Winning Run Out at Plate, L.A.-Nats tie 0-0

It was like kissing your sister -- if you had twin sisters. Justin Ruggiano, running for James Loney who had doubled, was thrown out at the plate on a two-out infield single in the last of the ninth and the Dodgers and Nationals finished in a 0-0 tie when the game ended by agreement in Vero Beach. In the second of the split-squad games at Jupiter, the Dodgers and Marlins finished 1-1 with Cody Ross' home run supplying the only Dodger run in the two games over 19 innings.

All four teams in the split-squad double-header had a shortage of pitchers because of the World Baseball Classic and both games were abbreviated accordingly. After scoring 16 runs yesterday, their tank ran dry today.

But over the last 27 innings, Dodger pitchers have allowed only thrdee earned runs.

Five L.A. hurlers limited Washington to a pair of hits, one bloop single to center and a sharp double in the fifth inning. Starter Brad Penny allowed only a walk over three scoreless innings and the single baserunner was gunned down attempting to steal on a strong throw by Russell Martin.

Jonathan Broxton allowed the first Nationals hit, a looping single into right field in his one inning of work. Frank Osoria gave up the second hit, with one out in the fifth, and pitched a scoreless sixth.

Joe Beimel added a zero in the seventh and Takashi Saito added two more hitless innings, running his total to five this season, and struck out three.
  Score by innings:
Washington      000 000 000-0
Dodgers         000 000 000-0

  Dodgers        ab  r  h  bi
Lofton cf         3  0  0  0
  Repko cf        1  0  1  0
Young lf          4  0  1  0
Drew dh           2  0  0  0
 *Guzman          1  0  0  0
Garciaparra 1b    3  0  1  0
  Loney 1b        1  0  1  0
  #Ruggiano pr    0  0  0  0
Ethier rf         4  0  0  0
LaRoche 3b        3  0  0  0
Aybar 2b          3  0  1  0
Martin c          2  0  1  0
  Borders c       2  0  1  0
Abreu ss          3  0  0  0
  Total          32  0  7  0
  Washington     27  0  2  0

  *Grounded out for Drew in the 8th. #Ran for 
Loney in the ninth.
   E-Washington 1. 2b hits-Loney. 
LOB-Washington 4, Los Angeles 10. 
DP-Washington 1. CS-Martin.

Dodgers    in  h r-er bb  so
Penny       3  0  0-0  1  2
Broxton     1  1  0-0  0  1
Osoria      2  1  0-0  0  1
Biemel      1  0  0-0  0  0
Takashi     2  0  0-0  0  3
  HBP-Osoria 2. Time-2:221. Attendance-2,475
Los Angeles had a number of chances to win the game -- they were 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position -- and left 10 runners on base.

Willie Aybar singled and advanced to third base in the third inning. With one out in the fourth, JD Drew walked and Nomar Garciaparra dropped a soft single into center field, breaking an 0-for-8 start. Andre Ethier hit into a force play and Andy LaRoche walked to load the bases but Aybar lined to left.

Jason Repko and EY Young singled with two out in the eighth but were left stranded before the Dodgers had their best, and final, chance in the ninth.

James Loney doubled to the fence in right-center field and Justin Ruggiano ran for him. Ethier popped to second and LaRoche bounced to third base. Aybar worked a walk before Pat Borders bounced a single up the middle of the infield.

The Washington shortstop went deep behind the second base bag and gloved the ball. Ruggiano, running with the pitch was sent home but was thrown out by a wide margin to end the game.

Florida Tie-- In the away part of the split-squad afternoon, the Dodgers and Marlins also tied, this time 1-1 in a game that went 9 1/2 innings and was also stopped by a shortage of pitching.

Aaron Sele started for Los Angeles and allowed two hits but no runs before leaving with two out in the third. Brian Meadows finished the third and then gave up a leadoff triple in the fifth but a strikeout, a ground ball and a fly to left ended the inning.

Greg Miller opened the sixth by giving up a leadoff double and a single that gave the Marlins a 1-0 lead. But the lefty escaped further damage after the runner was bunted to second. A ground ball and a short fly closed the inning out.

Cody Ross slugged a two-out homer in the seventh to tie the game 1-1 and Tim Hamulak took over in the bottom of the inning and pitched two hitless innings. Chris Malone added a final shutout inning in the ninth, surviving a single and a double.

Chris Truby doubled to lead off the Dodger eighth but stayed there and Ross opened the tenth with a double but with one out he was caught attempting to steal third.

Florida did not hit in the last of the 10th.
  Score by innings:
Dodgers    000 000 100 0- 1
Florida    000 001 000 x- 1

Dodgers       ab  r  h  bi
Robles 2b      2  0  0  0
  Bellorin c   1  0  0  0
Martinez ss    3  0  1  0
  DeWitt 2b    1  0  0  0
Mueller 3b     3  0  1  0
  DeJesus ss   1  0  0  0
Kemp cf        3  0  0  0
  Hoffman cf   1  0  0  0
Navarro c      2  0  0  0
  Rohan 3b     2  0  0  0
Ross lf        4  1  2  1
Weber rf       4  0  0  0
Truby 1b       4  0  1  1
Dunlap dh      2  0  0  0
  Totals      33  1  5  1
  Florida     32  1  7  2

  E-Martinez. 2b hits- Martinez, Truby, Ross. 
HR-Ross. LOB-Dodgers 4, Florida 9. DP-Florida- 1, 
Dodgers 2. CS-Ross.

  Dodgers      in  h r-er bb so
Sele          2.2  2  0-0  1  1
Meadows       2.1  1  0-0  1  2
Miller        1.0  2  1-1  0  0
Hamulak       2.0  0  0-0  1  0
Malone        1.0  2  0-0  1  1

Werth's Recovery Slow-- Jayson Werth, whose problems started almost exactly a year ago when he was hit on the wrist by a pitch in the first exhibition game, is not healing very rapidly. "I wish I could say things are progressing," he said when asked about his recovery. While a club official said he would probably be back in action some time in May, that seems optimistic. He would have to be ready to resume hitting and throwing right now to make that deadline, since he will probably spend a length of time in the minor leagues getting into actual playing shape. Werth had a spectacular, if short, 2004 season and was slated to be the starting left fielder at the start of the exhibition season last year. After the injury, he returned to action, but the wrist continued to bother him and he played through it, and although he led the team in doubles (22) and stolen bases (11), he struck out over 100 times and hit .234. After the season he found a wrist ligament was torn and another operation was undertaken, one that threatens, at best, half of the 2005 season.

Quote of the Day-- "Once I manage a game with the Dodgers, people are going to quit asking me about Pedro Martinez. They're going to start asking about when I screwed up in the game that night instead, " manager Grady Little, speaking with Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register.

Dodger Blue Notes-- If you are a numerologist, you'll appreciate the fact that 3B Andy LaRoche, who knocked in six runs in the sixth inning Sunday, was wearing the number "66." …Converted shortstop Joel Guzman will get his first start in left field today, Tuesday, against the Cardinals. Eric Gagne will pitch Wednesday against Baltimore in Holman Stadium…It appears that shortstop Rafael Furcal, who had surgery on his left knee on January 11, will be ready to play in about a week. …Edwin Jackson made his spring debut with Tampa Bay and fanned three over two scoreless innings against Cincinnati. …

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