Ninth-Inning Rally Nets Only a Tie

The Dodgers snatched a tie out of the teeth of a certain loss, scoring three times in the ninth to knot the game 4-4 and after a scoreless 10th inning, the clubs call it a day with no pitching left.

Los Angeles scored in the first inning, threatened in the second and third, then didn't get a hit after James Loney strokes hi second double of the gam with one out in the fourth until the frantic ninth inning effort,

Trailing 4-1, Chin-Lung Hu drew a walk and Xavier Paul smacked the first Dodger home run of the spring over the left-center field fence.

Andy LaRoche singled and with two out, Andre Ethier fouled off four two-strike pitches before dropping a neat nine-iron shot into left field between the straining outfielder and the shortstop to tie the game.

L.A. had another chance in the 10th to win when Ramon Martinez walked and was bunted to second by Gary Bennett. A ground ball by Hu moved him to third, Paul was walked and Andy LaRoche missed a curve to end the game.

The Dodgers again received good pitching and not-so-good hitting.

Chad Billingsley allowed a single run in the second inning and fanned a pair, both on sharp curves.

Non-roster pitcher Jason Johnson continued to impress, working a pair of scoreless frames before Matt Riley served up a home run to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead.

Greg Jones and Brian Falkenborg had a hitless innings but Ramon Troncoso was tagged for a second Baltimore homer and gave up a second run on an infield hit and a succeeding double to make it 4-1.

Los Angeles was 1-for-14 with only a walk breaking up the streak and Eric Hull was perfect in the top of the ninth. Jonathan Meloan fanned a pair in the 10th to give the Dodgers a shot at the win.

Juan Pierre had a pair of singles, a pair of stolen bases and saved a couple runs for Johnson in the third with a diving, two-out catch with the bases loaded.

Loney laced a double to the wall in the second and then lined a shot off the fence for another double in the fourth but couldn't score.

Ethier missed knocking in a run or more in the second when, with Loney at second and Kemp on first with an infield single, he smashed a grounder off the Oriole first baseman that glanced high in the air and directly to the second baseman who threw him out.

In split-squad action, the Dodgers will play the Nationals at Viera in the afternoon and Washington will be in town tonight (Tuesday) -- no not the president and the senators, the ball club -- for the first and only night game on the Florida part of the schedule.

Yhency Brazoban will make his first appearance in nearly a year and Greg Miller is also scheduled to pitch.

Hiroki Kuroda will make his second start and the Dodger minor league pitcher of 2007, James McDonald is scheduled to follow him on the mound.

And no, there was no talk about kissing your sister after the tie. That's considered not good form in Major League Baseball, don't you know.
 Score by innings
Baltimore	010 010 020 0-4
Los Angeles	100 000 003 0-4

  Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi ave		
Pierre lf	3  1  2  0  .214
 Young lf	2  0  0  0  .000
Furcal ss	1  0  0  0  .300
Martinez ss-2b	2  0  0  0  .000
Martin c	3  0  0  0  .300
 Ardoin c	0  0  0  0  .000 
 Sweeney ph	1  0  0  0  .143
 Ellis c	0  0  0  0  .000
 Bennett ph	0  0  0  0  .167
Kent 2b	      	3  0  1  1  .250
 Hu ss       	1  1  0  0  .200
Jones cf	2  0  0  0  .200
 Paul cf-rf	2  1  1  2  .200
Loney 1b	3  0  2  0  .500
 LaRoche 3b	2  1  1  0  .333
Garciaparra 3b	2  0  0  0  .333
 Tiffee 3b-1b	1  0  0  0  .000
 Lindsey ph-1b	1  0  0  0  .200
Kemp rf	      	3  0  1  0  .462
 Repko cf	1  0  0  0  .200
Ethier dh	4  0  1  1  .182
 Lombard pr-dh	0  0  0  0  .000
  Totals    	34  4  9  4
  Baltimore	40  4 10  4

 2b hits- Loney 2 (2). HR- Paul (1).
S- Bennett. SB- Pierre 2 (3). PB-

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er  bb  so  era
Billingsley	2.0  3  1-1  0  2  4.50
Johnson		2.0  2  0-0  1  1  0.00
Riley     	1.0  1  1-1  0  2 16.20
Jones		1.0  0  0-0  0  0  0.00
Shackelford	1.0  0  0-0  0  0  4.50
Troncoso	1.0  3  2-2  0  0  9.00
Hull      	1.0  0  0-0  0  0  0.00
Meloan		1.0  1  0-0  0  2  0.00
  HB- By Hull. T- 3:07. A- 5,401.
Pre Game Comments-- Manager Joe Torre reported that shortstop Rafael Furcal left the game with a tight hamstring after grounding out on his first at-bat. ...The two teams used the designated hitter to allowed the manager to get more at-bats for the position players. ...Torre praised Jason Johnson who worked another pair of scoreless innings. "The ball comes out of his hand so easily," he said. With Jason schmidt probably unavailable to start the season, Johnson has done nothing to hurt his chances at the fifth starting position. Torre mentioned Kuo would also be in line for the spot or as a reliever. ...Hu also drew praise for his performances in pressure situations. "He is very calm for a player as young as he is," said Torre. "He certainly a major league fielder and his hitting has improved."

T-Bone Honored-- Former Dodger outfielder and first base coach John "T-bone" Shelby was honored in a pregame ceremony and threw out the first ball. Shelby was traded from the O's to the Dodgers on May 22, 1987 with Brad Havens in exchange for right-hander Tom Niedenfuer.

He went on to post career highs that season with 22 homers and 72 RBI. In 1988, Shelby played in 140 games as the everyday center fielder and helped the Dodgers to the 1988 World Championship.

His three clutch RBI in the 1988 NLCS, including a two-run single in the first inning of the Dodgers' 5-4 extra-inning Game 4 victory helped propel the team to the pennant.

If the Orioles do take over the Dodgertown site, John will be the only man on the club that knows his way around. That will take a bit of the sting out of the move because T-Bone is one of the truly nice guys in baseball.

-- We made a mistake in the Mets game story, crediting Matt Kemp with avoiding he ball in a crucial spot in the ninth. It was, in fact, John-Ford Griffin in right at that time, not Kemp. It is never a good career move to make that mistake about a player as big and fast as Kemp; you can't out-wrestle him nor out-run him. ...The 8,219 in attendance for the Mets game Saturday was teh fourth highest in Holman Stadium history.