Billingsley Leaves Angels Game With Injury

Chad Billingsley, scheduled to pitch six innings or throw 85-90 pitches, left the game after the second inning with what the club called a mild right groin strain. Billingsley said he had a similar strain last spring and didn't miss and exhibition start.

"It was a little tight at the start of the second inning, and I came in afterward and told pitching coach Rick Honeycutt and he got Stan [Conte, trainer]," Billingsley told Ken Gurnick of MLB.com. "It's pretty much precautionary. No sense taking chances."

Billingsley said he had a similar strain last spring in the same leg and he didn't miss an exhibition start, but was shifted to a Minor League game.

"It shouldn't be too much time, but I'll try not to rush back too soon," he said. "I have to get ready for April and not my next start."

Billingsley allowed two runs in each of the first two innings, the first when right fielder Andre Ethier lost Torii Hunter's gift triple in the sun, the second two runs scoring on Erick Aybar's two-run homer.

The injury took precedence over the first game of the season between the two Southern California teams won by the Angels who used the long ball to cruise in with the win.

The injury might be part of an epidemic because second baseman Mark Loretta was taken out of the game in the fifth inning with an identical injury.

The Dodgers collected nine hits, all singles. The Angels rapped pit 13 hits and they included two doubles, a triple and three home runs.

Billingsley allowed a two-run triple before he left the game, Jeff Weaver allowed an RBI double and a home run. Erick Threets served up two run home run in the sixth to ring up an 8-4 lead. Ramon Troncoso coughed up the final two runs in the eighth. Scott Elbert worked a scoreless fifth and lefthander Brian Mazone did the same in the eighth, keeping his earned run average at a neat, 0.00.

Russell Martin had a pair of hits and an RBI. Chin-lung Hu knocked in one and Matt Kemp singled to drive in the final two runs.

Manny Ramirez is still looking for his first hit of the spring after striking out twice and hitting into a double play.

The Dodgers slide to 12-12 and will host Seattle Tuesday (today) in the first night game of the season at Camelback Ranch. Clayton Kershaw draws the start and will be followed by rookie sensation Josh Lindblom, who is scorless over two appearances and four innings.

 Score by innings
Dodgers	100 300 000- 4
Angels	220 202 20x-10

	          ab r  h  bi  ave
Matt Kemp cf	  4  0  1  2  .263
 Repko cf	  1  0  0  0  .226
Andre Ethier rf	  3  1  2  0  .216
 Griffin pr-lf	  1  0  0  0  .000
Manny Ramirez dh  3  0  0  0  .000
 Ellis pr-dh	  1  0  1  0  .320
James Loney 1b	  4  0  1  0  .236
 Mientkiewicz 1b  0  0  0  0  .238
Russell Martin c  3  1  2  1  .423
 Ardoin c	  1  0  0  0  .429
Mark Loretta 3b	  2  0  0  0  .250
 Maza 3b	  2  0  1  0  .143
Blake DeWitt 2b	  2  0  0  0  .280
 Castro 2b	  2  0  0  0  .436
Xavier Paul lf	  3  1  0  0  .383
Chin-lung Hu ss	  4  1  1  1  .306
                -----------------
 Totals	          36  4  9  4
 Angels	          34 10 13 10

 RBI- Martin (10), Hu (7), Kemp 2 (10).
SB- Martin (2), CS- Kemp (4). LOB- Los
Angeles 7, Angels 6. DP- Martin and DeWitt;
Hu, Castro and Mientkiewicz.

 Dodgers	 in  h r-er bb so  era	
Billingsley   	2.0  4  4-4  3  2  6.35
Weaver (0-1)	2.0  3  2-2  0  2  7.88
Elbert	        1.0  1  0-0  0  1  6.14
Threets	        1.0  1  2-2  1  2  5.79
Troncoso	1.0  3  2-2  1  0  6.14
Mazone	        1.0  1  0-0  1  1  0.00
 T- 2:58. Att- 8,704.
California Hall of Fame-- The Third Annual California Sports Hall of Fame inducted three with ties to the Dodgers: Steve Garvey, Ann Meyers Drysdale (the general manager of the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and widow of the late Hall of Famer Don Drysdale), and former Los Angeles Times columnist Jim Murray, who was a regular at Dodger Stadium for many years.  

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