Two Solo Home Runs Not Nearly Enough

The Dodgers could manage only two hits while losing to the Washington Nationals and although both were home runs, they dropped a 10-4 decision. Interim manager Tommy Lasorda was not discouraged, however, "I think we are a road team," he told writers with a trip to Kissimmee to play Houston on the schedule for the next day.

L.A. broke out of the gate in a hurry, scoring twice without a ball being hit out of the infield.

Juan Pierre walked, stole second and third, and scored on a passed ball. Rafael Furcal also walked, stole second, and scored on Andre Ethier's ground ball.

That margin held until the fourth inning when Washington tacked starter Chad Billingsley for three runs.

Three more in the fifth and four in the seventh buried the Dodgers who got their first hit in the seventh (a home run by Ethier) and their second and final one in the eighth (a home run by rookie Jamie Hoffman).

Billingsley didn't allow a hit until the third but faltered in the fourth, allowing a double and a single with one out.

The single was to left field and the National third base coach held the runner up despite the fact Juan Pierre was in left and his inability to throw is legendary.

An audible gasp of disbelief ran through the stands when the runner was stopped and Billingsley left the game in favor of Greg Jones. But he quickly allowed both of Billingsley's runners to cross the plate, plus a run of his own.

Jason Johnson took over in the fifth having allowed only three hits and no earned runs over six exhibition innings and allowed two hits and three quick runs, boosting the Nats lead to 6-2.

The game had started with Washington using a designated hitter and the Dodgers didn't, an oddity even in an exhibition game.

So when Russell Martin pinch-hit for Johnson in the bottom of the inning and the Dodgers sent the pitcher to the mound in the top of the sixth, the umpires told them 'no way.'

After the game, Lasorda explained that Washington wanted the Dodgers to allow Billingsley to bat once, then they could switch to a designated hitter -- but no one remembered to tell the umpires of the plan.

Cody Wade pitched two scoreless innings before Mike Myers was hammered for four runs in the eighth. Fernando De La Cruz couldn't get him out of trouble, but the 37-year-old rookie worked a scoreless ninth.

The Dodger staff was fourth in the entire National League in earned run average before the game but allowed 13 hits, six walks and a pair of hit batsmen to their ledger.

Pierre walked three times and stole three bases, running his total to six. The Dodger home runs gave them a round-tripped in their seventh straight game, a total of 14 over that span.

After winning three in a row, the Dodgers have dropped their last two and have slipped to 6-8-1 on the seasons.

Lasorda takes his warriors on the road to play Houston Thursday (today) with Hiroki Kuroda, Clayton Kershaw and Rudy Seanez scheduled to see action.
 Score by innings
Washington	000 330 040-10
Los Angeles	200 000 110- 4

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre lf	0  1  0  0  .200
 Maza 2b	1  0  0  0  .000
Furcal ss	2  1  0  0  .333
 Hoffman cf	1  1  1  1  1.000
Loney 1b	4  0  0  0  .314
 Mitchell 1b	0  0  0  0  .000
Ethier rf	3  1  1  2  .273
 Raglani rf	1  0  0  0  .000
Repko cf	2  0  0  0  .227
 Myers p	0  0  0  0  .000
 De La Cruz p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Bell ph	1  0  0  0  .000
DeWitt 3b	4  0  0  0  .214
Bennett c	2  0  0  0  .214
 Rivera c	1  0  0  0  .333
De Jesus 2b-ss	3  0  0  0  .154
Billingsley p	1  0  0  0  .000
 Jones p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Johnson p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Martin ph	1  0  0  0  .208
 Wade p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Young lf	1  0  0  0  .138
  Totals	28  4  2  2
 Washington	36 10 13 10

 HR- Ethier (3), Hoffman (1).
RBI- Ethier 3 (6), Hoffman (1).
SB- Repko (2), Pierre 3 (6), 
Furcal (2). DP- De Jesus and
Loney. LOB- Los Angeles 2,
Washington 8.

 Los Angeles	in h  r-er bb so  era
Billingsley	3.1  3  2-2  2  3  6.46
Jones (L)	0.2  2  1-1  1  0  1.80
Johnson	        1.0  2  3-3  0  0  3.86
Wade	        2.0  1  0-0  0  1  0.00
Myers	        0.2  4  4-4  4  1  7.71
De La Cruz	1.1  1  0-0  2  1  0.00
 WP- De La Cruz. HBP- by Billingsley,
by Johnson. T- 3:11. Att- 6,710.
Back to the Doctor
Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Tony Abreu has gone back to the doctor in Philadelphia, Dr. William Meyers, who surgically repaired Abreu's sports hernia last Oct. 3. The visit was scheduled because Tony continues to experience abdominal issues, as well as the right buttocks strain he suffered in the one game he played this spring.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Lasorda said after the game, "This bunch reminds me of the teams I had in the 1960s, young and talented. They should be good for another 8-10 years. We should definitely be able to go to the World Series in the near future, and out fans, the best in the world deserve that." Then he concluded, "We need to win five of the next six and everyone will be happy."