GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Hiroki Kuroda allowed two runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings Thursday night in the Dodgers' 3-1 loss to the Reds, but the starter was generally pleased with his "new" curveball that he said he's been working on for 10 years.
"I worked on the curve tonight and had good results," Kuroda said. "My hard stuff is not there and that's something that happens every Spring Training. The fastball is not there, but it will get there before the season opens."
Kuroda said his eternal search for a comfortable curveball has included tips from teammates Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, as well as a grip from an unlikely source.
"YouTube," he said, declining to mention the pitcher who was demonstrating it.
On the pitching side, non-roster reliever Mike MacDougal impressed manager Don Mattingly with a clean inning. MacDougal, who has had three 20-save seasons, said he is healthier than a year ago, when he was recovering from hip labrum surgery.
2010 Spring Training - null
Sights & Sounds
Spring Training Info
Probably the most impressive Dodgers pitcher was Rubby De La Rosa, last year's organization Pitcher of the Year, who had two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
The most impressive pitcher of the night was Reds laser lefty Aroldis Chapman, whose first pitch to left-handed hitter Trent Oeltjen was head-high, eluding Reds catcher Corky Miller and just missing plate umpire Tony Randazzo before denting the backstop.
"I think if it hit my face I wouldn't have had time to move," said Oeltjen, an Australian who was 0-for-2 against the Cuban pitcher in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. "It woke me up. It woke the whole stadium up. When he's pitching, you've got to up it a gear. It does play into your mind a little bit."