GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Nestor Molina stayed in for a second inning of relief work in his White Sox debut Monday at Camelback Ranch, and the Dodgers took full advantage of the right-hander's expanded workload.
Los Angeles scored five in the sixth, ripping six hits and hitting for the cycle in the frame, to claim a 6-4 victory over the host White Sox at the Spring Training facility shared by both teams. It was the Cactus League opener for the two squads and the first game managed by the White Sox Robin Ventura.
In that fateful sixth, Tony Gwynn Jr. started with a sharp single to center and swiped second. He came home on Justin Sellers' double to right. Ivan DeJesus followed with a run-scoring triple to right, and he scored on Scott Van Slyke's mammoth clout to left. Van Slyke's blast hit the orange awnings of a Camelback Ranch picnic area well beyond the left-field fence.
When Alex Castellanos singled, Molina was replaced by Pedro Hernandez. Molina, acquired from Toronto in the December trade for closer Sergio Santos, allowed five runs on seven hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. That pitching line could have been worse if not for a perfect relay throw from Kosuke Fukudome to Gordon Beckham to Tyler Flowers on A.J. Ellis' double to right to nail James Loney at the plate to end the fifth.
Both starting pitchers made quick, effective work of the opposition. The Dodgers' Chad Billingsley gave up one Alexei Ramirez single over two innings, while White Sox right-hander Philip Humber allowed one run on one hit in his two innings of work. Ramirez finished with two singles and one RBI.
Dan Johnson crushed a two-run homer in the ninth to pull the White Sox to within two runs.
Dodgers up next:
Ted Lilly makes his spring debut for the Dodgers on Tuesday in the home opener against fellow lefty Barry Zito and the Giants. The game will be broadcast via MLB.TV and Gameday Audio beginning at 12:05 p.m. PT.
Lilly will be followed to the mound by Jamey Wright, Michael Antonini, Ramon Troncoso and Josh Lindblom. Juan Uribe is expected to make his first start at third base while James Loney is not expected to play, according to manager Don Mattingly.
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.