GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Los Angeles Dodgers are left with four spring training games and a couple of key questions following a 3-1 loss Thursday to the Chicago White Sox.
The Dodgers began packing up for the trip home after Sunday's game with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Camelback Ranch, hopeful that major injuries aren't coming with them.
"I feel like we are pretty much ready," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, whose club plays split-squad games Friday and the Diamondbacks in Scottsdale on Saturday before departing after Sunday's finale for a three-game exhibition series next week against the Angels.
"This time of year, you just need to stay healthy," Mattingly said.
Chris Sale allowed one run and struck out seven, including his first five batters, in six innings and Trayce Thompson homered to lead the White Sox.
Sale (1-1) fanned Matt Kemp three times, and then Matt Thornton struck out last season's runner-up for National League MVP in the ninth. Kemp has struck out 21 times in 52 at-bats this spring.
"It would concern me if he took it half-heartedly," Mattingly said of Kemp. "Obviously, I would like him to be hitting and not striking out. But he has been asking me for more at-bats."
Sale gave up the Dodgers' lone run in the fifth when Josh Fields singled, advanced to third on Juan Uribe's single and scored on sacrifice fly by A.J. Ellis.
The White Sox took a one-run lead on Thompson's homer in the seventh, and Adam Dunn's RBI single in the eighth made it 3-1.
Josh Lindblom (0-1) took the loss for the Dodgers in relief of Aaron Harang, who allowed one run in six innings.
Harang struggled in the fifth, giving up three singles, throwing a wild pitch and surrendering a run on an RBI single by Alejandro De Aza.
"That fifth inning cost me," said Harang, who joined Clayton Kershaw as the second Dodgers pitcher to work six innings this spring. "Otherwise, I felt pretty good."
Mattingly hopes to find some more answers about his starting rotation Friday. Left-hander Ted Lilly is scheduled for a bullpen session that will determine whether he will pitch at San Diego in a season-opening series that begins April 5.
Lilly missed his last scheduled start in spring training because of a stiff neck.
"He kind of missed a turn," Mattingly said. "That put him back a little bit."
Lilly, third in the Dodgers' starting rotation, wanted to throw Thursday.
"That's a good sign," said Mattingly, who decided to wait a day on the decision. "We want to make the right decision. We want him feeling good and ready."
If the Dodgers' training staff decides that Lilly needs more time to heal, Chris Capuano, fifth in the rotation, would move into his spot. If Lilly lands on the disabled list, Mattingly said his roster spot would be filled by an extra reliever.
Notes: In an interview with Dan Patrick on his national radio show Thursday, Mattingly used a profanity when asked about Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen before quickly apologizing. "Well, it's a small word," Mattingly joked. ... In split-squad games Friday, the Dodgers are in Mesa, Ariz., against the Chicago Cubs and at Camelback Ranch against the Milwaukee Brewers. Right-hander Fernando Nieve is the Dodgers' scheduled starter against the Cubs, who plan to counter with right-hander Ryan Dempster. Capuano is scheduled to start against Brewers right-hander Francisco Rodriguez. ... Left-hander Eric Stults is scheduled to start for the White Sox on Friday against Kansas City in Surprise, Ariz.