And a Small Child[s] Will Lead Them

A record crowd of over 8,000 packed City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, hopeing to see Nomah, Bill and Lowe. Instead the saw the future of the Dodgers, and a bright vision it was. The fans instead saw players named Willie, James and Justin, part of a wave of young talent who are poised to move into the Dodger Stadium clubhouse perhaps as early as August/September this year and they discovered why former Bostonion Frank McCourt is so excited about them.

With only one player in the starting lineup with more than a year of major league experience (Ramon Martinez, battling for the utility infield spot), and averaging 22.5 years old, excluding Martinez, Los Angeles came from behind once, broke two ties and won in the 10th inning.

Willy Aybar, playing third base this day, whose value has been downgraded somewhat because he does not hit with power, had just enough power, thank you, to slug a shot over the right field wall in the 10th to nail down the Dodgers eighth win of the spring season.

That came after they blew a 5-3 lead in the last of the ninth, escaping a loss when they left the winning run on second with none out.

Los Angeles trailed 1-0 into the fifth, then tied the game, with the help of an error, when center fiedler Andre Ethier walked with the bases loaded.

Martinez's two-run single put the Dodgers in front 3-1 in the sixth but Greg Miller served up a two-run homer and the game went tied into the eighth.

Chin-Lung Hu's sacrifice fly put L.A. in front 4-3 and a two-out error added another in the ninth.

DJ Houlton started and pitched two shutout innings. Takashi Saito gave up a home run in his onlyinning and Chad Billingsley allowed only a single while working the fourth and fifth.

Greg Miller allowed a walk, a double play, a hit batsman and a home run in the sixth and suddenly the game was 3-3.

Jonathan Broxton and Tim Hamulak worked 1-2-3 innings, handing the potential save over to Brian Meadows in the ninth.

Meadows, who had allowed seven runs in two-thirds of an inning in his previous start had another disaster on his hands immediately.

A leadoff single and a home run tied the game and a double put the winning run in scoring position with none out.

But he took care of the next three hitters without allowing the runner to advance and after Aybar banged his evenual game-winning homer in the top of the 10th, he sailed through the final three to earn his first win.
  Score by innings
Dodgers   001 201 011 2-7
Boston    001 002 002 0-5

Dodgers          ab r h bi ave
Aybar 3b          5 2 2 2 .167
Repko rf          4 0 0 0 .304
  Ross cf         1 0 1 0 .278
Ethier cf         2 0 0 0 .250
Young rf          3 0 0 0 .120
Kemp dh           4 0 0 0 .321
  *LaRoche ph-dh  1 0 0 0 .231
Loney 1b          2 1 0 0 .375
  Truby 1b        1 1 0 0 .154
Martin c          3 1 1 0 .389
  Navarro c       2 0 0 0 .071
Robles ss         2 1 1 0 .250
  **Hu, pr-ss     1 0 0 2 .400
  #Rohan pr-2b    1 7 7 5 .259

  Errors-Boston 4, Martin 1. LOB-Dodgers 1,
Boston 6. 2b hits- Guzman (2), Ross (2).
HR- Aybar (1). SB- Boston 1, Robles (1). 
Aybar (1). CS- Boston 1. DP-Hu-Rohan-Truby.
SF- Hu.

Dodgers            in  h r-er bb so era
Houlton            2.0 1  0-0 1  3  5.40
Saito              1.0 3  1-1 0  0  3.86
Billingsley        2.0 1  0-0 1  2  4.26
Miller (bs)        1.0 1  2-2 1  0 11.25
Broxton            1.0 0  0-0 0  2 10.80
Hamulak            1.0 0  0-0 0  0  1.80
Meadows (bs,w,1-0) 2.0 3  2-2 0  2 14.14
  Wp-Boston 1. HBP- by Miller 1. 
Time- 3:10. Attendance- 8,067
Dodger Blue Notes-- Cesar Izturis says he is progressing faster than planned and it is apparent he is still thinking about playing shortstop. "It feels good," he said. "It will be a couple of weeks before I can turn a double play and take balls at shortstop. …The Dodgers sent infielders Tony Abreu and Chris Truby and RHPs Justin Orenduff, Jumbo Diaz and Curt Ainsworth to minor league camp. …Hee-Seop Choi, a name many connect not kindly with the general manager who hired him, slugged a three-run homer to help Korea to a 7-3 win over the USA team. …Former stopper Tom Niedenfuer was at Dodgertown for the Baltimore game. …Fernando Arroyo was signed as pitching coach for Ogden in the Pioneer League, Last season Arroyo was the pitching coach at AA Portland in the Red Sox organization. …Derek Lowe worked in a minor league game Tuesday, throwing 60 or so pitches, to stay on schedule since it was a "camp day" and neither games or practices were on the docket for the major league roster.