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02/26/11 7:40 PM EST

Mattingly era gets off to slow start

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Don Mattingly's exhibition-season debut as Dodgers manager got off to a rocky start with a pair of split-squad losses on Saturday.

Mattingly was in charge against the Giants in an 8-3 defeat, the Dodgers outhitting the champions, 15-11, but stranding 14 runners. Afterward, Mattingly admitted he was "a little bit" more nervous than he thought he would be, the combination of his first game against the rival -- and World Series champion -- Giants.

"It was just the first one, and I didn't feel it this morning, but over here a little bit," he said.

Despite the scoreboard result, Mattingly said he was pleased with the fundamental execution on defense and running the bases.

He said it was awkward starting the exhibition season with simultaneous split-squad games. The other squad, managed by Triple-A manager Lorenzo Bundy, lost to the Angels, 4-1.

"You want to see everybody, and you don't like the fact you don't get to see that part of the club somewhere else," he said. "But the first day you're not doing a whole lot other than seeing what the guys can do."

What Mattingly did see were two scoreless innings from starter Tim Redding, who overcame a bad stomach while making his first appearance since ending last season pitching in Korea; non-roster outfielder Gabe Kapler, fighting for a job, singling in a run and making four putouts; Minor Leaguer Corey Smith doubling in a pair of runs off former Dodgers reliever Guillermo Mota; Carlos Monasterios and Oscar Villarreal allowing four earned runs each; and top shortstop prospect Dee Gordon grab a bad-hopper and turn it into a double-play, even if he overran the ball a bit while rushing to the second-base bag.

Against the Angels, Hiroki Kuroda turned in two scoreless innings, while top pitching prospect Rubby De La Rosa allowed a two-run homer to Mark Trumbo. Matt Kemp had one of three Dodgers hits.

Before the game, Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo and Chad Billingsley took their scheduled bullpen sessions and Dana Eveland had his first bullpen of the spring after straining a hamstring in the first workout. He said he's not 100 percent but was able to push off the mound with the healing leg.

Padilla hopes to return by May 1

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Vicente Padilla, who underwent surgery Thursday on his throwing arm, returned to Camelback Ranch-Glendale Saturday to begin his rehab and said he hopes to be pitching for the Dodgers by May 1.

Padilla, 33, had surgery to release a radial nerve entrapped in a muscle in his forearm, a very rare injury for a pitcher. He had a bandage covering a three-inch scar from the bottom of his elbow down and across his forearm, covered in a gauze sleeve, with a removable sling.

"I'm relieved, because I'm sure I can come back 100 percent," said Padilla, who added that he's had discomfort for three years. "It feels better."

Padilla said he never had numbness in his fingers before the surgery, but that his hand is weak since the operation. He said the pinching sensation he experienced after Saturday's bullpen session was similar to what he had last spring, but nothing like the pain he experienced after an April start last season that put him on the disabled list for two months.

In a best-case scenario, Padilla will need three to four weeks before he resumes throwing, then would need the month of April to essentially go through Spring Training and rebuild arm strength with bullpen sessions and a Minor League rehab assignment.

Because he is being viewed as a reliever, Padilla's rehab will be shorter than that of a starting pitcher.

Mattingly weighs in on Torre's new gig

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Don Mattingly wouldn't speculate on his reaction if mentor and new MLB executive Joe Torre were to suspend his successor for some infraction, but Mattingly admits to being more verbally critical of umpires during games than Torre.

"I don't know what I'm going to do," Mattingly said about his tendency to complain from the dugout. "I have no plans to chirp for any reason. It just kind of comes out. I can't stop it. I'm just protecting my guys more than anything else.

"As a hitting coach, I'd go in between innings and watch the video on certain pitches. Guys come back from an at-bat moaning. A lot of times, though, it was a strike. You've got to protect your guys, you can't just watch. But if it's a close, bang-bang play and the [batter] is not mad and Davey [Lopes, first-base coach] is not doing anything, there's no point."

Mattingly said he remembers being ejected "five, six, maybe seven times" as a player.

"I'd try to get ejected late in a game, usually when we're way behind and I'm frustrated," he said. "Usually about once a year."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.