Dodgers slug Atlanta 11-6

<B>VERO BEACH, Florida</b>--Derek Lowe made his fifth start of the spring with a 1.59 earned run average over 17 innings and actually improved on those numbers over the first five innings but he was thumped opening the sixth by a homer, double, homer. Despite that, the Dodgers held on to give him his second win of the spring. L.A. built up an 8-1 lead, then had to scramble to hold on for the win.

The Dodgers jumped into an early lead when Jeff Kent slugged his second home run of the season with JD Dews, who was hit ay a pitch, on base, giving the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the first inning. In the third inning Lowe walked the Atlanta pitcher. He moved to second on a ground ball but was nailed on a second grounder to third base.

Then Repko givith and Repko taketh away.

On a single to left, Jason Repko hustled in on a soft single and attempting to make a play at the plate, fumbled the ball allowing he runner to score and the batter to move to second.

Then on another single to left, the young rookie nailed the runner attempting to score on a perfect throw to catcher JP Phillips.

L.A. picked added o their lead in the fourth. Drew singled and Kent doubled into the left field corner. Milton Bradley's grounder to second scored Drew and Jose Valentin's bouncer to first scored Kent.

Phillips was hit by a pitch on his left hand and someone in the crowd shouted, "Don't trade [David] Ross yet." The pitch apparently didn't do any permanent damage.

In the fifth, Repko singled with two out, Drew walked and when Kent's grounder to short was bobbled, Repko scored from second standing up.

Pinch-hitter Jason Grabowski bounced a double over the first baseman's head, scoring two runs, then Grabowski scored on Jose Valentin's single to left, giving the Dodgers an 8-1 lead.

Mike Venafro relieved Lowe with two out in the sixth and gave up a homer to a left-hander cutting the Dodger lead to 8-5. He then allowed a pair of singles, scoring a fifth run and was saved when the batter was thrown out attempting to stretch the hit into a double. Venafro, who came in with a 12.27 ERA left with a 15.75.

Oscar Robles singled in the seventh and when Jason Grabowski also singled, Robles raced to third. He beat the throw and when Grabowski advanced to second, a throw in an attempt to pick him off sailed well down he right field line and both runners scored.

Los Angeles made it 11-6 in the eighth on a triple by Antonio Perez -- boosting his average to .341 -- and a double by Mike Edwards. Buddy Carlyle closed out the game with a shutout ninth, lowering his ERA to 0.77.

Jeff Kent collected a homer and a double, while Jason Grabowski had a double and a single. Each had a pair of runs batted in.

Dodger Blue Notes--Edwin Jackson and Dioner Navarro were among nine players sent to the minor leagues by Dodgers management on Saturday. Others included pitchers Frank Brooks and Aquilino Lopez, infielders Jose Flores, Tony Schrager and Joe Thurston and outfielders Henri Stanley and Chin-Feng Chen. Brooks, Jackson and Navarro are on the 40-man roster and were optioned. The others are non-roster players and were reassigned to minor league camp. … Elmer Dessens threw four scoreless innings and 62 pitches in a minor league game against Florida. Dessens may start the fourth game of the season April 8. Ryan Rupe also is a candidate. Wilson Alvarez was scheduled to make the start, but will not be ready to pitch five or six innings that soon. Tracy said the club will start the season with 12 pitchers. Penny and Darren Dreifort, who will start the season on the disabled list and three more will be chosen from a group of Buddy Carlyle, Mike Venafro, Kelly Wunsch, Rupe and Rule 5 pick D.J. Houlton. Houlton must stay with the Dodgers the entire season or clear waivers and be offered back to Houston. … Baby Blue Player of the Year Joel Guzman was a one-day addition to the major league travel squad for the rained-out game in Viera. Manager Jim Tracy said Guzman playing time in the five remaining big league games in Florida. Guzman is 20. … To make up for lost time due to the rain in Viera on Saturday, Odalis Perez, Duaner Sanchez, Yhency Brazoban and Eric Gagne started minor league games on four different fields. The minor leaguers played 12 inning games, but the major league pitchers were be gone long before that. … Mark Langill, Dodger Director of Publications and the author of three photo books on the Dodgers, threw out the first ball. It was high and outside.

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