Cubs Batter L.A. Before Record Crowd at CBR

St. Patrick was apparently busy elsewhere while the Cubs banged out 17 hits to crush the green-hatted Dodgers 12-3, driving them below .500 (9-10) and exacerbating the pitching problem that has plagued the team recently.

Randy Wolf was tacked for 10 hits and seven runs in four innings, giving up a three-run home run to Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano in the second and an RBI double in the fourth.

Zambrano knocked in more runs (4) than the Dodgers could manage off the Chicago pitching staff. His catcher, Koyie Hill (seem familiar?), had four hits as well as a two run homer in the fifth. Hill was a member of the Dodgers minor league system at one time.

James McDonald also felt the brunt of the Chicago attack, allowing four hits and four runs, including a two-run home run, in his 1.2 innings.

Newcomers Tim Corcoran and Brian Mazone as well as Scott Elbert worked scoreless innings.

James Loney doubled and scored on Casey Blake's single in the fourth and A.J. Ellis added a RBI double in the fifth, then scored the third and final Dodgers run of the game.

A record crowd of over 13,000 was in attendance, bolstered by the ubiquitous Cub fans who enjoyed the entire thing immensely.

The pitching staff may be suffering from the "dead arm" syndrome that comes about two weeks or so into the spring season. At least manager Joe Torre hopes that is the problem.

The Dodgers are off today (Wednesday), but Chad Billingsley will remain on his regular rotation and pitch in a Minor League intrasquad game. On Thursday, the Dodgers again host the Rockies, with Clayton Kershaw starting, followed by Guillermo Mota, Cory Wade and Hong-Chih Kuo.

 Score by innings
Chicago	        040 322 100-12 
Los Angeles	010 020 000- 3		

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	2  0  0  1  .161
 Hu ss	        1  0  0  0  .308
Hudson 2b	3  0  0  0  .250
 Castro 2b	1  0  0  0  .455
Ethier rf  	3  0  0  0  .176
 Jones pr-rf	0  0  0  0  .258
Loney 1b	3  1  1  0  .244
 Pascucci 1b	1  0  0  0  .529
Blake 3b	3  0  1  0  .300
 Luna 3b	1  0  0  0  .182
Kemp cf	        3  0  0  0  .273
 Young lf	1  0  0  0  .265
Pierre lf	2  1  1  0  .200
 Hoffmann pr-cf	1  0  0  0  .364
Ellis c	        2  1  1  1  .333
 Loretta ph	1  0  0  0  .286
 Ardoin c 	0  0  0  0  .500
Wolf P	        1  0  0  0  .000
 McDonald p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Sturtze p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Corcoran	0  0  0  0  .000
 Elbert	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Mazone p	0  0  0  0  .000
-------------------------------------
 Totals	        31  3  5  2
 Chicago	40 12 17 12

 Two-base hits- Loney (1), Ellis (1).
RBI- Ellis (5). Furcal (2). S- McDonald.
LOB- Los Angeles , Chicago . DP- Castro,
Hu and Pascucci.

 Los Angeles		in   h r-er bb so  era
Wolf			4.0 10  7-7  0  1  7.00
McDonald		1.2  4  4-4  1  0  7.71
Sturtze			0.2  2  1-1  1  0  3.60
Corcoran		0.2  0  0-0  1  0  0.00  
Elbert			1.0  1  0-0  1  1  6.75
Mazone			1.0  0  0-0  0  0  0.00	 
 T- 2:37. Att- 13,046.
USA Tops Puerto Rico
Jonathan Broxton allowed a run in the ninth to put Puerto Rico up 5-3 but the USA team rallied for three runs, the final two coming on a David Wright single, to make the big Dodgers reliever the winner 6-5.

Security Breach?
John Hayman, in his "Daily Scoop", wrote that Pedro Martinez's most likely landing spot will be with the Dodgers or the NY Mets, although both clubs are balking at Pedro's asking price of $5-$8 million. Neither club will pop for that sort of money.

"The Dodgers' situation at the back end of their rotation may actually be even more dire," Hayman wrote. One Dodgers official told him flat out "We need another starter," but that is hardly a secret.

Hayman goes on to list the candidates and then adds this:

"But 20-year-old phenom Clayton Kershaw, who's penciled in to one of the four certain spots, so far is still "hit and miss," according to another Dodgers official.

That IUD must have ricocheted around the Dodgers offices when it hit the print and a general security check may be in the works right now as to who said it ... if indeed anyone did.

The general feeling has been that Kershaw is certainly no worse than the fourth starter on the Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Randy Wolf starting staff.

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