Dodger's Suffer Dead-Bat Syndrome

If pitcher's can get a free ride in the middle of spring training by blaming the dead-arm syndrome, why shouldn't batters get the same free ride? Los Angeles dropped a 6-1 decision to the White Sox, scoring their only run in the eighth inning. They collected eight hits, hit into two double plays and had a pair of runners thrown out stealing.

Randy Wolf, who pitched six shutout innings in his last start, cruised through five, allowing no runs and only two hits, but then was tagged with four runs in the sixth before Guillermo Mota could come in and get the final two outs by strikeout, nailing Jermaine Dye and former Dodger Paul Konerko.

Tanyon Sturtze surrendered three hits and another pair of runs in the seventh before Jonathan Broxton pitched around a pair of hits and worked a scoreless eighth.

Rafael Furcal and Manny Mota each had a pair of singles to lead the Dodgers weak attack. The Dodgers were held to five hits and one run against Kansas City on Friday.

To demonstrated the dead-bat thing discussed, check the season averages for the Dodgers projected regular season starters. You can see that only Manny and Russell have avoided the plague:

Rafael Furcal    .222
Orlando Hudson   .212
Manny Ramirez    .533
Andre Ethier     .254
Russell Martin   .343
James Loney      .239
Matt Kemp        .232
Juan Pierre      .226
Blake DeWitt     .283
Casey Blake, who missed the past two games for the birth of his son, is expected back in the lineup today.

The Dodgers slide to 13-16 on the spring season and host San Diego today (Sunday), with fifth-starter candidate Eric Stults getting the start. Also scheduled to pitch for the Dodgers is 21-year-old Josh Lindblom. manager Joe Torre said Ramirez will return to left field for the game.

 Score by innings
Los Angeles	000 000 010-1
White Sox	000 004 20x-6

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	3  0  2  0  .222
 Castro pr-ss	0  0  0  0  .426
Hudson 2b	3  0  0  0  .212
 Hu pr-2b	0  1  0  0  .279
Ramirez dh	3  0  2  0  .533
 Godwin pr-dh	0  0  0  0  .000
Ethier rf	3  0  1  0  .254
 Paul pr-rf	0  0  0  0  .339
Martin c	3  0  0  0  .343
 Ausmus c	1  0  0  0  .343
Loney 1b	4  0  1  0  .239
Kemp cf	        4  0  0  0  .232
Pierre cf	4  0  1  0  .226
DeWitt 3b	3  0  1  0  .283
 Totals	        31 1  8 0
 Chicago	32 6 11 6

 CS- Pierre (3), Ethier (2). LOB- Los Angeles
7, Chicago 5. DP- Ethier and Loney.

 Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Wolf (3-2)	5.1  6  4-4  2  1  4.87
Mota	        0.2  0  0-0  0  2  2.70
Sturtze	        1.0  3  2-2  0  0  5.14
Broxton	        1.0  2  0-0  0  0 16.88
 WP- Mota. T- 2:46. Att- 10,757.

Torre Suggests Surprises
Manager Joe Torre suggested before the game that pitchers Jeff Weaver, Tanyon Sturtze, Brian Mazone and infielders Doug Mientkiewicz and Juan Castro have a shot to make the 25-man roster.

Weaver may be the long man out of the pen and a spot starter. Sturtze has impressed despite shoulder problems and Malone may become the second lefty out of the pen after Hong Chic Kuo, although Erick Threets has also caught his eye.

Castro's can play the middle infield and Mientkiewicz doesn't. Although Mark Loretta also can play the middle infield, he is viewed more as a late-inning pinch-hitter, so the Dodgers need a pure shortstop on the bench.

Mientkiewicz was considered a long-shot when he reported late to camp as a last-minute minor league signing. But the soon-to-be 34-year-old utilityman is hitting well and could be the #1 pinch-hitter.

His contract allows him to become a free agent if he does not make the roster.

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