Dodgers Clip Cardinals Wings 3-2

Experts have extolled the depth and quality of the Dodger pitching staff much of the spring and the staff demonstrated that again Thursday afternoon, topping St. Louis 3-2 and limiting the World Champions to five hits.

Mark Hendrickson, Greg Miller, Matt White and Jon Melon handled the mound work with élan, and only an error made the game as close as it was.

Juan Pierre smacked three hits to boost his average to .444 and James Loney added a pair, keeping his team-leading numbers at .485.

But with five hits between them, the second and third hitters on the team knocked in just one run but didn't cross the plate all afternoon.

The RBIs were provided by Pierre and Tony Abreu -- his 10th -- in the second inning and Delwyn "D.Y." Young in the eighth.

Overall, Los Angeles left eight on base, including five in the first two innings.

The Cardinals lead the Grapefruit League with a 2.50 earned run average and the Dodgers matched them pitch for pitch.

The Cardinals lead the Grapefruit League with a 2.50 earned run average and the Dodgers matched them pitch for pitch. Hendrickson continued his drive toward the fifth starters slot by working five sparkling innings against the Cardinals at Jupiter, allowing three hits and no runs while striking out a pair and lowering his earned run average from 8.10 to 4.63.

Abreu reached base on an error to lead off the game and the Dodgers collected hits by Pierre and Loney but left the bases loaded.

In the second catcher Kelly Stinett beat out an infield hit and and young shortstop Ivan De Jesus, making his first start of the spring, singled with an outfield error allowing Stinnett to reach third base.

After Hendrickson struck out Abreu rapped a single between first and second to score Stinnett. Pierre bounced another single in the same hole to score De Jesus and L.A, took a 2-0 lead after two.

After three, Los Angles had seven hits, St. Louis had committed two errors and the Dodgers had only scored twice and left five on base,having only two runs to show for all the commotion.

Hendrickson gave up his first hit of the game, a double to Scott Rolen, leading off the fourth inning. His second and third hits came in the fifth but he left without giving up a run.

Pierre and Loney singled back-to-back in the fifth but Andy LaRoche hit a grounder and Pierre was nailed at the plate and Andre Ethier lined into a double play.

Greg Miller took over in the sixth and promptly nailed the leadoff man with a pitch. After a strikeout and a ground ball that moved the runner to second, Miller served up a single to right field and Ethier's throw to Stinette nailed him to keep the Cardinals scoreless

Miller passed a pair in the seventh but didn't allow a run and the Dodgers put a third run on the board in the top of the eighth.

Larry Barnes, replacing Loney, singled and LaRoche hit a blistering line shot to the second baseman but his throwing error moved Barnes to second.

Delwyn Young, who replaced Ethier in right field, then doubled into the gap in right-center field and the Dodgers led 3-0. The run would come up big in the bottom of the inning.

Matt White took over on the mound and Blake DeWitt replaced LaRoche at third. The third base position must be jinxed because DeWitt threw away a ball hit by the leadoff man for the ninth error this spring by a Dodger third baseman.

A hit batsman and a walk loaded the bases with none out before a force play at second allowed the first St. Louis run to score. White calmly served up a double play ball to end the inning.

In the bottom of the ninth, rookie Jon Melon gave up only his third hit of the spring but this one was a pinch-hit home run with one out. The young man retired the next two batters to record his third save and the 11th Dodger win of the spring season.

In the penultimate split squad game of the season, the Dodgers hosted Washington at Holman Stadium in a night contest.

Boston and the expected flock of media visit Holman Stadium today (Friday) with the $50+ million pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka scheduled to start. The game has been a sell-out for a number of days and ticket sales have stopped.
  Score by innings 
 Dodgers	020 000 010-3
 St.Louis 	000 000 011-2

 Dodgers               ab  r  h  bi  ave
Tony Abreu 2b	        5  0  1  1  .375
Juan Pierre cf	        3  0  2  0  .444
 Choo Freeman cf	2  0  0  0  .160
James Loney 1b	        3  0  2  0  .485
 Larry Barnes 1b	1  1  1  0  .400
Andy LaRoche 3b	        4  0  0  0  .212
 Blake DeWitt 3b	0  0  0  0  .000
Andre Ethier rf	        3  0  0  0  .400
 Delwyn Young rf	1  0  1  1  .360
Matt Kemp lf	        4  0  2  0  .226
 Fran Lizarraga pr-lf	0  0  0  0  .000
 Matt White p	        0  0  0  0  .000
Kelly Stinett c	        3  1  1  0  .263
 Greg Miller p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Mitch Jones ph-lf	1  0  0  0  .000
Ivan De Jesus ss	4  1  1  0  .400
Mark Hendrickson p	2  0  0  0  .000
 Sandy Martinez c	2  0  0  0  .067
   Totals	       38  3  12  3	
   St.Louis	       30  2   5  2	

 Error- DeWitt.  2b-Hits- Young (3). 
RBI- Abreu (10), Pierre (3), Young (5). 
LOB- Dodgers 8, St. Louis 7. DP- 
De Jesus, Abreu and Barnes.
  Dodgers             	in  h  r-er  bb so  era 
Hendrickson (1-0)	5.0  3  0-0  1  2  4.63
Miller	                2.0  1  0-0  2  2  5.62
White	                1.0  0  1-0  1  0  0.00
Jon Meloan (sv 3)	1.0  1  1-1  1  1  3.60	
 HBP- by Miller 1, by White 1.
 T- 2:29. A- 6.976.
Tatis a No Show, Released-- Fernando Tatis, a non-roster invitee who had signed a minor league contract, was reassigned to minor-league camp on Sunday, but didn't show up until Wednesday and he was released. He previously had said he would accept an assignment to Las Vegas. Non-roster players are required to report the following day after they are reassigned.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Randy Wolf pitched a simulated game instead of a minor-league intrasquad because two other minor-league games already scheduled. He threw 73 pitches (13 more than scheduled) to Preston Mattingly, Chin-Lung Hu, Marshall McDougall, Larry Barnes and Luke Allen, and reported everything felt fine, even though he dodged a Mattingly line drive back through the box. … Carol Spooner, the widow of Karl Spooner, visited Holman Stadium Thursday night with her family. Spooner pitched for Brooklyn during the 1954 and '55 seasons, fanning 28 in the final two games of the season in '54 and winning the pennant-clinching game in 1955. …For those of you who thought Pete Rose got a bad deal from MLB, consider his recent interview on "The Dan Patrick Show" on ESPN Radio. He said, "I bet on my team every night. I didn't bet on my team four nights a week --every night. I bet on my team to win every night because I love my team, I believe in my team. I did everything in my power every night to win that game." There are 3x4-foot signs in every major league clubhouse outlining the rule that forbids any betting on any baseball teams. …Former Dodger minor league outfielder Reggie Abercrombie, who played 111 games with the Marlins and started 66 of them, was optioned to the minor leagues.

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