Above: R.A. Dickey faces Lucas Duda in the first inning of Saturday's intrasquad game.
Josh Stinson, Armando Rodriguez and Jon Rauch combined for five scoreless innings in relief of Chris Schwinden as Team Blue beat Team Orange, 4-1, in Saturday’s intrasquad game.
Justin Turner, Jason Bay and Lucas Duda had two hits apiece for the victors, while Ike Davis and Josh Thole each matched that output for the losing side. R.A. Dickey allowed two hits and two walks while striking out three in two scoreless innings. Pedro Beato and D.J. Carrasco each were charged with two runs in two innings.
Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy were paired in the middle infield but not tested with a play that required any coordination.
Thole threw out Turner on the only steal attempt against him.
Terry Collins said he was particularly paying attention to Davis during his two times on base, since this was his first quasi-game action since suffering what turned out to be the season-ending left ankle injury last May 10 in Colorado.
“My thing with Ike, actually when he’s at first, I’m not even watching the pitch. I’m seeing how he reacts,” Collins said. “How’s he feeling? Can I see any evidence that his ankle may be bothering him when he starts out? When he hit a double, I watched him run the entire way. I didn’t even care where the ball went. I wanted to see how he made a turn, whether he was cautious or not. And he looks great.”
As for Dickey, Collins said: “When he first started out, you could tell it’s been a while since he’s been out there. But, later on, the command of his knuckleball was very, very good. One of the reasons why he got off to a rough start last year is the command of his knuckleball was not real good. I mean, he walked more guys early in the year than he ever has. So I want to make sure he gets out of this camp with a good feel for it.”
“I was OK,” Dickey said. “I mean, on a 1 to 10, it was probably a 6. I had a lot of good movement, so that was nice to see. But I felt a little rusty.”
Mike Baxter manned first base after Davis departed, and Collins said both Baxter and Adam Loewen will get work there. The intent is not particularly to use them in a regular-season game there -- Turner will be the backup to Davis. But Collins wants versatility from whomever emerges as the backup lefty-hitting outfielder. (Loewen might have received a boost Saturday if Scott Hairston’s oblique injury lingers into the season, since Loewen has center-field experience and Baxter is not comfortable there.)
Baxter appeared in one game with the San Diego Padres in 2010 at first base and has played 150 minor league games there over six seasons. Loewen has appeared in 24 minor league games at first base.
“They both told me that they can play first,” Collins said. “Mike Baxter said he didn’t play the outfield until he signed [professionally]. I wanted to put him over there to see how he looks. When we’re looking at our bench, and we’re looking at that possibility of finding that left-handed hitter, right now for me it’s got to be a guy who can play multiple positions -- not that he’s ever going to play first, but there’s no reason why he shouldn’t play it down here.”
• Collins said David Wright won’t play very much in Monday’s Grapefruit League opener, but he should seem limited action. Wright experienced rib-cage tightness this week, and was scratched from Saturday’s intrasquad game. He will resume hitting Sunday to see how the area responds. “He made a play the other day and he felt a little stretch in his ribs and he’s been fine,” Collins said. “He’s been doing all the drills. We just asked him to back off. We’ve got 31 exhibition games to play.”
• Johan Santana came through Saturday’s 40-pitch bullpen session “fine,” Collins said, and should be good to pitch in Tuesday’s home Grapefruit League game against the St. Louis Cardinals.
• Collins said Sunday should be a formal intrasquad game rather than batting practice, although they may borrow minor leaguers to have enough participants.