Big First Innings Costs the Dodgers

A three-run homer in the first inning -- with all three runs unearned -- gave the Angels a 4-2 win Sunday in the finale of the Freeway Series and the final exhibition game of the spring. From now on, things will begin to count. The Dodgers finished their exhibition season with a 15-11-5 -- Dodgers' Grapefruit League record this spring, their first winning spring record since 2001.

The day game after the night game saw a number of Dodgers leave the game early in anticipation of the regular season game today (Monday) against the Braves in Dodger Stadium.

Brett Tomko, who has been a very pleasant surpise this spring, started and allowed only three unearned runs and four hits over four innings. The loss, his first, dropped him to 3-1 with a 1.86 ERA in seven starts. Eric Stultz worked the final four innings and allowed only a solo home run in the fifth.

After the Angels' Casey Kotchman reached on second baseman Sergio Garcia's fielding error with two outs in the first, Rivera slugged a three-run home run into the visitors' bullpen in left field.

The Dodgers let their chances slip away in the second and third innings of the game. In the second Bill Mueller was hit by a pitch on the left ankle and came out of the game after the inning ended.

Cody Ross singled Mueller to third and Dioner Navarro. batting onl .037, hit into a force play to score him. Sergio Garcia walked but Rafael Furcal bounced out to end the inning.

In the second, Jose Cruz walked, Ricky Ledee singed to right and Olmedo Saenz walked with none out Nomar Garciaparra fanned, Rohan drove Cruz across when he hit into a force play and Navarro bounced to second for the third out.

The Dodgers got only one more hit, a Chris Truby double in the eighth. Rohan was hit by a pitch -- the third Dodger who was nailed -- but Cody Ross bounced into a force to end the final threat.

The Dodgers host the Atlanta Braves in an Opening Day matinee on Monday at 1:10 p.m. PT at Dodger Stadium. They'll send right-hander Derek Lowe to the mound to face righty Tim Hudson.
  Dodgers     ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss      3 0 0 0 .393
Martinez ss    2 0 0 0 .288
Cruz rf        1 1 0 0 .261
Duncan cf      1 0 0 0 .111
Ledee lf       4 0 1 0 .286
Saenz dh       3 0 0 0 .273
Garciaparra 1b 2 0 0 0 .246
Truby 1b       2 0 1 0 .227
Mueller 3b     0 1 0 0 .340
a-Rohan ph-3b  2 0 0 1 .333
Ross cf-rf     3 0 1 0 .318
Navarro c      3 0 0 1 .037
Bellorin c     1 0 0 0 .429
Garcia 2b      3 0 0 0 .125
  Dodgers     30 2 3 2 
  Angels      31 4 8 4 

  Score by innings:
Dodgers011 000 000-2
LA Angels300 010 00x-4

  Errors- Garcia. 2 base hits- 
Truby (2). LOB- Dodgers 8, 
Angels 6. DP: 2 (Garcia-Martinez
-Truby, Rohan-Garcia-Truby).
  Dodgers      in  h r-er bb so era
Tomko (L, 3-1) 4.0 4 3-0  0  3 1.86
Stults         4.0 4 1-1  3  3 2.00
  HBP: Mueller (by Santana), Ross (by Santana), Rohan (by Zimmermann). T: 2:27. Att: 43,267.
Happy Birthday-- April 1: Ron Perranoski (70), Matt Herges (36). April 2: Hughy Jennings (1969-1928), Mike Kekich (61), Reggie Smith (61), Don Sutton (61). April 3: Wally Moon (76), Tim Crews (1961-1993). Minor League Moves
Anaheim signed LHP Nate Bland
Cleveland signed OF Todd Hollandsworth
Florida signed RHP Matt Herges
NY Mets signed LHP Mike Venafro
NY Yankees signed 3B Damian Rolls
Oakland signed OF Hiram Bocachica
Pittsburgh signed 3B Mike Edwards, OF Nick Theodorou and RHP Giovanni Carrara
San Diego signed and released C Todd Greene and RHP Andy Ashby
Seattle returned Rule V draftee LHP Luis Gonzalez to Dodgers
St. Louis signed 1B Juan Diaz and 1B Jesse Hoorelbeke Seattle Mariners
Tampa Bay signed C Michael Rose and RHP Brian Meadows