Alomar Probably Will Catch Season Opener

VERO BEACH, Florida-- Dodger Manager Grady Little said that it would be a "longshot" for incumbent catcher Dioner Navarro's injured hamstring would have healed sufficiently for him to open the season on the 25-man roster. In that instance, rookie Russell Martin would take his place and veteran Sandy Alomar would catch the opening game in Dodger Stadium in all the fuss and feathers that goes with the season opener.

Major League rules allow that a player can be put on the 15-daydisabled list five days before the opening day. That would give Martin the opportunity to catch two games in the Atlanta series in Los Angeles and three games in each Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

Navarro is also likely to spend time in the minor leagues on an injury-rehab assignment before coming off he disabled list.

Seo Tagged With First Loss
Jae Seo, fresh from the World Baseball Classic, put his wares on display in Holman Stadium for the 5,941 fans in attendance as well as Manager Grady Little and his coaching staff.

The results were rather mixed.

Seo was tagged for eight hits and three runs over his five-inning stint, giving up all five hits three runs in the first two innings. But then he seemed to settle in and shut off the Cardinal over his last three frames. He took the loss, only the second in Holman Stadium this season.

He was followed on the mound by Danys Baez, who lowered his ERA to 2.00 with a shutout inning. Tim Hamulak was hammered for three quick hits and a run but got things under control after that to limit the damage to a single run.

DL Houlton, in a last-ditch attempt to earn a roster spot, worked two innings and, using his hard-breaking curve ball, struck out two without allowing a hit or a run.

The game was a defensive aficionado's dream with Jose Cruz making a diving catch in the first to cut off a run and Willie Aybar starting a quick double play in the seventh.

But St. Louis won the defensive end of the game, cutting off Dodger scoring opportunities in a number of innings.

The Dodger offense started immediately, cutting he Cardinal lead in half by scoring a run in the bottom of the first. Rafael Furcal doubled to left, Cruz singled to center and JD Drew's long fly scored Furcal. The first of three Cardinal double plays ended that threat.

Russell Martin walk, advanced to second on Furcal's second hit and moved to third on a passed ball in the third. Drew slugged a shot over the center field fence but Jim Edmonds reached over the padding at the top of the barrier and made a spectacular catch to end the inning and the Dodger offense for the rest of the game.

Eleven straight Los Angeles batters went down in order before Jeff Kent looped a single to right in the seventh. Jason Repko banged a two-out double in the eighth.

Former Dodger Brian Falkenborg, who was in camp with the Dodgers in 2004, came in to close the game out and gave up a single to Brian Meadows, his first of the spring, and a long fly to the center field fence by Pat Borders. Sandy Alomar singled, putting the potential winning run at home plate but Falkenborg fanned OF Joel Guzman and got Hee-Seop Choi on a sharp line drive to third base.
 Dodgers         ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss         3 1 2 1 .412
  Garcia ss       1 0 0 0 .000
Cruz cf           3 0 1 0 .250
  Meadows ph      1 0 1 0 .500
Drew rf           2 0 0 1 .360
  Hamulak p       0 0 0 0 .000
  Borders c       1 0 0 0 .167
Kent 2b           3 0 1 0 .280
  Houlton p       0 0 0 0 .000
  Alomar ph       1 0 1 0 .300
  Ross pr         0 0 0 0 .360
Guzman lf         4 0 1 0 .304
Choi 1b           4 0 0 0 .125
Aybar 3b          3 0 0 0 .190
Martin c          1 1 0 0 .345
  Martinez 2b     1 0 0 0 .333
Seo p             0 0 0 0 .000
  Ledee ph        1 0 0 0 .357
  Baez p          0 0 0 0 .000
Repko cf          1 0 1 0 .286
  Totals         30 2 8 2 .263
  St. Louis      37 4 11 4 .262

  Score by innings
St. Louis  120 000 100-4
Dodgers    101 000 000-2

  Errors- Furcal. 2b hits- Furcal (2), 
Repko (3). RBI- Drew (Drew (7), Furcal (1). 
S-Seo. SF-Drew. LOB-St. Louis 8, Dodgers 4. 
DP- St. Louis 3, Dodgers- (Aybar-Kent-Choi). 

  Dodgers       in  h r-er bb so era
Seo (L, 0-1)   5.0  8  3-3  1 2 5.40
Baez           1.0  0  0-0  0 1 2.00
Hamulak        1.0  3  1-1  0 1 2.25
Houlton        2.0  0  0-0  0 2 5.73
  Totals       9.0 11  4-4  1 6 3.61
  St. Louis    9.0  8  2-2  1 5 3.64
Hu's on First?-- The Dodger public relations department issued a moratorium to Dodger beat writers on using "Status Kuo" when referring to Hong-Chih Kuo in their stories. Earlier in the week OF Kenny Lofton asked Kuo what the name of the player was he had been hanging out with, referring to minor league shortstop Chin-Lung Hu and Kuo replied Hu. Lofton, in the best Abbott and Costello tradition, "The guy you have been hanging out with." Again Kuo answered Hu. Finally outfielder Matt Kemp cleared up the confusion. To which Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register said "Seo what?"

Going Down-- The Dodgers optioned outfielder Andre Ethier and reassigned RHP Takashi Saito to the minor league camp, leaving 38 left on the major league side. The only non-roster invitees left are pitchers Aaron Sele and Kelley Wunsch, catcher Pat Borders and infielder Ramon Martinez.

Happy Birthday-- Mike Mowerey (1884-1947), Dick Egan (69), Wilson Alvarez (36), Jamey Arnold (32).

Dodger Blue Notes-- Jayson Werth reported his ppeskywrist was still not usable. When asked if he had any good news, he replied "I swung the bat twice, but neither swing was very good, The wrist still hurts and it's very discouraging. …Former Dodger 3B Ron Cey was a visitor at Holman Stadium. Cey played from 1971-82 and held the club record with 316 home runs (later broken by Eric Karros). He was a member of the 1981 World Series Champions who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. When told it looked like he could still step in and hit one he said. "Don't let looks fool you." …Former ace reliever Ron Perranoski was also in Holman Stadium, scouting for the San Francisco Giants. …