LaRoche Knocks in Six as Dodgers Roll 16-2

VERO BEACH, Florida-- An 11-run explosion in the sixth inning broke things open on a pleasant afternoon at Holman Stadium and resulted inn a 16-2 win over the Mets. The Dodgers collected their first home runs of the season -- five of them -- led by rookie third baseman Andy LaRoche who banged a two run shot and a grand slam in the sixth inning. Derek Lowe and Odalis Perez were dominating, allowing only a bunt single (off Perez) during their three-inning stints.

Lowe retired all nine men he faced to earn the win and Perez allowed only a bunt single in the fourth and faced one over the the minimum during his three innings of work. Catcher Sandy Alomar gunned one runner down attempting to steal second.

Both pitchers were impressive, recording seven strikeouts between them.

Lance Carter added a scoreless inning before Kelly Wunsch allowed a pair of hits in the eighth. Danys Baez slammed the door with a shutout ninth.

But it was the offense that claimed the day, cracking out 12 hits including five home runs and a double. Seven of the hits and two dingers were included in the big sixth inning that iced the game and sent many of the 4,856 fans scrambling to make the early bird special at their favorite restaurant.
Dodgers          ab r h bi
Lofton cf         3 0 0 0
  Repko cf        1 1 0 0
Alomar c          3 1 1 1
  Martin c        2 1 1 2
Garciaparra 1b    2 0 0 0
   Loney pr-1b    2 2 1 1
Guzman dh         3 3 2 1
  Bellorin ph-dh  1 0 1 1
Ethier lf         2 2 1 2
  Young lf        2 0 0 0
Mueller 3b        2 0 0 0
  LaRoche 3b      3 1 2 6
Kemp rf           3 1 1 3
  Ross rf         1 0 0 0
Robles ss         2 1 1 1
  Abreu ss        2 1 1 0
Martinez 2b       2 0 0 0
  Aybar 2b        1 1 0 0
 Totals          37 16 1216
 New York        31  2  5 2

  Error-NY 1. LOB-NY 5, Dodgers 2. 2B-Loney. 
HR-Robles, Ethier, Kemp, LaRoche 2. SB-Martinez. 

Dodgers          in h r-er bb so
Lowe (w, 1-0)     3 0 0-0  0 4
Perez             3 1 0-0  1 3
Carter            1 1 0-0  0 3
Wunsch            1 3 2-2  1 0
Baez              1 0 0-0  0 1
 HBP-Baez 1. T-2:27. A-4,856.
Oscar Robles caught a changeup in the third inning and drove it over the right field fence. Sandy Alomar lined the second homer of the game to left field in the fourth and Andre Ethier another out of the park later in the inning with Joel Guzman on first base with a walk.

Counting the aborted stolen base attempt in the fourth inning and a sixth inning walk, the Dodgers had faced only 19 Mets hitters going into the last of the sixth.

Then trailing 4-0 the roof fell in on New York.

Nomar Garciaparra, who is 0-for-7 this spring, opened the inning when he was hit by a pitch. James Loney ran for him and L.A. loaded the bases on a Guzman infield hit and a walk to Ethier.

LaRoche whacked a two-run single to left field and scored moments later on Matt Kemp's three-run homer to left. Tony Abreu singled, Willie Aybar and Jason Repko walked to load the bases.

Russell Martin grounded a single to center to knock in two more before Loney fanned for the first out. Guzman got his second hit of the inning to again load the bases and LaRoche boomed a homer down the left field line for a grand slam, his sixth run batted in and the 11th run of the inning.

A double by Loney and an RBI single from Ed Bellorin scored the 16th run of the game and Baez slammed the door on the Dodgers second win of the exhibition season against a pair of losses.

George is Mad-- Yankee owner George Steinbrenner posted a sign at the Tampa spring home of the Yankees, apologizing that his stars Alex Rodriguez, Derke Jeter, Johnny Damon and Bernie Williams were playing in World Baseball Classic. His actions drew a sharp response from Tommy Lasorda, who said, "I don't agree with George and I don't know why he posted the sign. I love this event and we are seeing history being made." Former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley agreed, stating " The focus should be on who his here, not who isn't here. I think a great deal of credit should go to those players."

Happy Birthday-- OF Elmer Valo (86), Coach Del Crandall (76) and 1B Paul Konerko (30).

Dodger Blue Notes-- 3B Bill Mueller lost his grip on a hard swing in the fourth inning, the bat flying almost all the way to first base. Aficionados determined although the distance was impressive, Bill Ashley's distance record was not challenged. He launched a bat deep into the crowd behind third base some years ago to set the standard. …Outfielder Jason Repko was 0-for-1 in the win and his batting average "slid" to .591. …On second thought, reliever Yhency Brazoban has decided not to play in the WBC, deciding instead to pursue a steady job with the Dodgers. …Pitching coach Mark Brewer, outfielder Victor Diaz and coach Juan Samuel were among the Mets that made the strip from St. Lucie for the game. Catcher Paul Lo Duca has been sidelined with arthritis in his hand. …The Chicago White Sox signed RHP Hideo Nomo and RHP Paul Quantrill announced his retirement.