GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Josh Beckett's comeback from surgery got off to a promising start Sunday with three strikeouts over two scoreless innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers and a San Diego Padres split squad played to a 3-all tie.
The game was stopped after nine innings. Padres center fielder Cameron Maybin left in the fifth with an apparent injury to his left shoulder.
Beckett allowed one hit in his first spring training appearance since having a rib and muscle tissue removed last July in a procedure to alleviate a nerve problem. He is competing to reclaim a spot in the Dodgers' rotation.
Part of his fight is physical. Much of it is mental.
"Physically, I feel good right now," Beckett said. "Right now, the biggest thing is to get over the mental things."
Beckett said he has been nervous throughout spring training. He said he had a hard time sleeping before his first exhibition start.
"There's a part of this that I can't get out my head: When is this thing going to re-occur?" said Beckett, who believes he'll get beyond the question and gain confidence with each appearance this spring.
Beckett's biggest rival for a spot, Paul Maholm, allowed one hit over two scoreless innings. The Dodgers signed Maholm on Feb. 8 to a $1.5 million, one-year contract after he went 10-11 with a 4.41 ERA in Atlanta last season.
Maholm missed a bullpen session Feb. 20 with tenderness in his left elbow. He said he felt strong Sunday.
"If you pitch well and stay healthy, things work themselves out," Maholm said.
Yasiel Puig, in the leadoff spot for the first time this spring, helped the Dodgers to a 2-0 lead with a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning. Dee Gordon added an RBI triple in the seventh.
Alexi Amarista hit an RBI single for the Padres.
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