Indians Stop Dodger Streak at Six

Los Angeles pitching again put on a strong performance, limiting Cleveland to only two earned runs but dropped a 5-0 decision, breaking their six-game losing streak. The Dodgers managed but five hits and were held in check all afternoon by the Indians staff.

A pair of pitchers who would start the season for their club faced each other on Sunday afternoon.

Derek Lowe, who was limited to 75 pitches, gave up only one earned run in 4.1 innings for the Dodgers and C.C. Sabathia shut out the Dodgers in his six innings and led 5-0 when he left the game due in no small part to three unearned runs.

Lowe was pleased with the way the game went. "I didn't have my changeup that I had had in previous games, but I was pleased by the way I could throw strikes to each side of he plate.

"My next start will be on the road and I'll have 95 pitches to work with -- hopefully I'll be able to go all the way."

"Overall, the spring had gone well for me."

Sabathia outclassed a Dodger lineup that included only two starters, catcher Russell Martin and right fielder Andre Ethier, and five who will probably start at Las Vegas.

Wilson Valdez was the only Dodger with multiple hits.

Andy LaRoche smacked a double in the fourth inning for the first Dodger hit of the day. They added three singles in the fifth but didn't score.

Larry Bigbie led off with a single but was caught stealing. Chin-Lung Hu beat out an infield hit and Valdez also singled but the runners advanced no further.

Valdez singled again in the eighth and Choo Freeman doubled with two out in the ninth to account for all the L.A. hits.

The Indians scored their first run in the opening inning when Lowe gave up a leadoff single and with one out, a second single plated the run.

Larry Bigbie, playing left field, saved more trouble with a fine catch in left field for the second out, then threw out the runner attempting to stretch his RBI single into a double to end the inning.

A single and a throwing error by shortstop Chin-Lung Hu -- his first of the season -- cost a second run in the fourth inning.

Andy LaRoche threw a grounder away to open the fifth inning and it cost Lowe two more runs -- both unearned -- and he left with one out trailing 3-0. Tim Hamulak gave up a two-out single that boosted the Indians lead to 4-0, the run credited against Lowe.

It's been tough going for LaRoche, who made 15 error in 115 games between Jacksonville and Las Vegas in 2006 and 21 errors in both 2004 and 2005. His wild throw was his seventh error of the spring.

Chad Billingsley took over in the sixth and gave up a single, got a ground out, then wild pitched the runner to third and allowed a walk and a sac fly, allowing his first run of the spring but leaving with a 1.08 ERA.

Chin-hui Tsao didn't allow a ball out of the infield in the eighth, striking out the first two hitters and coaxing a foul out behind the plate.

Jon Meloan worked a scoreless eighth and when the Dodgers couldn't score in the ninth, they dropped their seventh game in 20 starts, suffering their first shutout after averaging an even five runs over the first 19 games.

The Dodgers travel to Viera today (Tuesday) and Randy Wolf will start against the Washington Nationals for the fifth time this spring, another reason, some say, to move the club to Phoenix so they do not face the same teams so often.

In 2007, Florida and Washington were on the schedule five times; St. Louis and New York four times; Baltimore three; Atlanta, Cleveland, Boston, Minnesota and Detroit twice and Houston once.
 Score by innings
Dodgers	000 000 000-0
Indians	100 120 00x-5

 Dodgers	        ab  r  h  bi  ave
Wilson Valdez 2b	4  0  2  0  .381
Russell Martin c	3  0  0  0  .258
 Sandy Martinez c	1  0  0  0  .062  
James Loney 1b  	3  0  0  0  .410
 Larry Barnes 1b	1  0  0  0  .286
Andy LaRoche 3b         3  0  1  0  .222
 Marshall McDougall 3b	1  0  0  0  .250
Marlon Anderson dh	2  0  0  0  .000
 Carlos Santana dh	1  0  0  0  .000
Matt Kemp cf	        3  0  0  0  .194
 Choo Freeman cf	1  0  1  0  .192
Andre Ethier rf	        3  0  0  0  .364
 Mitch Jones rf	        1  0  0  0  .000
Larry Bigbie lf	        3  0  1  0  .343
 Delwyn Young lf        0  0  0  0  .333
Chin-Lung Hu ss	        3  0  1  0  .333
  Totals	       33  0  6  0
  Cleveland	       32  5  9  5

 Error- Hu (1), LaRoche (7). 2b hits- 
LaRoche (2), Freeman (1). CS- Bigbie (1). 
LOB-Dodgers 7, Cleveland 8.

 Dodgers	  in   h  r-er  bb  so  era
Derek Lowe	   4.1  5   4-1  0  1  2.51  
Tim Hamulak	   0.2  2   0-0  0  1  0.00
Chad Billingsley   1.0  1   1-1  1  1  1.08 
Chin-hui Tsao	   1.0  0   0-0  0  2  1.50
Jon Meloan         1.0  1   0-0  1  1  3.00	 
 WP-Billingsley. T-2:33. A-5,455.
Abreu Out of Action-- Spring sensation Tony Abreu will miss up to a month with a jammed left shoulder suffering the injury sliding head-first into second on a stolen base attempt. An MRI after the game indicated a bone bruise. Abreu will start the season at AAA Las Vegas after he recovers from the injury. The young infielder, who has added muscle from previous seasons, had made only one error in 15 games and was hitting .394. Trainers reported he felt much better Sunday morning.

Move Near Certainty-- Dodger owner Frank McCourt, speaking to the media on Saturday before the Boston game, said arrangements to move to Phoenix are nearly complete and the team has agreed in principal with Indian River County on a buy-out of their contract. "Things are never done until they are done but I can see nothing that will hold up the del. We are aiming for 2009," McCourt said. Apparently problems making an immediate move by the Chicago White Sox will not delay the opening and although the two teams are expected to share the facilities, the Dodgers could train alone when it opens. McCourt again promised that the new facility will preserve the fan-friendly atmosphere of Dodgertown. "This is the last vestige of the Brooklyn Dodger days and you can't be her and not have it tug at your heartstrings but we need to move for the present and future fans. We will move with class and dignity and make sure we respect this long-term relationship."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Relievers Jonathan Broxton and Joe Beimel took advantage of the rain to get extra work in. Broxton said he is starting to be comfortable with his split-finger fastball and Beimel worked a simulated game. "I like simulated games so you can work on things that need working on." …The Dodgers went into the Cleveland game with a .684 winning percentage, their best record since 1999 when they were 21-9-1 (.700). It was just the fourth time in Los Angeles Dodger history that the team had a winning percentage of at least .700 during the spring. The other years were 1974 (.708), 1976 (.769) and 1977 (.708). …