The spring training finale showed just how much the Los Angeles Angels could miss slugger Justin Upton.
The outfielder will begin the season on the injured list with a sore right big toe, manager Brad Ausmus announced Tuesday. Not long afterward, the Angels were held hitless for four innings by starter Julio Urias as the Los Angeles Dodgers cruised to a 9-2 victory.
Ausmus said Upton has “turf toe” and no timetable has been determined for his return. Upton was injured in Sunday’s exhibition game against the Dodgers when he bumped into the left-field wall while chasing a flyball.
The Dodgers used a seven-run second inning to take control. Cody Bellinger hit a three-run homer, his team-leading fourth of the spring, and Joc Pederson had a two-run double.
Angels starter Patrick Sandoval, a replacement on the mound after Jaime Barrios was sent to Triple-A Salt Lake, gave up all seven second-inning runs on three hits and five walks. He lasted just 1 1/3 innings, throwing 43 pitches.
The Dodgers finished the spring with a 14-15 record, while the Angels went 15-16.
Urias, expected to start the fifth game of the season against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, finished the spring with a 1.72 ERA over 15 2/3 innings. He pitched in just three regular-season games and seven postseason games last year after undergoing shoulder surgery in June 2017.
“The fastball location was there today and had been missing the last two outings, so that’s something that makes me happy,” Urias said through a translator.
Urias had four strikeouts and completed the spring with 15 strikeouts against three walks.
“That’s impressive, to come back like that and throw that hard,” Angels slugger Mike Trout said. “I saw one pitch, but he was keeping everybody off balance. He looked good and when he dropped down he was 96 (mph), too, so he has good stuff.”
Trout grounded out in his only plate appearance and finished the spring batting .292. Baseball’s new $426.5 million man said the Angels are going to have to bide their time until Upton returns.
“It’s tough to lose a guy like that to start the season,” Trout said. “We have to overcome it and another guy has to step up. That’s it.”
Upton had just returned after missing most of spring training because of right knee tendinitis.
Ausmus said Peter Bourjos will likely see more playing time until Upton returns, but the manager is still waiting to solidify a plan moving forward.
Upton, 31, hit 30 home runs with 85 RBIs in 145 games last season, his second with the Angels.
NOTES: The Angels released left-hander Dan Jennings and will begin the season with all righties in their bullpen. . The Dodgers are still deciding on their final roster spot, which will be a member of the bullpen. Manager Dave Roberts said the last addition will have to have the ability to pitch multiple innings in an outing. . The Dodgers will use both Austin Barnes and Russell Martin at catcher, with Roberts saying Barnes will start four of the first seven games. . Despite being sent down by the Angels on Tuesday, Barria will be back “at some point soon,” Ausmus said. . AL Rookie of the Year Shohei Ohtani will move from hitting in the batting cage to taking batting practice outdoors as early as this week as the Angels’ star continues to progress from Tommy John surgery last year.
The Angels begin the season Thursday at Oakland with Trevor Cahill making his second career start in an opener and doing it against his former team. It will be his first start in Oakland as a visitor.
The Dodgers open the season Thursday against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound, the first time since 2010 that Clayton Kershaw has not pitched the season opener.