The enthusiastic crowd responded -- loudly -- to the PA notice that this was the first time the Dodgers would play in Arizona.
The game was set back from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. but the park rapidly filled up when the doors were opened two hours before game time.
The crowd, much younger than the normal Vero beach crowd, enthusiastically cheered each member of the Dodger starting lineup and gleefully echoed "Hu, Hu," when Chin-Lung was announced as a replacement for the still-injured Jeff Kent.
Under appropriately blue skies and with the temperature 84 degrees, Brad Penny retired the Sox 1-2-3 in the first inning, recording the first out and the first strikeout in the first Cactus League game in Dodger history.
Rafael Furcal lined a single to right on a 2-1 count leading off the last of the inning for the first hit. Andre Ethier followed by dumping a single into center field.
Russell Martin fouled off two hit-and-run plays, then struck out and Furcal was easily thrown out at third. With first base now open, Andruw Jones didn't get a pitch in the same time zone and walked, then Matt Kemp broke his bat hitting into a force at second.
Former Dodger Paul Konerko got the first hit off Brad Penny but was erased on a double play.
Furcal led off the bottom of the third by smacking a 1-1 pitch over the TruWest Credit Union sign in left field for the first home run.
There was an unusual play in the fifth inning.
With two out, A.J. Pierznski hit a high foul off Penny down the left field line. Ethier ran into the White Sox bullpen in pursuit and a Chicago pitcher, attempting to get out of his way, obstructed him and the batter was called out to end the inning.
Furcal doubled to right field with two out in the bottom of the inning and Ethier chased the Sox center fielded to the wall before he made the catch.
Juan Uribe got the second hit off of Penny leading off the sixth inning, a stinging shot that just eluded Hu's diving attempt between first and second.
Uribe stole second and moved on to third when Martin's bouncing throw to second wen into center. Alex Ramirez promptly singled him home to tie the game.
The Gentlemanly Sox reciprocated with an error of their own in the bottom of the inning and Martin reached second on the errant throw.
With two out Loney walked and Hu tripled into the right field corner, scoring two and prompting another chorus of "Hu, Hu, Hu."
Takashi Saito replaced Penny on the mound in the seventh and allowed his first baserunner of the spring on a looping single to left.
With one out, Konerko doubled down the left field line and Jermaine Dye singled to cut the lead to 3-2.
Juan Pierre walked to open the bottom of the inning and Furcal, lacking a triple of hitting for the cycle, bounced a little grounder perfectly between the first and second basemen for a single, then stole second.
Ethier slashed a shot off the second baseman's glove for a single and a 4-2 lead and Martin doubled to make it 5-2.
After Jones fanned, Matt Kemp hit a ball over the distant center field wall near the 410 sign, driving in the fifth run of the inning.
Jonathan Broxton worked the eighth and shut out the Sox, working around a pair of singles, and Joe Beimel took over in the ninth to nail things down.
Friday (today), the Dodgers will head to Tucson to take on Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Score by innings Chicago WS 000 001 100-2 Los Angeles 001 002 50x-8 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 5 2 4 1 .327 Ethier lf-rf 4 1 2 1 .352 Martin c 4 2 2 1 .205 Jones cf 2 0 0 0 .200 Kemp rf 4 1 1 3 .304 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Loney 1b 3 1 0 0 .246 Hu 2b 4 0 1 2 .242 DeWitt 3b 1 0 0 0 .250 Abrue 3b 2 0 0 0 .300 Abreu 3b 2 0 0 0 .300 Penny p 2 0 0 0 .250 Saito p 0 0 0 0 .000 Pierre ph-lf 1 1 0 0 .200 Totals 32 8 12 8 Chicago 32 2 8 2 Error- Martin (2). 2b hits- Furcal (1), Martin (3). 3b hits- Hu (1). HR- Furcal (3), Kemp (3). RBI- Furcal (11), Hu 2 (3), Ethier (14), Martin (5), Kemp 3 (15). SB- Furcal (3). CS- Furcal (1). DP- Hu, Furcal and Loney 2; Furcal, Hu and Loney. LOB- Los Angeles 5, Chicago 3. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Penny 6.0 3 1-0 0 3 0.56 Saito 1.0 2 1-1 0 0 3.00 Broxton 1.0 2 0-0 0 0 3.00 Biemel 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 7.71 T- 2:16. Att- 7,654,We Have Options Between innings, GM Ned Colletti held a brief press conference during which he said the club would have to prepare as if third baseman Nomar Garciaparra would not be available to open the season. We are not sure if he will or not, but we have to be ready. "We have options," he told the writers. Manager Joe Torre said on Thursday his third baseman is "doubtful" for Opening Day. Colletti also reported Penny would be the opening day pitcher.
Wednesday morning, the Dodgers dressed for their workout in Salon B at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Phoenix, before departing on a bus for Papago Park.
The sight of Andruw Jones and company waiting for a cab in full uniform outside the front of the Ritz was certainly surreal, but this set of circumstances has been just one more delicious oddity in a Spring full of them.
The gracious Oakland A's vacated their Spring Training clubhouse and the Boys in Blue will move in this morning as they prepare for the regular season by playing six Cactus Leagues games.
Dodger Blue Notes>/b>-- Clayton Kershaw turned 20 yesterday -- NOW is he old enough to pitch in the majors? ...Former Dodgers Mike Kekich (3b) and Bubba Crosby (of) signed with Seattle and infielder Jeff Conine retired.