Dodgers lose two in a day

Green hats, green bases, Irish songs on the public address system -- none of it helped the Dodgers and they dropped a pair of games on St. Patrick's day. They lost 6-5 to the Cardinals in Jupiter, then lost their first night game of the season at home 4-0 to Florida.

In the afternoon portion of the split-squad St. Patrick's Day schedule, the Dodgers led 3-1 into the bottom of the seventh inning with Edwin Jackson on the mound. However, things went terribly wrong and when the dust cleared the Cardinals led 6-3.

A bloop hit, a misplayed ball, a costly error -- they all added up to five runs (four earned) and eventually the game but Jackson was not hit hard and no one on the Dodgers side of the field had any concern about their young ace-in-waiting.

Los Angeles rallied in the ninth on a walk to Jason Romano, a stolen base and an RBI single by John Barnes but a swift double play ended things.

James Loney was 2-for-2, continuing his quixotic quest for a spot on the 24-man roster. Paul Lo Duca debuted in left field and added a double to the attack although he misplayed a fly ball into a ground rule double.

Odalis Perez started and allowed a pair of hits and an unearned run, making it doubly hard to consider trading the talented lefthanders. Masao Kida worked a scoreless inning before the roof fell in.

In the evening contest, the first night game of the exhibition season in Dodgertown with green everywhere you looked, the Marlins stifled the Los Angeles offense, limiting them to four singles, two by Jolbert Cabrera. Olmedo Saenz and Shane Victorino collected the other hits.

Hideo Nomo allowed a homer in the first, a double and triple in the third and left the game after four innings having allowed six hits and three runs. Only the strong throwing arm of David Ross kept the score down. He nailed a runner stealing and nipped one off second base in the first and picked off a third runner at first base in the third innings, saving a minimum of two runs.

Startlingly, Nomo has allowed 11 runs in 12.2 innings so far this spring.

Tom Martin gave up a run in his two innings and Eric Gagne came on to baffle the Marlins during an unusual two-inning stint. He fanned three and topped out a 97 MPH. Rick White pitched a scoreless ninth.

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