlins with a breakout season from the young pitcher, followed by more success. Perhaps that is why Beckett credited Koufax after three strikeouts in two scoreless innings in an 8-8 tie against the Giants in Cactus League play on Tuesday.
“You can imagine how excited I was 10 years ago,” Beckett told MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick. “It was pretty special.”
Beckett pitched to the tune of a 2.93 ERA in 43 innings pitched for the Dodgers last year after coming over in the trade that also brought Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford from Boston to Los Angeles.
The former Red Sox hurler is one of up to eight pitchers competing for the third rotation spot behind Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.
The Dodger bats had a good day as well, roughing up former Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, who gave up three runs and didn’t quite make it through two innings in his Spring debut.
The Dodgers led the Giants by five runs after the first two innings. San Francisco then rode a comeback, spearheaded by two Brett Pill home runs off of Dodger relievers.
An abundance of Dodger regulars and starters that played in the exhibition contributed on offense in the tie. Skip Schumaker, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, Mark Ellis, and A.J. Ellis all got hits, and Alex Castellanos, who had 23 At-Bats for the Dodgers last year, hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning.
Centerfielder Matt Kemp, who is coming off shoulder surgery, took part in batting practice on Tuesday morning. He and outfielder Carl Crawford, who is coming off elbow surgery and took part in batting practice on Monday, are close to debuting in their first Spring Training game.