On Balance, it Was a Very Good Night

The Dodgers took a 6-2 lead into the eighth inning but Seattle scored six runs to earn an 8-6 win. However, a number of good things far outweighed the bad in the loss and is the strange world of spring training baseball, it was a good night.

The Dodgers clouted three home runs, a rare occurrence for the power-challenged team. Manny Ramirez, Brad Ausmus and Casey Blake had solo homers in each of the first three innings.

Ramirez was also hit on the foot by a pitch and lined out to deep center, announcing after the game that he was ready to play in the outfield.

Clayton Kershaw, seemingly getting stronger each outing, allowed one-hit (a bunt single and then retired 13 of the next 14 hitters)and took a shutout into the sixth but it was an inning too far. He allowed a run and left a runner on base who scored on a hit allowed by Tanyon Sturtze.

"The bite on my curveball was what I was looking for," he said after the game. "I wasn't locating it as well, but it had the bite I was looking for."

It was his second solid start in succession. He has fanned nine in the previous 10.1 innings while allowing only four hits and two runs.

Hong-Chih Kuo worked around a pair of hits to add a scoreless inning. Guillermo Mota allowed two runs and Cory Wade was called in to get him out of further trouble, which he did with a strikeout.

Jonathan Broxton was lit up for four hits and four runs and took the loss. Newcomer Henry Bonilla got the final out of the game.

Doug Mientkiewicz probably earned a spot on the 25-man roster with a pair of ringing doubles and two runs batted in.

Struggling (.222) outfielder Andre Ethier complete the cycle (for the season) when he doubled to go with a previous triple and a homer.

Rookie Devaris Gordon, the fastest man in the Dodgers system, stole second base and took third base on a throwing error while running for James Loney. Then the fourth-round pick in the 2008 draft attempted to score on a wild pitch, but nailed at the plate.

Another rookie, outfielder Clay Calfee, got into his first game and scored on Orlando Hudson's double. Calfee was the Dodgers #14 selection in the '08 draft. And outfielder Kyle Russell, #3 selection out of Texas, pinch-ran for Pierre and then struck out in his only at-bat.

On the down side of he ledger, Kershaw was hit on the hip by a line drive but said it was more sore than serious. Jason Repko apparently pulled a hamstring and Mota and Broxton were lit up but manager Joe Torre was not concerned about his stopper.

"He hasn't pitched in a week," he said. "So he is a bit rusty."

"It's tough, especially when you don't have the full spring training and you get to competing. When the game starts, the national anthem's played, they put themselves into that competitive mode, they can't go halfway."

The Dodgers drew almost 10,000 for their first night game in Camelback Ranch.

Ramirez will play left field today when she Dodgers meet the Brewers. Eric Stults draws the start and will be followed by RHP Claudio Vargas.

 Score by innings
Seattle	        000 002 024-8
Los Angeles	111 001 200-5

 Los Angeles		ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	        3  1  1  0  .227
 Hu pr-ss	        2  0  0  0  .289
Hudson 2b	        3  0  1  1  .214
 Castro 2b	        2  1  1  0  .439
Ramirez dh	        2  1  1  1  .286
 Mienktiewicz ph-dh	2  0  2  2  .304
Ethier rf	        3  0  1  0  .222
 Paul rf-cf	        2  0  0  0  .367
Blake 3b	        3  1  1  1  .273
 Maza 3b	        1  0  0  0  .125
Loney 1b	        4  0  1  0  .237
 Gordon pr	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Broxton p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Bonilla p	        0  0  0  0  .000
Pierre cf	        3  0  1  0  .196
 Russell pr-lf	        1  0  0  0  .000
Ausmus c	        3  1  1  1  .387
 Ardoin c	        0  0  0  0  .429
Repko lf-cf	        2  0  1  0  .242
 Calfee pr-lf	        1  1  0  0  .000
	----------------
 Totals	        37 6 12 6
 Seattle	38 8 13 8

 Two-base hits- Ethier (1), Hudson (2),
Mientkiewicz 2 (3). HR- Ramirez (1), Ausmus 
(1), Blake (2). RBI- Ramirez (1), Ausmus (3),
Hudson (4), Blake (4), Mientkiewicz 2 (9).
SB- Hu (1), Gordon (1). CS- Repko (1).

 Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Kershaw	        5.1  3  2-2  1  6  3.48
Sturtze	        0.2  1  0-0  0  0  3.00
Kuo	        1.0  2  0-0  0  1 10.13
Mota	        0.2  3  2-2  1  1  3.12
Wade	        0.1  0  0-0  0  1  8.10
Broxton (0-1)	0.2  4  4-4  1  1 27.00
Bonilla	        0.1  0  0-0  0  0  0.00
 WP- Broxton. HBP- Ramirez. T- 3:16.
Att- 9,884.

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