Lowe solid, Angels Thump Saito, Win 4-2

Derek Lowe made his fifth start his best of the exhibition season, allowing four hits and an unearned run over six strong innings. He retired the first 10 Angels he faced. However, he left the game tied 1-1 and Takashi Saito, working his fourth inning had his worst outing, allowing three runs and was tagged with the loss.

Saito was tacked by Mike Napoli for a home run with a man on base and a second run scored from second base on an infield hit.
br> Russell Martin and Blake DeWitt double in the second for the first Los Angeles Run and Juan Pierre double home Chin-Lung Hu in the seventh.

Note-- We will take Easter Sunday off, with the Dodgers playing the Rockies in Tucson, and will get the coverage on the web Monday morning before the Dodgers meet Kansas City in Surprise for a night game.

Martin, who seems to be breaking out of the slump that saw his average fall into the low .100s, doubled to right center in the second for the first Dodger hit.

Rookie Blake DeWitt, improbably bidding for the starting job at third base, a thought that was never on anyone's mind when spring training started, doubled inside the foul line down the right field corner to drive in Martin.

He neglected to pick up third base coach Larry Bowa and, unsure if he could stretch the hit into a triple, hesitated rounding second base, then returned to the bag. Bowa, the club's "enforcer", pointed out his mistake. Then, embarrassingly, DeWitt was picked off second base.

The two mistakes might be costly in his battle for a starting spot.

A pair of fine plays helped Lowe out of the fourth inning. DeWitt made a back-handed stop of a hot shot to open the inning and Tony Abreu went behind second for a grounder and threw across his body to end the inning, leaving runners at first and third

Abreu made it two in a row, making a sliding stop and throw to nail Howie Kendrick to open the fifth. Then went to the shortstop side of the bag and threw out Erick Aybar to end the inning.

In the last of the fifth, the Dodgers ran the bases like ...well...like the Dodgers.

With Lowe on second and Furcal on first with singles, Ethier hit a sharp one-hopper to Aybar at short. He threw for a force at second and Kendricks noticed Lowe wandering around halfway to third and quickly threw him out at third to end the inning on a 6-4-5 double play.

Bowa could do nothing but shake his head as he ran back to the dugout.

Furcal made a great stop behind the second base bag on a ground ball by Chone Figgins in the top of the sixth but nearly threw the ball into the dugout.

Figgins scored with two out when Gary Matthews lobbed a single into short left to tie the game.

Takashi Saito came in to pitch the seventh and allowed a bunt single and a long home run by catcher Mike Napoli to give the Angeles their first lead and a one-out double.

A sharp grounder down the first base line saw James Loney make a good stop on to save a double. Saito was late covering and to add insult to injury, the runner scored from second.

Suddenly trailing 4-1, Chin-Lung Hu, who replaced DeWitt at third, beat out an infield hit to open the bottom of the seventh.

However, Abreu and pinch-hitter Mike Sweeney bounced out before Juan Pierre slapped a double down the left field line to dive in Hu.

Ramon Troncoso, Mike Myers and -- Asadoorian shut the door after Saito but over the final five innings, the Dodgers managed only Pierre's double in the seventh inning before Ramon Martinez and Matt Kemp singled with two out in the ninth.

The Angels improved to 16-7-2 and the Dodgers dropped to 9-15-2.

Chad Billingsley will start today against Colorado in Tucson. Esteban Loaiza is also scheduled to see action.
 Score by innings
Anaheim	        000 001 300-4
Los Angeles	010 000 100-2

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre lf	5  0  1  1  .200
Furcal ss	4  0  1  0  .333
Ethier rf-cf	3  0  1  0  .345
Loney 1b	4  0  1  0  .234
Jones cf	2  0  0  0  .244 
 Young rf  	2  0  0  0  .146
Martin c	4  1  1  0  .208
DeWitt 3b	2  0  1  1  .256  
 Hu 3b	        2  1  1  0  .256 
Abreu 3b	2  0  0  0  .188
 Martinez 2b	1  0  1  0  .240
Lowe p	        2  0  1  0  .250
 Saito	        0  0  0  0  .000  
 Sweeney ph	1  0  0  0  .304
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Myers p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Falkenborg p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Kemp ph	1  0  1  0  .327 
  Totals	35 2 10 2
  Angels	33 4  8 4

 Error- Furcal (1). 2-base hits-
Martin (4), DeWitt (4), Pierre (3).
RBI- DeWitt (5), Pierre (4). LOB-
Los Angeles 8, Anaheim 4.

 Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Lowe	        6.0  4  1-0  1  3  5.68
Saito (L)	1.0  4	3-3  0  1  9.00
Troncoso	1.0  0  0-0  0  1  2.70
Myers	        0.1  0  0-0  0  0  7.71
Falkenborg	0.2  0  0-0  0  0  4.76
 HBP- Abreu. T- 2:24. Att- 9,615.
 
Roster Moves
The Dodgers will make some important roster moves on Monday,

Old Rivals
Before the game, the Angeles had won seven of the last eight games between the two clubs, and held a 54-43-1 edge over the Dodgers as they moved into the first meeting between the two teams outside California.

Under Mike Scioscia, the one-time heir-apparent to the Dodgers managerial job, the Angels have a 30-18 record. Anaheim has son three division titles in the last four seasons under "Iron Mike", who, entering his ninth season, is the longest tenured manager in the American League.

The two clubs will meet March 17 in Anaheim and then on May 16-18 in Anaheim and June 27-29 in Los Angeles when the games really count.

Inflation hits Phoenix
Tickets were selling for $200 for the opening game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. The Dodgers move to the Valley indicate the Cubs will have trouble retaining their title as the area's most Cactus League team.

"Vero Beach was magical, but I'm thrilled they're out here," said Bo Pollard, 48, a lifelong Dodgers' fan who lives in Lake Tahoe, Nev. "It's probably 20 years overdue."

People forget, but this was a Dodger town long before the Diamondbacks moved in. Dodger games were on local radio from the late 1960s until 1993.

"We've wanted them for a long time," Cactus League president J.P. de la Montaigne said. "They were the one western team we didn't have. They'll be a perfect fit in Glendale."

But newbie's from the Grapefruit League will find both ticket prices and accommodations much more expensive.

Schmidt' Progress Slow
Jason Schmidt's recovery from shoulder surgery is moving like the Brockmeister glacier. He is not throwing off a mound and is not expected to be pitching until May or June, according to manager Joe Torre.

Schmidt said he's "definitely progressing. The more I throw, the better. I'm taking less time off between throwing."

He continues long tossing and occasionally tosses off a mound, but he has not thrown a bullpen session since Feb. 26.

Switch Means Shorter Trips
The Dodgers move to the Cactus League will be a move to a more convenient world.

"Shorter trips," Dodgers infielder Mark Sweeney told Tony Jackson of the LA Daily News. "It has better facilities that are closer together, so you can do a lot more stuff. These two-hour trips in Florida waste a whole day. In Arizona, you can play a (road) game and then go back to your own complex and work out, and it's no big deal."

Of the dozen teams now training in Arizona, all but three are concentrated in the Phoenix area, and the White Sox plan to move up from Tucson to join the Dodgers in a two-team complex expected to open next spring in Glendale.

That will leave only Arizona and Colorado in Tucson, two hours away, so the Dodgers won't have to make that trip more than twice a year.

"Another thing, from a baseball standpoint, is that you get to play a lot more teams," said Dodgers trainer Stan Conte, who spent 15 springs in Scottsdale as a member of the San Francisco Giants' medical staff. "In Florida, because of the distance between the Gulf Coast and the Atlantic Coast, you don't play as many teams, and it seems like you're playing the same teams over and over."

"I like the weather in Florida better, but I like Arizona better as far as travel," said Dodgers bench coach Bob Schaefer, who coached for Oakland and Kansas City, both of whom train in the Cactus League. "You can take batting practice at home and then go to another park and play a game."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Before the game, L.A. was 4-0-1 against American League teams during the spring. However, the Angels put a stop to that. ...Andrew Jones' home runs Friday against Arizona ran the Dodgers streak to 15 consecutive games, during which the club hit 25 dingers. The team's 31 homers ranks first in the National League and third overall, behind Detroit (35) and Cleveland (34) overall. ...Andre Ethier's five home runs is first in the the N.L. (tied with Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Chris Snyder). Matt Kemp tops the league with 17 runs batted in and Rafael Furcal's five triples top the list.

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