Sparkling Pitching Bags Orioles

The Dodgers received strong pitching from Brett Tomko and Joe Mays, both gunning for the fifth starting slot on the staff, and made decisions even tougher for Manager Grady Little and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt as Los Angeles won their ninth of the year, 4-2 over Baltimore.

"I struggled with the first hitter and walked him, then settled down and got my rhythm," Tomko said. "I wasn't tired and wanted to pitch the fourth inning but they said no, so I went down to the bullpen and got some more pitches in.

"I trained hard over the winter and worked on my mechanics and it has paid off." When asked about the battle for the fifth starting spot, he said, "All I can do is keep making my pitches but I'm, gunning to be that fifth starter when the team breaks camp."

Tomko worked three innings and gave up ony a harmless, wind-aided double with two out in the third. Left fielder Matt Kemp came in on the fly but the a strong wind held it up and it dropped for a 'leg' double.

Mays took over in the fourth and none of the first eight batters could get the ball out of the infield. A two-out single in the sixth broke the string.

Tim Hamulak and Matt White each allowed a single and rookie Jon Malone served up a one-out homer in the ninth that took advantage of a wind shift toward left that helped the hit. It was the first earned run he had allowed during the spring but he struck out two in the inning and earned his second save.

Baltimore scored off Tomko in the first inning on a walk, a stolen base and two ground balls.

Delwyn Young singled in the third, went to second on a ground ball and scored on a game-tying single by Wilson Valdez, his eighth of the spring, second only to Larry Bigbe's 10 runs batted in.

The Dodgers scored twice in the fifth when Kemp singled and despite a pitchout stole second. Tony Abreu rammed a single to left to give Los Angeles a 2-1 lead. Wilson Valdez beat out and bunt and Juan Pierre knocked in the lead run with a ground single to center to increase the margin to 4-2.

Andy LaRoche missed a home run by less than a foot in the eighth and had to settle for a RBI double, his first extra base hit of the spring and his second hit of the game. Ivan DeJesus had walked and moved to third on a single by Larry Barnes.

The game was completed in a snappy 2:10, the shortest contest of the season.

The Dodgers, now 9-6 this spring, return to Holman Stadium today (Tuesday) to meet Detroit.
  Score by innings 
 Dodgers  	001 000 010-4  
 Baltimore	100 000 001-2

 Dodgers                       ab  r  h  bi  ave
Wilson Valdez ss-cf	        4  0  2  1  .364  
Juan Pierre cf	                3  0  1  1  .375	  
 Ivan Jesus ss	                0  1  0  0  .500
Nomar Garciaparra 1b	        2  0  0  0  .211
 Larry Barnes 1b	        2  0  1  0  .250
Andy LaRoche 3b	                4  0  2  1  .250
 Marshall McDougall 3b	        0  0  0  0  .500
Russell Martin c	        3  0  1  0  .273
 Kelly Stinett c	        1  0  0  0  .286
Larry Bigbe rf	                2  0  0  0  .375
 Choo Freeman	                1  0  0  0  .182
Matt Kemp lf	                3  1  1  0  .174
 James Loney rf	                1  0  0  0  .483
Delwyn Young dh	                3  1  1  0  .333
 Chris Jensen dh	        1  0  1  0  1.000
Tony Abreu ss-2b	        3  1  1  1  .400
 Blake DeWitt 2b	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Totals  	               34  4  11  4	 
 Baltimore	               32  2   5  2	

  2b hits- LaRoche (1). RBI- Valdez 6, 
Abreu 8, Pierre 3. Sb- Kemp (1). LOB- 
Dodgers 5, Baltimore 4. 
		
  Dodgers                in   h   r-er  bb so  era 
Brett Tomko	        3.0   1   1-1   1   0  1.29	
Joe Mays (1-1) 	        3.0   1   0-0   0   2  2.57  
Tim Hamulak	        1.0   1   0-0   0   0  0.00
Matt White	        1.0   1   0-0   0   0  0.00
Jon Meloan (sv 2)	1.0   1   1-1   0   1  2.25	
 T-2:10. A-- 4,579.
Dodger Blue Notes-- Pitcher Hong-chih Kuo tested positive for stimulants before joining Taiwan's team at the Asian Games in Doha three months ago, but either cold or pain medications were to blame, a sports official said Monday. Samples taken from Kuo, as well as two other members of the baseball team, Yeh Chun-chang and Lin Yi-chuan, tested positive for banned drugs before the December Doha competition. The three players explained that they had taken either cold or pain medications containing a banned substance, Chen said. All three competed at Doha but received verbal warnings and were asked to clear their medications with the team doctor, Chen said. ...former Dodger outfielder Jeremy Burnitz announced his retirement. …After Brad Penny was treated roughly in his third start of the spring season, Manager Grady Little was less than concerned about it. "It was a typical spring training game for him," Little told the Los Angeles Times. "You have to realize that he went through the same thing last spring and then got off to a great start." (10-2, 2.91 before the All-Star game. …Damian Jackson was furious when handed his release Sunday, packing his gear and quickly leaving the clubhouse. "I no longer have anything to do with baseball," he told reporters. Manager Grady Little pointed, out, "If it was me, I would rather be released on March 12 than March 31", when Jackson would have a chance to catch on with another team. …Outfielder Jason Repko reported that his strained right groin was much better and would probably play again Wednesday. …Russ Langer and A. Martinez broadcast the game from Fort Lauderdale. Langer has been the play-by-play voice of the Triple-A Las Vegas 51s for the last seven seasons and is a two-time recipient of the Nevada Sportscaster of the Year Award (2003 & 2005) presented by The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Langer will man the KFWB 980 booth on Mar. 12, 13, 15, 19 and 23.

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