Despite committing an error during his six innings in the field, he also had five assists and two putouts, started one double play and turned the pivot on another. But his best moment came in the eighth inning, when he raced into shallow center field in pursuit of a high pop fly by Braves catcher Corky Miller. The ball landed just out of Valdez’s reach and died on the grass. But without even looking to see if Yunel Escobar had held up at first, Valdez picked up the ball and fired it into second base, where Tony Abreu tagged Escobar sliding in. The play robbed Miller of what should have been a clean, bloop single. “Wilson is probably one of the most heads-up shortstops I have ever seen play,” said Ken Howell, the pitching coach for the Dodgers’ Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, where Valdez had the best season of his professional career last summer. Valdez went to camp last spring with Kansas City, signing as a minor-league free agent because he says Royals officials told him he would make the club. “But they lied to me,” he said. “So when I got traded to the Dodgers (on March 31), I was just excited for the opportunity to play every day, even if it was in the minor leagues.” The Braves roughed up Randy Wolf, Chad Billingsley, Travis Smith and Chin-Hui Tsao for 14 hits through the first seven innings. “We obviously gave up more hits than you want to give up,” pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. “We struggled to put people away, and that will come when our guys have better command of their secondary pitches.” [email protected] (818) 713-3607 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On an otherwise forgettable afternoon for the Dodgers, Wilson Valdez made sure people would remember him. Not just the people wearing baseball uniforms, but also the ones wearing khakis, golf shirts and Panama hats behind home plate. For Valdez, who is a long shot to make the Dodgers’ opening-day roster, but is out of minor-league options, this spring training is as much about impressing scouts from other clubs as it is about impressing Ned Colletti and Grady Little. And if Valdez continues to perform the way he did in Thursday’s Grapefruit League opener – a 7-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves before 5,442 at the Ballpark – the Dodgers’ brass probably will face a clear choice: keep him or lose him. After all, guys like this rarely make it through waivers. Valdez replaced Rafael Furcal at shortstop in the third inning and had a double in two plate appearances.
OAKLAND – By taking a plunge into the Pacific Ocean, Klay Thompson did not just feel more refreshed. He also inspired the Warriors and presumably their fans on ensuring that they live their best life.“With it being … WATCH: Steph, Klay and coach Kerr discuss upcoming Game 5.Click here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.Klay Thompson subscribes. You can too for just 11 cents a day for 11 months + receive a free Warriors Championship book. Sign me up!
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