Rookie Monday Enjoyed by Everyone but Pirates

The Dodgers staged a rookie parade Monday and 36,397 fans enjoyed the spectacle that resulted in a 9-4 Dodger win and the third victory in the four game series against Pittsburgh. Eleven rookies saw action, five started the game and six pitched, limiting the Pirates to six hits and two earned runs over 8.2 innings Jason Repko had a career night with a pair of triples, including a bases-loaded shot in the seventh that put the game away.

Repko was given a spring training invitation because he had to bed protected on the 40-man roster and it might have been a final look at the one-time super-prospect who had run into a string of injuries and had fallen from grace.

He had to impress the staff at Dodgertown or quickly move back to the minor league clubhouse and be assigned a summer at Las Vegas.

But Jayson Werth had his wrist fractured by a pitch and various other injuries gave the former No. 1 pick a chance to show his talents -- and he did, earning a spot on the opening day roster, in fact, the only home-grown Dodger on the starting nine that day.

When the injury epidemic continued, he remained on the roster, spending only eight days in the minor leagues.

Singled out by manager Jim Tracy as a major league fielder, the only thing keeping him from a starting slot was a slow-warming bat that held his average in the low .200s most of the year.

Sunday the young center fielder tripled twice, becoming the first Dodgers player to do that since the Eric Anthony (remember him?) did it eight seasons ago, and drove in a career-high four runs. He also made a spectacular running catch in center field in the seventh inning.

Due to the early inability to his on a regular basis, his season has been a disappointment to him but he has boosted his average to .227 with seven homers and 29 RBI.

"I can't even tell you how far I have come," he told the Los Angeles Daily News. "There are so many different aspects of my game, a lot of mental things and a lot of ways of adjusting, just so many things I have learned and experienced this year."

On a day the Dodger rookies produced, Repko's effort stood out. But his was not the only strong performance.

Edwin Jackson (2-2) allowed just four hits and one earned run over 5.1 innings before muscle spasms in his lower back forced him from the game. He walked four -- one with the bases loaded -- but did not record a strikeout. He said he didn't run out of gas, he just lost his command.

Willy Aybar reached base four times in five plate appearances. Aybar drew a walk to begin the first inning, his fifth walk in 11 plate appearances. Aybar has reached base safely in 16 of his 17 major-league starts and boosted his average to .388 and his on-base percentage of .494.

Franquelis Osoria, who relieved Jackson with a man on and one out in the top of the sixth and got out of it with two groundball outs. Hong-Chih Kuo, who relieved Steve Schmoll with two on and one out in the seventh and struck out Rob Mackowiak and got Ryan Doumit to ground out.

All in all, it was a bright evening that illuminated a dark season with promise of things to come.

The Dodgers overcame a 2-0 lead in the third inning with a pair of doubles by Aybar and Hee-Seop Choi in the third and Repko's RBI triple, and Aybar's single n the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.

They added one more in the fifth on the rejuvenated Jose Cruz's home run to right field, then put the game away in the seventh on Ricky Ledee's RBI fielder's choice and Repko's jackpot triple.

The final run rolled across in the eighth when Jeff Kent doubled and scored on Jayson Werth's single.

Dodger Blue Notes-- The Daily News reported a meeting in the office of owner Frank McCourt involving McCourt, Jim Tracy, general manager Paul DePodesta and Tracy's Houston-based agents. Tracy has been mentioned as a possible candidate for the managerial vacancy in Pittsburgh. It is believed that while Tracy's escape clause gives him the freedom to seek other employment, he could do so only after severing ties with the Dodgers and was not allowed to interview for other jobs and entertain offers while still under contract to the Dodgers. Tracy signed a two-year, $1.8 million extension after last season, when the Dodgers won the National League West. The period during which Tracy must decide whether to exercise the escape clause begins Monday, the day after the Dodgers' season ends. …Oscar Robles will play in the Mexican Winter League, as he has the past six winters, even though he's finally become a successful Major Leaguer. He has filled the shortstop vacancy created by Cesar Izturis' arm injury and will certainly hold he job until mid-season when the Gold Glove shortstop returns to action. …Tracy noted that if Sunday's game might impact the Padres, Jeff Weaver would take his regular start. Otherwise, it will go to someone else. …Left-handed reliever Kelly Wunsch, recovering from ankle and hip operations, said there has been no indication as to whether the club will bring him back for the 2006 season. …Catcher Dioner Navarro's ailing baby son has shown improvement and is scheduled to be released from the hospital Tuesday. …Weaver, who has already set a career high in victories in his contract year, makes what could be his last start for the Dodgers on tonight against Arizona.