Shoulder Irritation Sidelines Penny

Sixteen-game winner Brad Penny felt some 'irritation' in the front of his right shoulder and his start scheduled against the Mets (last night) was postponed as a precautionary measure.

Penny underwent an MRI and it showed nothing amiss but Manager Grady Little decided to play it safe and if he feels OK after he throws on Friday, he will start Monday against the same Mets in St. Lucie.

"I just don't want to go start the season not feeling 100 percent," said Penny. "If this was the regular season, I wouldn't miss it. It's just a little stiff and I don't want it to get any worse and affect the next start."

Along with the bad news, there was good news about outfielder Jason Repko who has been sidelined with a pulled groin muscle. He was given the green light and can again see game action.

Little noted that Repko was not rushed, "We have the time in the spring to be sure an injury is not made worse," but that the medical staff said he could be used as the team wanted.

Mets Win 6-2
The New York Mets, keyed by shortstop Jose Reyes, built up a 5-0 lead in the first four innings and cruised to a 6-2 victory.

Reyes not only smacked out three hits in three trips and scored four runs, his first inning escapade on the bases unnerved starter Hong-Chic Kuo and got NY out to a quick lead.

Reyes beat out an infield hit to lead off the game, stole second and with two out and an infield shift on Carlos Delgado leaving third base pretty much unprotected, stole third without a throw.

He then bluffed stealing home and Kuo made it easy for him on the next pitch, wild pitching him across, one of four the lefty unleashed during the game.

Reyes walked to lead off the third, stole second again, then scored on a pair of wild pitches.

Kuo didn't help his assault on the fifth starting job by allowing two runs on a single hit (Reyes' leadoff grounder), four walks and four wild pitches.

Elmer Dessens was tagged for three runs in his two innings; Chad Billingsley allowed nothing in one; Tim Hamulak gave up his first run of the spring and rookie Harold Eckert and veteran Rudy Seanez closed it out with scoreless innings.

Seanez has allowed but a pair of hits over seven appearances this spring, retiring 23 of the 25 batters to face him.

The Dodgers didn't score until the sixth when Mike Liebenthal's sac fly drove in Jason Repko, who had singled.

Larry Bigbie got his 12th ribbie of the season by smacking a single off Met pitcher Ambiorix Burgos, driving in Marshall McDougall who had opened with a double.

The Dodgers, now 13-10 with their fourth straight loss, host Baltimore today (Thursday with Brett Tomko making his fourth start of the spring.
 Score by innings
Mets	101 300 010-6	
Dodgers	000 001 100-2

 Dodgers	        ab  r  h  bi  ave
Wilson Valdez 3b	5  0  2  0  .367
Juan Pierre cf	        3  0  0  0  .378
 Larry Bigbie rf	2  0  1  1  .366
Olmedo Saenz 1b	        2  0  1  0  .346
 Elmer Dessens p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Jason Repko cf	        2  1  1  0  .346
Andy LaRoche lf	        4  0  0  0  .195
Mike Liebenthal c	2  0  0  1  .263
 Kelly Stinette c	1  0  0  0  .217
Andre Ethier rf	        3  0  0  0  .316
 Tim Hamulak p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Harold Eckert p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Matt Kemp ph	        1  0  1  0  .220
Ramon Martinez 2b	1  0  0  0  .200
 Marshall McDougall 2b	2  0  1  0  .333
Ivan De Jesus ss	3  0  0  0  .308
 Xavier Paul ph	        1  0  0  0  .200
Hong-Chic Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Marlon Anderson ph	0  0  0  0  .000
 James Loney 1b	        2  0  2  0  .419
  Totals	        35  2   9  2
  New York	        36  6  11  5

 Errors- Loney (1). 2b hits- McDougall (1).
RBI- Lieberthal (2), Bigbie (12). SF- Lieberthal. 
LOB- Dodgers 9, Mets 7. DP- De Jesus and Loney.

 Dodgers	in   h  r-er  bb  so  era
Kuo (0-1)	3.0  1  2-2   4   3  3.00
Dessens	        3.0  6  3-3   0   2  4.09
Hamulak	        1.0  3  1-1   0   0  1.29
Eckert	        1.0  1  0-0   0   0  0.00
Saenz	        1.0  0  0-0   0   1  0.00
 WP- Kuo 4.
 T- 3:03.  Att- 6,386.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Eric Gagne, now pitching for Texas, saw his first action of the spring, working one inning and allowing a homer. "Everything was good today -- the fastball had life on it. I had good control, even the curveball and changeup were good. I'm just trying to see where I am with my body. There is scare tissue in there."

Kemp Praised-- Chris Constancio of Hardball Times spotlighted the best young center fielders. Here's what he had to say about Matt Kemp: "Kemp predictably experienced a dropoff in home runs after his 27-home-run performance at hitter-friendly Vero Beach in 2005, but he improved other facets of his game and reached the major leagues in only his third full season of baseball. Kemp responded to instruction at Double-A Jacksonville and cut down on his strikeouts while demonstrating more patience at the plate than he had earlier in his career. His commitment to better pitch selection also led to the purchase of performance-enhancing contact lenses this Spring. Kemp was a promising basketball prospect in high school, and he is athletic enough to remain in center field. The Dodgers' acquisition of Jun Pierre, however, could cause Kemp to get more playing time in the corner outfield positions."

Dodger Blue Notes -- Infielders Ramon Martinez and Marlon Anderson will get some extra at-bats in a minor league game today. The size of the squad has left a few of them short of the necessary trips to the plate. Lefty Mark Hendrickson was not unpleased with his start Tuesday against St. Louis when he allowed four runs in five innings. He told Ken Gurnick of, "I feel good about it. I think I am progressing well and my pitches are coming around. There was a big inning with two outs and you can't have that. I'll take that from this outing." …Yhency Brazoban, who has been rehabbing a Tommy John operation, has been throwing bullpens for three weeks but Friday will face hitters for the first time. He is scheduled to stay in Vero Beach after the Dodgers return to Los Angeles and then rehab at Indland Empire, the Dodgers Class A team. …Owner Frank McCourt has become enamored with the club's minor league system. "There's something really special in baseball about following kids' progress and seeing them make the big leagues," he old Jerry Crasnick of "That's part of the fun of the game and something our fans can follow closely."

Quote of the Day-- "When you have an overabundance of young kids, in my opinion, their concern isn't about winning. They want to put up good numbers so they can be around for a long time. That's human nature. The veterans are more concerned with winning, so you hope they can feed off each other. Mix up that bowl of spaghetti, and hope everything blends well together.."

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