Ortiz sharp again for Dodgers in win over Angels

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Ramon Ortiz kept up his bid for the fifth spot in the Dodgers' rotation, pitching two-hit ball for four innings Monday in a 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The 37-year-old Ortiz has thrown nine scoreless innings this spring. He filled in for Vicente Padilla, who threw 77 pitches in a simulated game.

Ortiz has not pitched in the majors since 2007 with Colorado. He was in Triple-A last year and pitched in Japan in 2008.

Ortiz went 59-49 for the Angels from 1999 through 2004, including 15-9 with the 2002 World Series championship club. He credits his experience in Japan with teaching him a different approach to pitching.

"I'll take 93 or 94 (mph) on the corner rather than 97 right down the middle," said Ortiz, who said he adjusted to more of a finesse approach because of the tight Japanese strike zone. "Japan helped me a lot."

Ortiz said he drew interest from several major league clubs and mentioned the New York Mets, Philadelphia and Tampa Bay.

"I like California," he said. "The Dodgers have a great team."

Dodgers manager Joe Torre returned to the Cactus League after a three-game stint in Taiwan.

Former Angels star Garret Anderson played left field for the Dodgers. He got a big ovation when he came to the plate with two runners on in the first and hit a soft RBI single to center field.

Scott Kazmir made his first spring start for the Angels and allowed two runs and five hits in 2 1-3 innings.

Working on a different grip on his slider, he walked two and struck out one. His spring had been delayed due to tightness in his right hamstring.

"It was tough not being able to do my leg work," he said. "It took a little more time because it was my landing leg."

"There weren't too many solid hits — broken bats, bloopers," Kazmir said. "I’ll take that ... I was a little anxious out there."

Kazmir went 10-9 overall with Tampa Bay and the Angels last season. He had a sparkling 1.73 ERA over six regular-season starts with the AL West champions.

Angels right-handed setup men Fernando Rodney (shin pain) and Kevin Jepsen (shoulder tendinitis) also made their first spring appearance.

Rodney walked two and did not allow a hit in two-thirds of an inning. Jepsen struck out two and walked one in one hitless inning.

"It was good getting those guys out on the mound," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said.