As good as that was, the next four young hurlers out-did him by giving up only one more hit over the final six, preserving the two-run lead the Dodgers crafted in the second inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, James Loney lined a double to right field and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Russell Martin. Tony Abreu walked and Andy LaRoche doubled to left field to score Loney with the first run.
Jason Repko then singled to right field, driving in both Abreu and LaRoche to end the offensive part of the game at that point.
An error by Aybar and a single put Tomko in hot water n the second but he got a force play to end the inning. He allowed a harmless, two out single in the third.
Eric Stults took over on the mound in the fourth inning and was untouchable over the next three innings, issuing a walk but quickly erasing him on a Martinez, Abreu, Loney double play and, like Tomko, he lowered his ERA to 1.80.
The Dodgers then ran out Justin Orenduff, Hong-Chic Kuo and Jonathan Meloan to the mound and the youngsters held the Cardinals hitless save only a two-out single in the ninth and Meloan, who pitched at short-season Ogden last year, earned the second Dodger save of the season. None of the four kids have allowed a run so far this exhibition season.
The team earned run average dipped to 2.66 after the win.
Repko's two run single boosted his average to .545; Martin was 2-for-2 and has an equally impressive .500 average while Loney, who has hit the ball hard all spring, singled and doubled to take a .462 average home on the bus with him. LaRoche, who leads the team with eight RBI, is hitting a solid .312,
Andre Ethier, who walked and stole second in the first inning, left the game when Delwyn Young hit for him in the third and finished the game in right field.
Dodgers ab r h bi Repko cf 3 0 1 2 Ross cf 1 0 0 0 Aybar 3b 4 0 0 0 Truby 3b 1 0 0 0 Ethier rf 0 0 0 0 *Young ph-rf 3 0 0 0 Guzman lf 4 0 1 0 Paul lf 0 0 0 0 Loney 1b 4 1 2 0 Martin c 2 0 2 0 Bellorin c 1 0 0 0 Martinez ss 3 0 0 0 Rohan ss 1 0 1 0 Abreu 2b 3 1 1 0 LaRoche 3b 4 1 2 1 Totals 34 3 10 3 St. Louis 31 1 4 1 Errors- Aybar, Rohan. LOB- Dodgers 8, Cardinals 6. 2b hits- Loney, LaRoche. Sacrifice-Martin. SB-Repko, Ethier. CS-Abreu. DP- Dodgers 1, Cardinals 1. Dodgers in h r-er bb so Tomko (w, 1-0) 3.0 3 1-1 1 2 Stults 3.0 0 0-0 1 1 Orenduff 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 Kuo 1.0 0 0-0 0 2 Meloan (sv 1) 1.0 1 0-0 0 2 Time- 2:20. Attendance- 5,523Power outage-- Some have questioned the Dodgers lack of hitting over the first five games of the exhibition season but a closer look explains it clearly. If you don't have your shortstop, second baseman or left fielder available (Furcal, Kent, Werth) and your first baseman and right fielder (Garciaparra and Drew) are struggling to regain their stroke after missing half of last season because of injury, it's a testament to the sparkling pitching the Dodgers have received that they completed the seventh game of the season with a 3-2-2 record. But the silver lining is, the coaching staff has been able to check out the remarkably talented youngsters who are waiting in the wings for a chance (LaRoche, Loney, Kemp, Martin, Ethier, Abreu, Aybar, Young and Ross).
Dodger Blue Notes-- Adrian Beltre led the Dominican team to a 12-5 victory over Velenzuela, smacking three hits -- including two homers -- and knocking in five runs. …Whether he was forced by his country to play in the WBC or if he opted to play himself, first baseman Hee-Seop Choi is going to find it very difficult to earn a roster slot this season because of his absence. Still only 27, the inconsistent slugger needs to have Manager Grady Little and his coaches get a long look at him. …Infielders Oscar Robles and Ramon Martinez, who are fighting for the utility infield slot on the team, alternate shortstop and second base every other game so the coaching staff can evaluated them and make a decision before opening day. Little said it may be in Anaheim for the Freeway Series when the choice will be announced. Robles got a day off Tuesday to watch Mexico play…Jeff Kent, who celebrated his 38th birthday Tuesday, will see his first action this spring as a DH some time this week. …Eric Gagne will pitch for the first time today (Wednesday) and Yhency Brazoban will pitch tomorrow (Thursday). … Young Chad Billingsley ask for and is receiving instructions from Gagne on how to throw the changeup. Gagne has one of the best in the business. …Fans are becoming upset because they [a] are seeing their favorites in action because of the WBC and [b] can't get tickets to the sold out classic so they can see them play for their country. …Around the major leagues, Jeff Weaver allowed eight runs for the Angels in his first appearance, this one against the Giants. Catcher David Ross slugged two homers and knocked in four runs for San Diego against Kansas City and Jose Lima was tagged for four runs in 2+ innings while pitching for the Mets.