Jon Garland Injured in Dodgers Loss

The Dodgers not only lost a 9-4 decision to Seattle, they lost starting pitcher Jon Garland who pulled an oblique muscle in his side in the second inning and left the game. The Mariners scored seven times in the sixth and seventh inning, then beat off a late Dodgers rally to collect a 9-4 win and push Los Angeles to 5-8 on the season, snapping a modest two-game winning streak.

Hong-Chih Kuo made his 2011 debut and gave up a tie-breaking solo home run in his only inning pitched to take the loss. Ramon Troncoso replaced Garland in the second and held the Mariners at bay but Wilkin De La Rosa was tapped for a pair of runs in the sixth and Jon Huber was torched for five in the seventh while getting only a single out. Francisco Felix and Josh Lindblom finished out the game on the mound,

Los Angeles rallied for three runs in the seventh and eighth but left the bases loaded.

Rod Barajas homered and singled. Marcus Thames and Trent Oeltjen each added an RBI single. Dave Kapler, Jerry Sands and Dee Gordon accounted for the Dodgers seven hits.

The Lineup:
Rafael Furcal ss
 Dee Gordon ss
Casey Blake 3b
 Jamey Carroll 3b
Gabe Kapler rf
 Xavier Paul rf
Matt Kemp dh
 Trent Oeltjen dh
James Loney 1b
 Jerry Sands 1b
Juan Uribe 2b
 Eugenio Velez pr-2b
Jay Gibbons lf
 Marcus Thames lf
Rod Barajas c
 A.J. Ellis c
Tony Gwynn cf
 Trayvon Robinson cf
The Game
Jon Garland got off to a stumbling start in the first inning, thanks in great part of his teammates. James Loney fumbled a ground ball to open the frame and after a single, a passed ball by catcher Rod Barajas allowed the unearned run to cross the plate. Although Garland is not known as a strikeout pitcher, he fanned two to escape further trouble.

However, after retiring the first two Seattle batters in the second inning, he went to his knees after a pitch and quickly summoned the trainer to the mound. Obviously in pain, he was removed from the game and Ramon Troncoso summoned to warm up. Garland had thrown 30 pitches, 18 of them for strikes. Left fielder Jay Gibbons ran down a long drive at the fence to end the inning.

The first thing that came to many fans mind was the old saying, "You can never be too thin, too rich or have too many pitchers."

Starter/swing man Vicente Padilla is out of action after an operation and if Garland's injury keeps him out long, it might be a break for John Ely, who has looked good, or veteran Tim Redding who has crafted eight scoreless innings this spring.

Garland said it was an oblique muscle on his left side and he felt it only on the last pitch. There was further information released about the injury but historically, they take a long time to heal.

Troncoso gave up a pair of singles to open the second but Barajas gunned one runner out stealing second and a ground ball and a strikeout kept it a one-run game.

At the same time, 6-8 Doug Fister held the Dodgers to one hit over the first two innings before Barajas earned back the run he allowed with his passed ball by lining a shot into the Dodgers bullpen in left field to tie the game in the third.

Hong-Chih Kuo made his first spring appearance and after a first-pitch popup, J.A. Wilson launched a shot onto the berm in left field to give the Mariners a 2-1 lead. Kuo retired the next two Seattle batters and then retired himself for the rest of the afternoon.

Los Angeles threatened in the fifth. Uribe lived on an error and Eugenio Velez ran for him. Gibbons lofted a high pop in front of the plate as Velez broke for second on a stolen base attempt. Velez quickly back-tpeddled to firs when he saw the ball was popped up but when the third baseman dropped the ball, he again revered his field and headed for second. He was forced easily on a throw to the shortstop. After running some 270 feet back and forth between first and second, he recorded the first out.

Barajas got his second hit of the game, a single, but the Dodgers left runners at second and third but didn't score.

Wilkin De La Rosa worked a scoreless fifth but gave up a double to former Dodger Franklin Gutierrez and a home run to Jack Cust with none out in the sixth. Suddenly it was 4-1 Seattle.

Jon Huber worked the seventh. He allowed a pair of walks and a double to the wall in left field but the runners had to hold up to see if Marcus Thames would catch the ball. He didn't but the shot only loaded the bases. Along drive to left field by Alex Liddi hit the fence behind the berm for a grand slam.

Huber, who had a great half-season for Chattanooga (3-3, 2.33) after coming to the organization from the Mississippi Braves, surrendered two more hits before manager Don Mattingly decided it just wasn't Jon's day and called for rookie Francisco Felix with only one out and runners at first and second. He left with an earned run average of 13.50. Felix allowed another RBI single before ending the inning after Seattle had sent 10 batters to the plate and had scored five times.

Jerry Sands continued his torrid hitting, ripping a one-out single to left in the bottom of the inning, boosting his average to an even .500 (7-for-14) and he came around to score on Thames's single to left, beating the throw to the plate with a fine slide.

Felix worked a scoreless eighth and finished his afternoon by striking out four in 1.2 innings.

Dee Gordon, the No. 1 Dodgers prospect on many charts, doubled down the left field line in the eighth and Jamey Carroll walked. Xavier Paul popped to second but Trent Oeltjen singled home Gordon. Sands' sharp ground ball to second was fumbled and Carroll scored before Velez walked to load the bases. Thames flew to left to end the Dodgers best last chance.

Rookie Josh Lindblom, the Dodgers second round selection in 2008 who nearly made the Dodgers staff out of spring training in 2009, took over in the ninth. Lindblom was 3-2, 6.54 in relief last year for the Isotopes. He fanned the first two Mariners, allowed a walk, and then retired the side with a fly to right field.

The Dodgers went quietly in the ninth and slipped to 5-8 on the season.

Kuroda Works Into Fifth in 'B' Game
Hiroki Kuroda pitched into the fifth inning Tuesday morning in a "B" game against the Seattle Mariners. Kuroda struck out six, while allowing five hits and three runs -- one of them on solo homers by former Dodger Milton Bradley in the fourth. The Dodgers' run was driven in on a second-inning single by Jerry Sands that scored Justin Sellers, who had reached base when he was hit on the right elbow. Sellers was all right and remained in the game that was won 7-1 by Seattle.

Koufax Sighting at Camelback Ranch
Dodgers Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax was a visitor Tuesday and Wednesday at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, talking with some of the employees and coaches. He appeared at the Minor League pitching mounds Tuesday, chatting with coaches and former Dodgers pitchers Charlie Hough and Rick Rhoden and stopped by Maury Wills' bunting infield to speak to the former shortstop. Dodger lefty Ted Lilly spent an hour in the bullpen with Koufax and was impressed with his knowledge and perception.

Dodgers Blue Notes Going into the game the Dodgers starters boasted a collective ERA of 1.09 through 12 games (four earned runs in 33 innings). ...Kim Ng, former Dodgers assistant general manager who left Los Angeles for a job in the Commissioner's Office, said she was still hoping to be a general manager some day. "In terms of my long-term aspirations, they're still there. If anything, this makes me a more well-rounded candidate," she said. ...Andre Ethier was a late scratch by manager Don Mattingly and Gabe Kapler took over in right field before the first pitch. The move paid off immediate when he singled with two out in the first inning. ...

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