Grand Slam Spoils LA Opener

Chicago rookie Micah Hoffpauir slugged a grand slam home run in the fifth inning to erase a 3-1 Dodgers led a boost the Cubs to a 5-3 win at Mesa in the opening game for both teams.

The Dodgers dropped their first ever opener in the Cactus League after spending six decades at Vero Beach, Florida. L.A. will open their new complex against the Chicago White Sox, with whom they share the sparkling new Camelback Ranch facilities.

Manager Joe Torre pointed out two things that could benefit the Dodgers in their move. "There is less humidity and we will hopefully spend more time on the field and less time in the bus traveling to the games."

Shortstop Tony Abreu, after being sidelined for a year and a half with injuries, lined a two run single in the second inning to score Casey Blake and Matt Kemp and give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead after L.A. starter Jose Vargas had allowed the Cubs a run in the first.

Chicago loaded the bass with none out in the first but Vargas limited the damage of a single run with the help of a double play.

Blake DeWitt singled to score Matt Kemp in the fourth to boost the Dodgers lead to 3-1 after Kemp singled and stole second.

Candidates in the battle for the fifth starting slot did nothing to help their cause, as Claudio Vargas, Eric Milton and Ramon Troncoso combined to give up five runs and seven hits over five innings. However, pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said that they don't pay that much attention to early statistics.

Los Angeles out-hit Chicago 10-8, with James Loney smacking a pair of singles in three trips. They also drew four walks but left eight runners on base.

The Dodgers travel to Scottsdale to meet the Giants this afternoon in their second game of the exhibition season. Orlando Hudson, Rafael Furcal and Russell Martin with make their debut.

The expected lineup:
Rafael Furcal SS
Orlando Hudson 2B
Russell Martin C
Mark Loretta 1B
Blake DeWitt 3B
Delwyn Young LF
Jason Repko CF
Xavier Paul RF
Tony Abreu DH
Randy Wolf LHP

 Score by innings
Los Angeles	020 100 000-3
Chicago Cubs	100 040 00x-5

 Dodgers	ab r  h  bi
Pierre lf	3  0  0  0
 Hoffman lf	1  0  0  0
Ausmus c	3  0  1  0
 Ardoin c	1  0  0  0
 Maza ph	1  0  0  0
Ethier rf	3  0  1  0
 Paul rf	1  0  0  0
Loney 1b	3  0  2  0
 Pascucci 1b	1  0  0  0
Blake 3b	2  1  0  0
 Luna 3b	1  0  0  0
Kemp cf	        1  2  1  0
 Repko cf	1  0  0  0
DeWitt 3b	3  0  1  1
 Castro 3b	1  0  1  0
Young dh	2  0  0  0
 Jones dh	1  0  0  0
Abreu ss	2  0  1  2
 DeJesus ss	2  0  0  0
  Totals	34 3 10 3
  Cubs	        32 5  8 4	

 Error= Lune. DP- Los Angeles, 
Chicago 2. LOB- Los Angeles 8, 
Chicago 7. SB- Ausmus (1), Kemp 
(1). CS- Paul (1).

 Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so
Vargas	        2.0  2  1-1  1  2
Milton	        1.1  3  0-0  1  2
Troncoso (0-1)	1.1  2  4-3  3  1
Cali	        1.0  1  0-0  0  1
DeBarr	        1.0  0  0-0  0  0
Randolph	1.0  0  0-0  1  1
  A- 7,916.

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