Nothing Changed: LA, Padres Struggle to Tie

They transported the Dodgers and Padres thousands of miles over the Pacific ocean to play the first major league game in China and as it turned out, nothing much changed between he two old rivals. The two clubs scrambled and rolled in the dirt before the Padres scored twice in the eighth to tie the game at three each and that is the way it ended.

The historic game drew a sellout crowd of 12,224 in Wukesong Stadium before loud music and cheerleaders, who seemed to captivate both teams.

Cory Brock of MLB.com reported that there were many Americans in a crowd that sported a number of Dodgers and Padres baseball caps.

Justin Germano threw the first pitch, a fastball strike, to right fielder George Lombard.

The first boos came in the middle of the ninth inning, when it was announced that there would be no extra innings if the score remained tied.

Park recorded the first strikeout (Kevin Kouzmanoff) in the bottom of the first. John Lindsey had he first hit, a single off Germano in the second. Lombard hit the first home run in the second.

Chan Ho Park drew the starting honors for the Dodgers and did himself proud, working five innings, allowing only a single hit and an unearned run. The run scored when rookie catcher Lucas May missed pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo with a return throw to the mound, allowing former Dodger Oscar Robles to score from third.

The Dodgers loaded the bases in the fifth but a double play killed the rally.

Kuo added two more scoreless innings before Brian Falkenborg took over in the eighth and surrendered three doubles, turing the 3-1 lead into a tie.

Ramon Troncoso's scoreless ninth closed the game out.

Outfielder George Lombard got the Dodgers on the board in the third innings, slugging his third homer of the spring.

May doubled in Andruw Jones, who had walked, in the sixth inning to put the Dodgers ahead and Jones' single after designated hitter Matt Kemp's single and stolen base in the eighth recorded the third, and final Los Angeles run.

"They made more noise than I expected," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of the crowd. "They know one thing: When they announced it was only going nine innings, they booed. They know a tie is no fun."
 Score by innings
Los Angeles	001 001 010-3
San Diego	000 100 020-3

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Lombard rf-lf	4  1  1  1  .529
Hu ss	        4  0  0  0  .231
Kemp dh	        5  1  1  0  .306
Jones cf	3  1  1  1  .226
Lindsey 1b	3  0  2  0  .364
 Chavez pr-3b	0  0  0  0  .273
May c	        4  0  2  1  .308
Tiffee 3b-1b	4  0  1  0  .168
Griffin lf	3  0  1  0  .444
 Paul rf	1  0  0  0  .188
Martinez 2b	3  0  1  0  .174
 Ruan pr	0  0  0  0  .000
 Howard 2b	0  0  0  0  .000	
  Totals	34 3 10 3
  San Diego	33 3  5 2

 Error- Hu (1), May (1). 2b hits-
May (1). HR- Lombard (3). RBI-
Lombard (5), May (4), Jones (6).
SB- Kemp (3). LOB- Los Angeles 9,
San Diego 5.

 Los Angeles	in  h  r-er bb so  era
Park	        5.0  1  1-0  1  3  0.00
Kuo	        2.0  1  0-0  1  0  0.00
Falkenborg	1.0  3  2-2  0  0  5.40
Troncoso	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  3.18
 Wp-Kuo. T- 2:55. Att- 12,242,
Dodgers Strike Quickly
The Dodgers will form a partnership with a team in the industrial city of Tianjin as part of Major League Baseball's drive to push the sport in China, owner Frank McCourt said Friday in Beijing.

"This great country and its people are ready to embrace baseball," McCourt told reporters in Beijing. "The Dodgers are committed to bringing the game of baseball to China."

The agreement will be signed in the next few days and covers areas including the use of facilities and coaching, said Charles Steinberg, the Dodgers' executive vice president.

"It's important at the grassroots level that the game be accessible and available to everybody here, especially the young children," McCourt said.

While 300 million Chinese play basketball, fewer than 50,000 play baseball. The country has just 20 baseball diamonds.

McCourt said Friday that the Dodgers would continue their partnerships with Chinese baseball, started in 1980 by then-owner Peter O'Malley. MLB would also be back, Commissioner Bud Selig said.

"We'll certainly play more games here," the commissioner said, adding that his office was also looking at possibilities in Europe.

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