Pitchers Have Their Way in 2-1 Loss

In a tightly-played game that could have been mistaken for a mid-season contest, the Florida Marlins won their second game of the spring, scoring twice in the sixth and holding on for a 2-1 win. Nomar Garciaparra's first inning homer was the only Dodgers offense.

Dodger pitching allowed six hits, three of them in the sixth when they scored their only runs. The five L.A. hurlers fanned nine and walked but one.

Offensively, it started with Garciaparra's home run over the left field fence in the first inning -- and ended there.

They collected singles by Russell Martin and Mike Liebenthal in the fourth inning but Fernando Tatis struck out and Liebenthal was nailed attempting to steal second to end the inning and the final Dodger threat.

Ramon Martinez singled to right field leading off the fifth for the final Dodger hit of the evening.

Andy LaRoche was hit on the wrist by a pitch in the seventh and James Loney walked in the eighth.

LaRoche took Luis Gonzalez place in left field to start the top of the eighth inning but the Dodger staff noticed he was flexing his wrist and sent Matt Kemp out to take his place.

LaRoche iced the wrist and Manager Grady Little said it was fine. "LaRoche was reluctant to tell us about it so we took him out to be on the safe side."

In his second start of the spring, Derek Lowe worked three masterful innings, allowing only a ground single to center field in the first and striking out four.

Brett Tomko gave up a pair of harmless singles in two innings before Joe Mays took over in the sixth and immediately had trouble.

He walked the leadoff man, then served up three straight hits and two runs, the deciding blow coming off the bat of Miguel Cabrera, his third hit of the game.

Rudy Seanez kept his record perfect by fannng three in a row in the eighth and Joe Beimel worked a scoreless ninth.

Dodger pitching retired the final 12 Marlins in succession.

Henry Owens, Gulf Coast League manager Juan Bustabad's nephew, pitched two scoreless innings and earned the win.

Little summed up the game quite nicely when he said afterward, "I thought it was a pretty good game."

The Dodgers again fell back to .500 (5-5) while Florida boosted it's record to 2-7-1.

 Score by innings	
Florida	000 002 000-2
Dodgers	100 000 000-1

 Dodgers	                ab  r  h  bi ave
Jason Repko rf	                3  0  0  0  .316
 Larry Bigbe rf	                1  0  0  0  .438
Juan Pierre cf	                3  0  0  0  .267
 Choo Freeman cf	        1  0  0  0  .231
Nomar Garciaparra 1b	        3  1  1  1  .143
 Chin-Lung Hu ss	        0  0  0  0  .346
 DY Young ph	                1  0  0  0  .286
Jeff Kent 2b	                2  0  0  0  .275
 Tony Abreu 2b                  2  0  0  0  .357
Luis Gonzalez lf                2  0  0  0  .125
 Andy LaRoche lf                0  0  0  0  .000
 Matt Kemp lf                   1  0  0  0  .133
Russell Martin dh               2  0  1  0  .167
 Wilson Betemit ph-dh           1  0  0  0  .077
Mike Lieberthal c	        2  0  1  0  .200
 Wilson Valdez pr-3b            1  0  0  0  .364
Fernando Tatis 3b	        2  0  0  0  .200
 Kelly Stinnett c	        1  0  0  0  .400
Ramon Martinez ss	        2  0  1  0  .308
James Loney 1b	                0  0  0  0  .421
  Totals	               30  1  4  1	
  Marlins	               31  2  6  2

 HR-Garciaparra (1).CS-Valdez. LOB-
Dodgers 4, Marlins 3. DP-Tomko, 
Martinez and Garciaparra; Mays,
Martinez and Garciaparra.

  Dodgers	in   h  r-er bb so  era
Derek Lowe	3.0  1  0-0  0  4  3.60
Brett Tomko	2.0  2  0-0  0  1  0.00
Joe Mays	3.0  3  2-2  1  0  4.50
Rudy Seanez	1.0  0  0-0  0  3  0.00
Joe Beimel	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  3.00
  HBP- LaRoche. A-4,313.
TV Deal Imminent?-- A proposed deal by Major League Baseball that would give its Extra Innings pay package exclusively to DirecTV "is imminent," according to two sources close to the negotiations. The deal, in which DirecTV would pay MLB $100 million a year over seven years, has been mired in controversy since it was first reported in January. Baseball's stance is equally clear. Commissioner Bud Selig told reporters the controversy over the deal is "ridiculous."

Beltré Booster-- Eduardo Encina of the St. Petersburg Times reports: "Considered a superstar and then a superdud by the Dodgers in the space of a few months, Guzman is showing that maybe, just maybe, his career isn't over at 22. He can even have that same spring in his Spring Training step that everyone else has. Even though most of the attention was on Guzman's bat, he is now showing he has the range to play third after dropping 15 pounds in the offseason while honing his discipline at the plate.

"Starting at third base Wednesday in the Rays' 10-2 loss to Cleveland, Guzman hit his first spring home run. He battled back from an 0-and-2 hole to run the count to 2 and 2, then fought off another pitch. He ended the six-pitch at-bat by taking starter Jeremy Sowers' up-and-in cutter over the left-centerfield fence.

"I fell behind, so I stayed in my at-bat and waited for the pitcher to make a mistake," he said. "I just tried to protect the zone and use my hands."

"I'm on board with this guy," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He's capable of a killer year. If he goes killer in the minor leagues, heads up, because with him it's going to be all about confidence. If his confidence soars, he could be very special."

Guzman, 22, concentrated on his fielding while playing in the Dominican Winter League, especially his agility at third. His weight dropped to 230 pounds, some 20 less than his playing weight last spring.

"I liked that they gave me another opportunity to stay in the infield," he said. "That's what I kept thinking about in the winter, keeping my body in shape and emphasizing that - fielding, fielding, fielding. I'm still learning. At third base, it's all about reaction, so that's why I need to keep my body in shape so I can go either way quickly."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Shortstop Rafael Furcal hasn't played winter ball in his native Dominican Republic since signing with the Dodgers in 2005 and told the Los Angeles Times that may have contributed to the arm problems that have plagued him the last two springs. "I think I'm taking too much rest," he said. "I'm out of the action. [Before] I was ready coming into spring training because the season finishes over there in February." He could be back in the lineup â€" probably as a designated hitter â€" by the weekend. … Manager Grady Little said he could begin cutting the roster in the next couple of days. "We know we can't operate much deeper into spring training with 58 players," he said:. …If the Boston Red Sox stay with their current pitching rotation, Japanese sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka will start against the Dodgers on March 16 in Vero Beach. The game is already a sellout. …Closer Takashi Saito was pleased with his first work of the spring Wednesday. He told the Orange County Register, "It was actually a really good outing because there were a lot of different situations. I had to pitch with a runner on second, I had to pitch from the stretch, I had to cover third base. There were a lot of good things to test my body, not only in pitching but with defense and other responsibilities that I'll have in the season." …First baseman James Loney struggled in his first exposure to outfield play Wednesday but General Manager Ned Colletti told the Los Angeles Daily News, "I don't think this was a fair day to judge him. It was windy, and it was a tough sky."

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