Broxton Bombed as Braves Win in Ninth

VERO BEACH, Florida-- The Dodgers bussed away from Crackerjack Stadium in Orlando after squandering baserunners like a sailor on his first shore leave. They also took a 1-1 record back to Vero Beach after young Jonathan Broxton was unable to retire a man while allowing double, single, single, home run bottom of the ninth, turning a 7-4 lead into an 8-7 loss.

The Dodgers banged out 17 hits, enjoyed 24 baserunners and frustratingly left 15 on base, including the bases loaded three times and as Charlie Steiner said on the Dodger radio broadcast, "Thus they paid for their sins."

Each starter, save the pitcher, collected a hit in the game with Jason Repko and Ramon Martinez earning three each, Oscar Robles, Bill Mueller and James Loney had two each.

Two big innings gave the Dodgers their seemingly comfortable lead. They scored four in the first and three in the fifth, being retired in order only in the ninth.

After Robles was retired to open the game, catcher Russell Martin, right fielder JD Drew (in his first spring game) and left fielder Andre Ethier walked to load the bases.

Drew singled in the second inning and gave way to Matt Kemp in right field after feeling a "twinge" in his healing wrist. The pain is not expected to be

Third baseman Bill Mueller lived up to his reputation as an RBI man, with a single to center for a 1-0 lead. Repko singled in two more and Martinez made it 4-0 with the fourth hit of the inning.

A two-run homer off Brian Meadows cut the Dodger lead to 4-2 in the fourth but L.A. scored three in the fifth.

Repko opened the inning with his third hit of the game and first baseman James Loney walked. Martinez matched Repko with his third hit, an RBI single. Rookie Andy LaRoche got his first hit of the spring, a line single to right, knocking in the second run, and Robles double made it 7-2.

After starter Brett Tomko retired all six Braves he faced, Brian Meadows allowed four hits and a pair of runs in the two innings he worked.

Franquelis Osoria was thumped for a homer plus another run while working one inning and facing three in the sixth and suddenly Atlanta was back in the game, trailing 7-4

Joe Biemel (sixth) and Takashi Saito (seventh and eighth) pitched hitless innings before Broxton, one of the top pitching prospects in the Dodger system, came in to close things out.

Quote of the Day "When you're comfortable, your body just knows where its supposed to go. That's going to take time. I never thought this was gong to be easy. It's a learning process. At come point, I won't be thinking five million things in y head, I'll just play instinctively and naturally." first baseman Nomar Garciaparra told LA Daily News writer Tony Jackson after making a pair of sparkling stops at first base in the opening game of the exhibition season.

Spring Analysts-- The Dodgers announced that Jerry Reuss, Steve Yeager and Tom Goodwn will be guest analysts on seven of the team's Spring Training games. "With Charlie Steiner taking part in the World Baseball Classic, this provides us a chance to try some new things with the radio broadcast and this group will offer new insights for Dodger fans," Chief Marketing Officer Tagg Romney said. Reuss pitched for the Dodgers from 1979 to 1987. Yeager played for the Dodgers 1977-84 and is currently hitting coach for Las Vegas and Goodwin played with Los Angeles 1991-1993 and again in 200-2001. In addition, Eric Karros with work with Gary Miller on its "Think Blue TV" Dodger telecasts before 30 of the 54 games on Channel 9, beginning April 1.

Dodger Blue Notes-- It is easy to identify Takashi Saito when he warms up in the bullpen -- he's the one with the bright red glove. His stretch reminds you of Hideo Nomo…Players new to Holman Stadium complained about the absence of screens behind the dugouts to protect fans. During the opening game, a woman was drilled by a foul ball off the bat of Bill Mueller and was taken to the hospital. …Eric Gagne, excused for a couple of days to go home to Los Angeles on personal business, will pitch for the first time March 8 against Baltimore. …Dodger right-hander Jae Seo worked six innings of two-hit ball and Chan Ho Park worked three more scoreless innings in a 2-0 win by South Korea over Taiwan in the WBC. …RHP Yhency Brazoban got a call from the manager of the Dominican entry in the WBC and now the Dodger righthander wants to pitch for his country. The Dodgers, however, are a bit leery of the proposition since Brazoban has been shut down due to a sore shoulder. …Sports has rated Rafael Furcal and Jeff Kent the best double play combination in the National League and No. 2 overall behind Baltimore's Miguel Tejada and Brian Roberts. …