The truth of the matter is, the batters have caught up with the pitchers and the punchless Dodger lineup looks much stronger. This is without the power of Jeff Kent and Andruw Jones.
St. Louis jumped out 2-0 but the Dodgers piled up five in the second and seven in the third for an early, 12-3 lead and pretty much coasted the rest of the way.
A strong wind was blowing out and it helped the left-handed hitters and plagued the fielders most of the afternoon.
Delwyn Young crushed a shot off the Cardinals clubhouse behind the right field wall; Rafael Furcal banged one down the right field line and George Lombard, who was 3-for-4 and is now hitting .583, whacked a third round tripper.
James Loney continued to have a James Loney spring -- with a pair of doubles he boosted his average to .423, and Matt Kemp tripled twice and knocked in three runs. His second long shot missed being a home run after hitting the wall just inches from the top.
Rafael Furcal may be coming out of his funk, whacking a homer and an RBI single.
Blake DeWitt, in what was perhaps a sneak preview, played third base and singled and walked, scoring twice. He also made a spectacular diving catch and the Dodger front office must have held their breath until he got to his feet uninjured.
Hiroki Kuroda started for the third time and surrendered his first runs of the season. He was scheduled to go two innings and ran out of pitches after two.
Hong-Chih Kuo worked a strong inning as did rookies Marlon Alvarez and Cody Wade. Justin Orenduff added a pair of scoreless frames and brought his earned run average down to 3.00.
Tanyon Sturtze gave up one hit but three runs in his single inning and Tom Martin allowed two hits but was unscored upon.
L.A. moved to 4-6-1 with the win.
Record Crowd For Red Sox
The Dodgers host the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox Sunday (today), who are making their only trip this season to Vero Beach.
The only Major League baseball team with its own (unofficial) television network (ESPN) have helped sell more than 9,100 tickets, the largest total in Holman Stadium's 61-year history.
Last year's Red Sox-Dodgers game in Vero Beach on March 16 drew 9,069 fans, but the game was washed out by a near hurricane and didn't count in the record books.
The record attendance was set on March 10, 1991, when 9,028 fans witnessed the Dodgers play the New York Mets.
RHP Esteban Loaiza, RHP James McDonald, RHP Brian Falkenborg and LHP Matt Riley vs. will face the Sox $50 million man, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka as well as RHP Manny Delcarmen and RHP Bryan Corey
Score by innings Los Angeles 057 013 004-20 St. Louis 210 030 000- 6 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 3 2 2 3 .250 Hu ss 3 0 1 0 .188 Martin c 3 1 0 0 .188 Rivera c 2 0 1 0 .500 Loney 1b 3 1 2 2 .423 Martinez 1b 2 1 0 0 .188 Jones cf 3 0 0 0 .182 Paul cf-lf-rf 3 1 1 0 .214 Ethier dh 2 2 1 0 .292 Lindsey dh 2 0 0 0 .267 Kemp rf 4 2 2 3 .333 Griffin pr-lf 2 2 2 1 .500 Young 2b 3 2 1 3 .095 Chavez 2b 2 1 1 2 ,273 Dewitt 3b 3 2 1 0 .333 Tiffee 3b 2 0 1 1 .182 Repko lf 2 2 1 1 .313 Lombard lf-cf 4 1 3 1 .583 Totals 48 20 20 18 St. Louis 37 6 11 8 Errors- Loney 2 (2), Martinez (1). 2b hits- Repko (1), Loney (4), Griffin (2), Chavez (2). 3b hits- Kemp 2 (2). HR- Young (1), Furcal (1), Lombard (2). RBI- Young 3 (3), Repko (7), Furcal 3 (4), Kemp 3 (5), Loney 2 (2), Lombard (3), Hu (1), Griffin (1), Chavez (2), Lombard 1 (6). LOB- Los Angeles , St. Louis. DP- Dewitt, Young and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Kuroda 2.0 5 3-2 0 2 3.00 Martin 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 4.91 Kuo 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 0.00 Sturtze 1.0 2 3-3 2 0 15.00 Orenduff 2.0 0 0-0 2 0 3.00 Alvarez 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 0.00 Wade 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 0.00 HBP- by Kuroda. T- 3:15. Att- 7,227.Dodger Blue Notes-- Eseban Loaiza is the front runner in the field for the fifth starting spot on the roster, although a fifth starter will not be needed during the first month of the season. Others bunched behind him are Hong-Chic Kuo, Chan Ho Park, Jason Johnson, and darkhorse Clayton Kershaw waiting for his chance. ...Jason Schmidt is a certainty to open the season on the disabled list. ...Takashi Saito continues to be bothered by a tight calf muscle and manager Joe Torre said he will be shut down until he is 100%. Jonathan Broxton will slide into the stopper role until Super Sammy is back in action. ...Rudy Seanez pitched batting practice and said he felt fine but pitched badly. He is recovering from a groin strain. ...Tony Abreu played Friday against the Cardinals and had a hit in three trips. He reported a pain in the, well, the seat which is a pain in the buttocks to the Dodgers as well. He is a leading candidate for a infield backup spot and his condition will become crucial very quickly with Andy LaRoche on the shelf for a couple months. ...Torre held a pregame meeting on Friday and pointed out that the players are coming up short. "Whether it is bunting or not walking the first batter, those things can put the game on the other side of the ledger. The players think about what gets the most attention on ESPN -- a lot more goes into winning a game." ...Jeff Kent took batting practice but will not begin running for another four or five days. ...Heard in the stands, "Andruw Jones is due." The fan seated beside him said, "yeah, for about a year."