Dodgers Scalped By Hard-Hitting Indians

<b>WINTER HAVEN, Florida</b>--The Indians didn't give the Dodgers time to circle the wagons Thursday afternoon, sweeping down on them by surprise and taking no prisoners on the way to a one-sided 8-0 win. Young Edwin Jackson's third start was a painful one, allowing seven hits -- included a pair of home runs --and seven runs over five innings as his earned run average ballooned to 8.79.

The Dodger offense never got untracked, collecting only five hits, and a number of the starters have got gotten untracked this year, including Ricky Ledee (.226), Jose Valentin (.233), Milton Bradley (.161), Olmedo Saenz (.172), Hee-Seop Choi (.222), Norihiro Nakamura (.270) and Paul Bako (.263) collecting two hits among them. The bottom five finished 0-for-13.

Antonio Perez, Jason Repko, Ricky Ledee, Jose Valentin each were 1-for-3. The only starters leaving Winter Haven with solid averages were Perez at .333 and Repko who was still was hitting an even .400.

Jackson was thumped hard and often, allowing a pair of singles and a home run in the first plus a single, walk and double in the second to suddenly trail 5-0.

He worked a perfect five-pitch third inning (the only scoreless inning by Dodger pitchers over the first six innings) after a visit to the mound by pitching coach Jim Colborn. In the fourth inning, former teammate Alex Cora walked and stole second and third, then scored on the fifth hit that Jackson allowed. He gave up his second home run in the fifth and left after 84 pitches, 42 in the strike zone.

Duaner Sanchez took over in the sixth and promptly gave up a third home run to Cleveland but that was all he allowed in his two innings. Ryan Rupe threw a scoreless eighth.

Los Angeles hosts the St. Louis Cardinals Friday in Holman Stadium.

Roster outlook--With about 10 days left in the exhibition season, the roster is shaping up like this: (2) Jason Phillips and Paul Bako behind the plate; (6) Hee-Seop Choi at first, Jeff Kent at second, Cesar Izturis at short and Jose Valentin at third, backed up by Antonio Perez and Olmedo Saenz; (5) Milton Bradley in center and J.D. Drew in right with Rick Ledee, Jason Grabowski and either Jason Repko or Jason Werth, depending on Werth's wrist, in left field. (12) On the mound should be starters (not necessarily in this order) Derek Lowe, Jeff Weaver, Odalis Perez, Scott Erickson and Wilson Alvarez with Eric Gagne, Yhency Brazoban, Duaner Sanchez, Giovanni Carrera and Elmer Dessens with a couple of lefthanders: Kelly Wunch, Frank Brooks and Mike Venafro battling D.J. Houlton, Buddy Carlyle and Ryan Rupe for the last two slots. That will probably see Norihiro Nakamura, who has hit well with power and displayed a strong glove at third, starting his U.S. career in Las Vegas unless the club decides to go with 11 pitchers initially instead of a dozen. It also portends a trade, release or a backup job at Las Vegas for catcher David Ross.

Quotes--Two quotes attributed to manager Jim Tracy and GM Paul DePodesta gives some perception about rookie sensation Jason Repko: When asked if he could make the choice, would he include Repko on the opening day roster, Tracy said, "It isn't … so I won't answer." DePodesta, asked about Repko's big spring, cautioned, "I think we need to be careful about over-evaluating based on spring-training performance, good or bad. There is a big difference."

Dodger Blue Notes--Jayson Werth took his first swings since being hit on the wrist on his second at-bat of the season and was not happy with the results. He reported that he felt "something" during his extension that was not comfortable. "If I wasn't a baseball player swinging a bat, I'd be OK." … Lefty Wilson Alvarez has a slight case of tendinitis in his shoulder that may keep him out of the starting rotation early in the season. He had thrown 88 pitches in a simulated game last Friday and had allowed five runs in 3.2 innings. … On the same subject, it seems like Brad Penny will open the season on the disabled list. There is some thought that he will make an appearance soon in a minor league game. …

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