Saturday, March 11-- VIERA, Florida. It looked for a time as if it would be "Deja Vu all over again," as Yogi was supposed to have said, when the Dodgers and Washington hooked up in Viera after playing to a 0-0 tie at Holman Stadium on March 6.
The game rolled 0-0 into the ninth inning, then both teams made crucial errors to allow a single run. Then the Dodgers gave up the winning run in the bottom of the tenth to lose 2-1.
Aaron Sele started and worked four scoreless innings, giving up four hits, pitching out of small jam in the fourth.
The Dodgers nearly broke up the scoreless tie in the fourth when Dioner Navarro was hit by a pitch and 1B Chris Truby singled to center for the first L.A. hit of the game.
Joel Guzman lined a curveball off the glove of the third baseman. The ball rolled into left field. Bench coach Dave Jauss, coaching first, sent Navarro and he was cut down at the plate by a throw from left field by a wide margin.
Lance Carter took over in the fifth and pitched a pair of scoreless innings, allowing three hits and leaving four men on base.
Danys Baez worked an easy seventh and left the bases loaded in the eighth.
Shortstop Chin-Lung Hu singled to lead off the eighth and right fielder EY Young singled sharply to right field. However, Pat Borders hit into a double play. 1B Chris Truby walked before left fielder Joel Guzman, who singled in his two previous at-bats, flew to center.
In the ninth, with a little help from the Nationals, the Dodgers broke the scoreless string at 18 innings when DH James Loney and Jamie Hoffman ran for him with one out.
3B Andy LaRoche, who left runners at second and third with one out in the seventh, singled to right and the Dodgers took a 1-0 margin into the bottom of the ninth.
Kelly Wunsch came in to nail down the win and got the first two hitters easily. He got two strikes on the final hitter but walked him. Again he was one pitch away from ending the game but hit the next batter with a pitch.
Manager Grady Little inserted Jonathan Meloan and the Washington hitter hit a soft liner up the middle. Hu went behind first to make the play and threw to first on a bang-bang play. Truby stretched for the ball, thought the throw had beaten the runner and turned to the umpire waiting for the call.
The Nats runner didn't stop at third base and scored all the way from second on an infield hit to tie the game.
Justin Orenduff came in to pitch the last of the 10th and couldn't get comfortable on the mound, walking the first two hitters. A sacrifice moved them up, an intentional walk loaded the bases and then LaRoche booted a ground ball that allowed the winning run to cross the plate.
Dodgers ab r h bi Repko cf 3 0 0 0 Young rf 1 0 0 0 Navarro c 2 0 0 0 Borders c 2 0 0 0 Truby 1b 3 0 1 0 Guzman lf 4 0 2 0 Ross rf 3 0 0 0 Loney dh 4 0 1 0 *Hoffman 0 1 0 0 LaRoche 3b 4 0 1 1 Robles 2b 2 0 0 0 Aybar 2b 2 0 0 0 Martinez ss 2 0 1 0 Hu ss 2 0 1 0 Dodgers 34 1 6 1 Totals 34 2 8 2 Score by innings: Dodgers 000 000 001 0-1 Washington 000 000 001 1-2 Errors-LaRoche, Washingtonn 1. LOB- Dodgers 7, Washington 15. SB- Washington 1. DP- Dodgers (Martinez-Robles-Truby), Washington 2, Dodgers in h r-er bbso Sele 4.0 4 0-0 0 1 Carter 2.0 3 0-0 0 1 Baez 2.0 0 0-0 3 0 Wunsch 0.2 0 1-1 2 0 Meloan 0.1 1 0-0 0 0 Orenduff(L,0-1)0.1 0 1-0 3 0It was Washington's second win inn 12 games. The Dodgers dropped to 5-4.
Sunday, March 12-- VERO BEACH, Florida. The Dodgers again received sparkling pitching, stopping the Astros 7-0 and allowing only four hits.
Brett Tomko, like Aaron Sele, made a strong statement, giving up three singles and became the first to go five innings this spring.
He was followed, with equal success by Eric Gagne, Yhency Brazoban, Franquelis Osoria and Hong-Chih Kuo, pitching one scoreless innings each.
The Dodgers banged out 11 hits, including a two-run home run by 2B Jeff Kent, his first of the season. Tony Abreu, JD Drew and Andre Ethier each had a pair of hits. Abreu had a double; Drew and Jason Repko lined triples.
Drew doubled home Abreu, who was on second with a leadoff double, in the first inning. Nomar Garciaparra singled and Drew hit a monster fly down the right field line in the third, the ball seemingly headed well over the fence, was caught in the strong wind and knocked down just a foot before it left the park and when the dust cleared, Drew had a triple and the Dodgers led 2-0.
Garciaparra dropped very high popup at first base in the opening inning, then gloved a sizzling smash by the next hitter and started a snappy double play.
Kent defied the wind in the fourth, smacking a ball over the berm in left with Abreu on base with a walk for a 4-0 margin.
Matt Kemp's sacrifice fly scored Repko in the seventh after Repko had improbably raced from first to third on a routine single to left.
Repko again demonstrated his speed in the eighth, banging a triple to left field to score Abreu and Ramon Martinez.
Dodgers ab r h bi ave Abreu ss 4 3 2 0 .278 Garciaparra 1b 3 1 1 0 .130 Martinez 1b-3b 2 1 1 0 .389 Drew rf 3 0 2 2 .467 Repko rf 1 1 1 2 .368 Kent 2b 3 1 1 2 .375 Aybar 2b 2 0 1 0 .120 Saenz dh 2 0 0 0 .000 LaRoche dh 2 0 0 0 .240 Mueller 3b 2 0 0 0 .294 Robles 3b 0 0 0 0 .222 *Loney 1b 0 0 0 0 .409 Kemp cf 3 0 0 1 .167 Ethier lf 3 0 2 0 .286 Guzman lf 1 0 0 0 .348 Alomar c 3 0 0 0 .222 Martin c 1 0 0 0 .400 Totals 35 7 11 7.259 Houston 29 0 4 0.243 *Walked for Robles in seventh. Score by innings Houston000 000 000-0 Dodgers101 020 12x-7 Errors-Houston 1, Garciaparra. 2b hits- Abreu. 3b hits- Drew, Repko. HR- Kent (1). SF-Kemp. SB-Ethier. LOB- Houston 4, Dodgers 10. DP- Dodgers 2 (Abreu-Aybar-Loney; Garciaparra-Abreu). Dodgers in h r-er bb so era Tomko (w,2-0) 5.0 3 0-0 0 4 0.90 Gagne 1.0 1 0-0 1 2 0.00 Brazoban 1.0 0 0-0 0 3 10.80 Osoria 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 3.60 Kuo 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 0.00 T- 2:23. Attendance- 4.672.
McCourt Pleased-- Frank McCourt told the media Friday that he has been pleased with the way the management team, player roster and Dodger Stadium have improved. He and his wife, Jamie, arrived in Dodgertown recently and credited GM Ned Colletti with much of the improvements on the roster. Manager Grady Little came into his share of compliments. McCourt replaced every seat in Dodger Stadium and announced that a park and picnic area is being constructed near the left-field entrance to the Loge Level.
Quote of the Day-- "I was pleased to see Kuo come in there and do a heck of a job the way he did under the circumstances. Man, he threw only 11 pitches to get four outs. That's very impressive," Grady Little, speaking to Michael LaForgia of TC Palm.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Dodger VP Tommy Lasorda greeted all the minor leaguers on their first day in camp (the pitchers and catchers had come in earlier) and challenged them to show character over the coming season. …Former Lefthanded ace Jerry Reuss joined Rick Monday in the Dodger radio booth from Viera. Reuss has a pleasant voice and great knowledge of the game and has no trouble passing it on to the listening audience. …Washington manager and former Dodger outfielder Frank Robinson is celebrating his 50th year in the major leagues. ...OF Jose Cruz and former Dodger 2B Alex Cora got big hits as Puerto Rico demolished Cuba 12-2 in the WBC. Both teams advance to the next round. Adrian Beltre slugged his third home run in two games, a three-run shot to center field in the fifth inning to boost the Dominican Republic over Italy. …The Can-Am League North Shore Spirit signed LHP Liam O'Flaherty. …I suppose you noticed that -- just as we feared -- Edwin Jackson is performing well. He pitched three more scoreless innings in his second start of the spring season for Tampa Bay. …Rafael Furcal will make his 2006 spring debut on Wednesday against Atlanta, his 2005 club. …Infielder Olmedo Saenz is back from the WBC now that Panama has been eliminated. …