Dodgers Blank Cincinnati 2-0

The Dodgers leaned on their pitching staff to break a three-game losing streak and top Cincinnati 2-0 in Camelback Ranch. Clayton Kershaw worked four innings, allowing one hit and Matt Kemp and Trent Oeltjen drove in the two runs. It was the Dodgers third win in nine games this exhibition season.

The Los Angeles offense is still clanking along, leaking oil, but that does not concern new manager Don Mattingly. He points to the mix of players used each game with the regulars -- four or five each game -- leaving after each has had a couple at-bats. The club is sorting to just who will be the fourth and fifth outfielders as well as which veteran will fill the one or two backup infield slots.

The game zipped along at a brisk rate and finished inn 2:15, the shortest of the season. Some, 7,411 fans were on hand to enjoy the tightly-played game

Los Angeles will play the next three on the road against the Cubs, Rockies and Brewers before returning to Camelback to meet Seattle on March 9.

Clayton Kershaw drew his second start of the season, this one against Cincinnati. He allowed two hits and an unearned run in his first start against the White Sox. The Dodgers lineup:

Rafael Furcal ss
Casey Blake 3b
Andre Ethier rf
Matt Kemp cf
Jay Gibbons dh
Juan Uribe 2b
Rod Barajas c
Russ Mitchell 1b
Gabe Kapler lf

The Game
Had it not been Saturday, the game could have been called a "Businessman's Special", with Kershaw and Bronson Arroyo each allowing a single in the the first three innings but completed them in a snappy 41 minutes.

Russ Mitchell collected the Dodgers' hit, inside-outing a fastball in on his hands for a sharp single to right field. Kershaw allowed a ground ball single up the middle in the third. He faced only 12 Reds while becoming the first Los Angeles Dodger to work four innings. A double play in the third after the single and Rod Barajas' pickoff after a walk in the fourth kept the number of a minimum.

Matt Kemp greeted Logan Ondrusek, the new Reds' pitcher, with a double into the left field corner, scoring Casey Blake who had been hit by a pitch to open the inning. The first four innings were played in less than an hour.

Lance Cormier replaced Kershaw in the fifth inning and allowed a pair of singles but a double play got him out of the inning with out any damage. Scott Carroll took over on the mound for Cincinnati in the bottom of he inning and allowed only a single by Gabe Kapler. Jon Huber retired the Reds in order in the sixth and the game was just one hour and 17 minutes old.

Roman Colon, who pitched for Atlanta, Detroit and Kansas City and recorded an 8-10, 5.12 record, pitched the seventh for the Dodgers and worked around a leadoff single to record a scoreless inning.

John Lindsey, sideline by a sore calf muscle, got his first at-bat of the spring and made it a good one, driving a shot over the center fielders head that one-hopped the wall for a double. Jamey Carroll attempted to bunt on the first three pitches, then bounced to second, effectively moving Lindsey to third with one out.

A.J. Ellis was hit on the shoulder with a pitch before J.D. Closser, 31, a free agent who played for Colorado and in the Arizona, Oakland, Milwaukee, Yankees, San Diego and Cubs minor league system before playing at Chattanooga and Albuquerque the last two seasons, hit into a double play to end the threat.

Lefty Wilkin De La Rosa, 27, signed as a free agent out of the Yankees organization, came in to work the eighth inning and quickly served up a leadoff single and a walk but retired the side to preserve the 1-0 lead.

In the bottom of the eighth, Dee Gordon singled with one out and stole second. Aaron Miles hit a ground ball to short and Gordon violated an ancient rule by advancing to third on a ball hit in front of him. His speed helped Miles beat out an infield hit with the shortstop not even making a throw.

Now sporting a 2-0 lead, Oscar Villarreal, 29, came in to nail down the win. Villarreal was signed as a free agent out of the Phillies organization. He earned the Dodgers second save of the season by inducing a pair of fly balls to Oeltjen in right field and fanned the final batter on a 3-2 fastball.

Dodger Blue Notes The Dodgers signed a pair of players from their annual tryout camp this week, to minor league contracts. Lefty Randy Keisler, 35, has spent a short time with the Reds (2005), Athletics (2006) and Cardinals (2007). Overall he was 4-4 with a 6.63 earned run average over 55 games, 20 of them starts. Over the last three seasons he has pitched in the Orioles and Mets minor league system and in the independent Atlantic League and in the Mexican League. The second player signed was right-hander Robert Romero, who will be 26 later this month. A seventh-round draft pick of the Angels in 2005, he has never pitched at any level higher than low Single-A. He spent all of the past two seasons, and most of 2008 as well, in various independent leagues. ...The Dodgers have been successful on 11 of 13 steal attempts this spring -- thanks to Davey Lopes. ...Former Dodgers Scouting Director Terry Reynolds, now a Cincinnati official, stopped by the Camelback pressbox and visited with friends from Vero Beach days.

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