Torre Tabs Kuroda As Opening Day Pitcher

Manager Joe Torre announced that veteran Hiroki Kuroda would be the opening day pitcher at San Diego on Opening Day, April 6. Kuroda allowed his first run of the spring in his last start but still has an 0.75 ERA.

Torre made the announcement after watching Billingsley take took his regular turn in a minor league intrasquad contest and apparently worked on his change up, allowing three runs on five hits, one of them a two-run home run by 20-year-old third baseman Austin Gallagher. Billingsley threw over 70 pitched and afterwards said he felt fine.

"It was a great work day," Billingsley told Ken Gurnick of "I accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish. I threw a lot of changeups in every count. Those guys came out hacking first pitch every inning. Anything around the zone they were swinging. I finished up throwing only fastballs the last inning."

Billingsley, who led the team with 16 wins last season, will start the third game in San Diego on April 8 and that will allow him to start the home opener against the Giants on April 13.

The Dodgers have set up a right, left rotation with lefty Randy Wolf pitching Game 2 on April 7, left hander Clayton Kershaw Game 4 on April 9, also at San Diego.

What Torre wouldn't -- or couldn't -- say was who would be the fifth starter. That competition will continue for a while with Tony Davis of the Los Angeles Daily News speculating it might be Eric Milton.

Manny and Blake Honored --Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake will be the first two Dodgers featured on bobbleheads this season. A third bobblehead will depict a player to be named later. Casey Blake Bobblehead Night takes place Wednesday, May 20 vs. the New York Mets.  The Manny Ramirez Bobblehead Night is Wednesday, July 22 vs. Cincinnati. The third Bobblehead Night of the season is set for Wednesday, August 19 vs. St. Louis.  Bobbleheads will be provided to the first 50,000 fans in attendance for each game.

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