Tony Abreu's Walkoff Homer in Ninth Wins

Tony Abreu's walkoff homer in the last of the ninth inning broke a 3-3 tie and erased a costly two-run error in the seventh inning that tied the game. Derek Lowe worked five strong innings for the first time this spring season.

Lowe threw only 27 pitches in the first three innings and he had a shutout with two out in the fifth before allowing his only run and lowering his ERA to 2.70.

Olmedo Saenz's RBI double with Russell Martin on base in the first gave Los Angeles an early 1-0 lead. It was one of six two-baggers the Dodgers collected.

Rafael Furcal, seeing action for the first time since the opening game, doubled to right-center in he fourth and scored on Martin's first double to boost the lead to 2-0. Detroit scored their only earned run in the fifth but Lowe left the game with a 2-1 lead.

Luis Gonzalez's double and a grounder by Matt Kemp increased the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the same inning.

Chin-hui Tsao fanned a pair of Tigers in the sixth and Takashi Saito took over in the seventh.

Saito, not as sharp as his previous two outings, was hampered by a pair of errors that cost him two unearned runs and tied the game.

He walked a batter with one out and Wilson Valdez got a tough error on a ball hit in the hole that he was able to stop but couldn't make a play on.

James Loney gobbled up a grounder at first for the second out and it looked as if Saito would get out of the inning without allowed a run when he coaxed a high pop.

Valdez and third baseman Andy LaRoche got their signals crossed up and when they collided, the ball popped out of LaRoche's glove with both runners scoring to tie the game. Rudy Seanez made his fifth appearance of the spring and recorded his fifth scoreless inning. He has allowed one hit and retired 15 of the 16 batters he has faced.

D.J. Houlton worked a scoreless ninth in his third relief appearance and Managers Grady Little and Jim Leyland apparently decided they had enough pitching so the game could go through the 10th.

James Loney led off the bottom of the ninth and scalded a shot up the middle that banged into the Detroit pitcher's glove for the first out.

Then Abreu slammed a high shot over the left field fence, paused as he trotted slowly down the first base line and watched it drop for a home run and a 4-3 victory.

The homer was the third of the season for the noticeably stronger 23-year-old Abreu who has hit only 18 home runs over his first four professional seasons.

The Dodgers, now 10-6 this spring, take today (Wednesday) off although lefthander Randy Wolf will see action in a minor-league intrasquad game.

The team will travel to Jupiter to meet the St. Louis Cardinals in the afternoon and host the Washington Nationals at Holman Stadium in the evening in a split-squad affair.
  Score by innings 
 Detroit      000 010 200-3
 Dodgers      100 110 001-4

 Dodgers               ab  r  h  bi  ave
Rafael Furcal ss        3  1  1  0  .333	
 Wilson Valdez ss	2  0  1  0  .371
Russell Martin dh	3  1  2  1  .320
 Larry Bigbie dh	1  0  0  0  .385
Olmedo Saenz 1b	        4  0  1  1  .318
 James Loney 1b	        1  0  0  0  .417
Jeff Kent 2b            2  0  0  0  .357
 Tony Abreu 2b          2  1  1  1  .407
Luis Gonzalez lf	3  1  2  0  .333	 
 Choo Freeman lf	1  0  0  0  .174
Wilson Betemit 3b	3  0  2  0  .192
 Andy LaRoche 3b	1  0  0  0  .241	
Andre Ethier rf         3  0  0  0  .444
 Delwyn Young rf	0  0  0  0  .333
Matt Kemp cf            4  0  1  1  .185
Kelly Stinett c         2  0  0  0  .250
 Sandy Martinez c	1  0  0  0  .077
  Totals	       36  4  11  4
  Detroit	       32  3   5  1  

 Error- Valdez (4), LaRoche (5).
2b hits- Saenz (2), Betemit (1), Furcal
(1), Martin 2 (3), Gonzalez (2). HR-
Abreu (3). RBI- Sanez (2), Martin
(3), Kemp (2), Abreu (9). LOB- Dodgers
11, Detroit 4. DP- Betemit, Kent and
  Dodgers                in  h  r-er  bb so  era 
Derek Lowe	        5.0  5  1-1  0  2  2.70
Chin-hui Tsao	        1.0  0  0-0  1  2  1.80
Takashi Saito	        1.0  0  2-0  1  0  0.00
Rudy Seanez	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  0.00
D.J. Houlton (1-0)	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  1.93
 T-2:39. A- 5,729.
Battle for #5 Continues-- The dogfight for the fifth starting slot may continued until opening day, according to Manager Grady Little. Handicappers seem to think that lefty Hong-Chic Kuo has the inside trace because he is the least likely to fit into a relief spot due to his multiple Tommy John operations. Other candidates, in no particular order, include Chad Billingsley, Brett Tomko, Mark Hendrickson and darkhorse Joe Mays.

Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is delighted with the competition. "It's good," he said. "There are a number of people in position to take the spot but it could be some time before we make a decision."

Lefthander Joe Beimel has the New York skyline and a broken heart tattooed on his shoulder with "Only God Knows Why" written below it as a reminder of his late night accident in a bar before the playoff series with the Mets. He cut his hand on a broken glass and the stitches would not hold when he attempted to warmup the next day, depriving the team of a lefthander out of the bullpen. "I've tried to turn it into a positive and have made some lift-changing decisions since then," he told the Los Angeles Daily News.

M*A*S*H* Report-- Shortstop Rafael Furcal made his first start Tuesday since early in season. INF/OF Marlon Anderson will make his debut Thursday against Washington. Outfielder Jason Repko continues to report improvement in his pulled groin muscle.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Wednesday (today) is a "camp day" with almost all no activity scheduled, save a minor league intrasquad game in which lefty Randy Wolf will pitch. …Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajack, a regular visitor at Dodgertown each year, made and appearance in Ft. Lauderdale Monday and threw out the first pitch. …Texas relief pitcher Eric Gagne (how strange it is to write those words) pitched for the first time in a "b" game, throwing 11 pitches to three Milwaukee minor league batters. He hit 88-91 on the speed gun and reported feeling no pain following. "It felt like my first game in the big leagues," he said. "It's been a long time since I threw without pain. …The first of the inevitably sad stories of spring training appeared when Colorado cut former Braves All-Star catcher Javy Lopez who was battling to make their 25-man roster. Former Dodgers who have been sent to the minor league camp included LHP Derek Thompson (Oakland), INF Mike Kinkade (Cubs), RHP Frankelis Osoria (Pittsburgh), LHP Adrian Burnside (San Diego) and LHP Chris Michalak (Washington) who was almost the winning pitcher in the Sunday game in Holman Stadium.

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