Dodgers Slug Four Homers in 7-5 Win

<b>VERO BEACH, Florida</b>--The Dodgers, held hitless for the first four innings, awakened to pound four home runs and overcome an early 3-0 Baltimore lead. Jeff Weaver collected the win after working six innings and giving up three runs. The Dodger win was tempered by the injury to outfielder Cody Ross who slid hard into the Baltimore catcher while attempting to score on a single.

Weaver, who became the first Dodger two-game winner, came into the game with a 10.61 earned run average over three games and 9.1 innings pitched. He lowered his ERA to 8.22.

He allowed single runs in the first three innings, then threw zeros in his next three, becoming the first Dodger to work six innings this spring and the first to win two games.

After being held hitless the first four innings, Norihiro Nakamura singled to leadoff the fifth and Jose Valentin banged a homer over the left-center field fence to pull the Dodgers within one and tie JD Drew for the team home run lead with two.

Milton Bradley, hitting just .100, boomed a long shot out of the park to right center, tying the game 3-3. Norihiro Nakamura followed with a homer to right, also his second, giving the Dodgers their first lead of the game.

With two hits in three trips, Nakamura boosted his average to .333 with nine hits in 27 at-bats.

Elmer Dessens followed Weaver in the top of the seventh and allowed a hit but no runs. Franquelis Osoria took over in the eighth and displaying a nasty slider had a simple 1-2-3 inning.

Los Angeles added three more runs in the eighth. Ross was hit by a pitch, moved to second and while trying to score on Hee-Seop Choi's single was thrown out and injured in a collision at the plate. Chin-Feng Chen doubled and Mike Edwards got a drive up in the wind blowing to right and was rewarded with a home run.

The Dodger bullpen made it interesting in the ninth. Mike Venafro, wearing uniform #41, retired the first two in the ninth, then hit a batter as Brooklyn relief ace Clem Labine, who made #41 famous, watched from the stands. Aquilino Lopez came in to get the final out but not before giving up a two-run homer and a double.

Dodger Blue Notes--Left fielder Jayson Werth will have a MRI and CT scan on his injured wrist to check the healing process. If the tests are positive he could easily be ready for action on opening day. If not, another Jason, (Repko) came into the game blistering the ball at a .400+ clip and could step right into the slot. … Eric Gagne is still feeling pain in his sprained knee and may take an extra day between bullpens to alleviate it. He said he would pitch with the pain all season if necessary. … After the bullpen allowed only one hit over the final six innings against the Braves yesterday, they lowered the team ERA to a remarkable, un-spring-like 2.99. … OF/C Jason Grabowski is beginning to get more plate appearances and his bat seems to be responding. He hit a ball on the roof of the Major League clubhouse roof during batting practice in a demonstration of his power. Not to be outdone, Hee-Seop Choi launched one that landed in about the same place. Choi celebrated his 26th birthday today… The Dodgers signed three from the free agent tryout held earlier in March. A pitcher, catcher and outfielder were selected. … Oriole 1B David Newhan, son of Hall of Fame baseball columnist Ross Newhan who covered the Dodgers for a number of seasons, singled to lead off the game and quickly scored the first run. … Former Dodger catcher Rick Dempsey, coached first base for Baltimore. …

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