Lucky Seven in Seventh Smothers Nats

The Dodgers rolled a big seven in the seventh inning and rode that to an 11-5 win over the Nationals in a night game Monday at Vierra. Washington was playing "Who's in Left" when the game started as Alfredo Soriano refused to play in the outfield and had to be replaced before the game could start.

Russell Martin gave notice that his hat is still in the ring for the starting catcher's nomination by goikng 2-for-2 with a three run homer and four run batted in. He boosted his average to an even .400. Nomar Garciaparra's bat has shown signs of coming alive and he singled and doubled, knocking in a run to boost his average over the Mendoza line (.211). Kenny Lofton, however, has been ice cold since being hit in the knee by a pitch earlier in the season and his average dropped to .148.

Brad Penny drew the start and allowed an infield hit, a walk and a ground single into right field that resulted in two runs. Over the next four innings he gave up one more hit and retired the final 10 batters he faced.

The 2-0 score held until the Dodgers broke out with a four-run sixth inning, keyed by Russell Martin's three-run homer. Former Dodger lefty Joey Eischen allowed all four runs and took the loss and Penny won his second game against no losses.

A seven-run seventh put the lid on the game, the Dodgers 11th of the season. Jason Repko had a two-run double, Martin knocked in his fourth run of the game and Joel Guzman, Chin-Lung Hu and Hee-Seop Choi -- just back from the WTC, had runs batted in.

DJ Houlton gave up a home run in two innings and Takashi Saito was banged around allowing four hits and a pair of runs in the ninth.

The Missing Link--Strange things happen in exhibtion games but even veteran baseball men blinked when the Washington club took the field in the top of the first inning without a left fielder.

Alfonso Soriano, apparently a died-in-the wool second baseman forever, came to Washington in a trade with Texas in the off-season and declared he would not, under any circumstances, play in the outfield.

He had been true to his word throughout the spring and when manager Frank Robinson penciled him in to play left field against the Dodgers, Soriano refused to take the field.

Robinson waited until it was apparent he would not leave the dugout, with Rafael Furcal waiting at the plate to leadoff the game, and then sent another left fielder out in his place.

The Nationals said if he refused to play in the outfield during the next two games, they will put Soriano on the ddisqualifiedlist -- that means no play--no pay.

It will be interesting to see if the player's union will allow the move to be made, and will probably file a protest. But in the arena of public opinion, most baseball fans would say that if you pay a player $12 a year, you should have the option of playing him anywhere you please.
  Dodgers      ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss       2 0 1 0 .300
  *Hu ss        2 0 0 0 .300
Lofton cf       3 0 0 0 .148
  Ethier cf     2 1 1 0 .250
Garciaparra 1b  3 1 2 0 .211
  Choi 1b       2 1 1 1 .500
Kent 2b         3 0 1 0 .273
  Abru pr-2b    2 0 0 0 .250
Guzman lf       4 2 1 2 .300
  Meadows lf    1 0 0 0 .000
Repko rf        5 1 1 2 .270
Martinez 3b     2 1 0 0 .345
  Robles 3b     0 1 0 0 .286
Martin c        2 2 2 4 .400
  Borders c     1 0 0 0 .186
Penny p         1 0 0 0 .000
  #Ross ph      1 0 1 0 .375
  Hamulak p     0 0 0 0 .000
  Houlton p     0 0 0 0 .000
  *Aybar ph     1 0 0 0 .189
  Saito p       0 0 0 0 .000
  Totals     37 11 11 11 .261
  Washington 36  9  5  5 .263

  Score by innings:
Dodgers     000 004 700-11
Washington  200 000 012- 5

  Errors-Washington 1. 
2b hits-Garciaparra (1), Repko (2). 
HR- Martin (1). Sac- Penny. 
Sac Fly- Ethier. SB- Furcal (2), 
Washington 2. LOB-Dodgers 9, 
Washington 5.

  Dodgers      in  h r-er bb so era
Penny (w, 2-0) 5.0 4  2-2  1 0 4.32
Hamulak        1.0 0  0-0  0 0 1.29
Houlton        2.0 1  1-1  0 1 7.00
Saito          1.0 4  2-2  0 2 4.50
  Totals       9.0 9  5-5  1 3 3.52
  Washington  9.0 11 11-11 7 5 6.00
  Wp- Washington 2. HBP- Hamulak. 
Time- 2:56. Attendance- 4,554.

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