Sands, Paul Homer as Dodgers top Rockies

The Dodgers slumbering bats awakened in the seventh inning, snapping a 1-1 tie on the way to a 7-1 win over Colorado. Rookies Jerry Sands and Xavier Paul clouted home runs to help Tim Redding to the win in relief. The win boosts the Dodgers to 4-7 on the season.

With the game tied 1-1 in the top of the seventh, Sands roped a shot over the left field fence with two on. Paul's blast, his first, came in the eighth. Sands, a rookie, is 6-4 and 225 pounds. He led the Dodgers system in 2008 with 35 home runs.

Ted Lilly made his first start of the season a solid one, working 3.1 innings and allowing three hits and a single run. Mike MacDougal and Blake Hawksworth kept the Rox scoreless before Redding crafted his second, three-scoreless inning performance of the spring to earn the win. He allowed no hits and walked one. Kenley Jansen finished the game out.

The Dodgers finished with 11 hits, two each from Sands (he tripled in the eighth) and A.J. Ellis. Marcus Thames, Juan Uribe and Trayvon Robinson chipped in with doubles.

Redding, 32, is making a strong bid for a spot on the roster. He is an eight-year Major League veteran and was 10-14 in 2003 for Houston who drafted him in 1997. He has a career record of 37-57 with a 4.95 earned run average.

However, Redding has been traded from Houston to San Diego and from San Diego to the New York Yankees, plus being granted free agency or released by the Padres, White Sox, Washington, New York Mets, Colorado and New York Yankees.

He spent 2010 in the minor leagues.

Has he picked up a new, effective pitch? Has he discovered the fountain of youth? Is this just a hot streak with a job on the line? Whatever it is, it is impressive and along with 23-year-old Jerry Sands, is one of the best stories of the spring, so far. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

 The Lineup:
Rafael Furcal ss
 Ivan De Jesus 3b
Casey Blake 3b
 A.J. Ellis c
Andre Ethier rf
 Tony Gwynn rf
Matt Kemp cf
 Justin Sellers ss
Hector Gimenez 1b
  Tim Redding p
Juan Uribe 2b
 Trayvon Robinson cf
Marcus Thames lf
 Xavier Paul lf
Rod Barajas c
 Jerry Sands 1b
Ted Lilly p
 Mike MacDougal p
 Trent Oeltjen ph
 Blake Hawksworth p
 Eugenio Valdez 2b

Ted Lilly retired the first six Colorado batters in succession in his first official start of the spring. He surrendered a double and a single in the third inning that put the Rockies in front and also gave up a third hit in the inning but then closed things out with just a since run scored.


Ubaldo Jimenez started for the Rockies and allowed his first hit with two out in the fourth inning when Hector Gimenez, playing first base for the injured James Loney singled and Juan Uribe smacked an RBI double.

Mike MacDougal relieve Lilly when he hit his pitch count after retiring the first Colorado batter in the fourth. He finished out the inning without any trouble and gave the ball to Blake Hawksworth in the fifth. He allowed a single to Ryan Spilborgs but he attempted to stretch the hit into a double, Andre Ethier threw him out at second base. Hector Gomez smacked his second hit of the game, a booming triple, but Hawksworth wriggled out of the jam and after five innings the game was tied 1-1.

Ethier singled with one out in the sixth and Tony Gwynn ran for him. Gwynn stole second base, his sixth of the young season but was left at second. Tim Redding pitched around a single in the bottom of the inning but didn't allow a run.

Things blew up in the Rockies face in the top of the seventh. With the youngsters in for the starters, Trayvon Robinson double and Xavier Paul bunted him to third and was safe at second when the Colorado pitcher misplayed the bunt.

Jerry Sands slammed his second home run of the spring, a long, three-run shot to left that put the Dodgers up 4-1. Eugenio Valdez walked, moved to second on a ground out and scored on A.J. Ellis' single to center. After a wild pitch, Gwynn singled but Justin Sellers and Redding popped out.

Redding pitched the seventh and with out out he walked Spilborghs, then picked him off first. An error by Valdez at short prolonged the inning but Redding finished it off without additional scoring.

The Dodgers scored once in the eighth on Xavier Paul's first homer of the spring and in the ninth after a single by Ellis.

Redding completed three scoreless innings to earn win. Kenley Jansen pitched around a double in the ninth to close the game out.

Dodger Blue Notes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports that Hong-Chih Kuo, Jonathan Broxton, Matt Guerrier and Scott Elbert had constructive mound sessions on Monday before the Dodgers' road game with Colorado. Kuo had another uneventful bullpen session, and now is primed for his exhibition debut, likely on Wednesday at home against Seattle. He has been brought along slowly to preserve his delicate elbow, although he hasn't complained of any discomfort. Broxton and Guerrier pitched two innings each of live batting practice -- which was designed to build their stamina, as well as work on certain pitches. Elbert, who has struggled with wildness, followed with one inning of batting practice, working on a mechanical flaw with improved results. And tomorrow, Hiroki Kuroda will pitch in a "B" game against Seattle. Loney has returned to practice and could play Wednesday and Jamey Carroll's bruised finger is improving. He was hit by a pitch in the San Francisco game.

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