Kuroda Tunes up for Opening Day

In the final exhibition games in Arizona, Hiroki Kuroda tuned up for opening day by holding the Giants to four hits, two of them scratchy, and one run over his three innings. His nine outs came on six ground balls and three strikeouts. He threw 34 pitches and 23 of them were strikes.

First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz and infielder Juan Castro each slammed a homer, with Castro adding a double to the Dodgers 10-hit attack. Juan Pierre had a double and two singles, Jason Repko had an important two-run single and Luis Maza was 2-for-2.

But Eric Milton, who was has been considered as a candidate for the 25-man roster, had a nightmare of an afternoon. He entered the game in the sixth inning and gave up eight runs on seven hits, two walks, a hit batsman and a wild pitch.

He served up a pair of doubles, a triple and two home runs while facing 17 batters over 2.1 innings and throwing a stunning 53 pitches of which 34 were strikes. He finished the game with a 10.07 earned run average.

During his tour the Dodgers took a 5-4 lead, fell behind 8-5, then scored three in the eighth to tie the game 8-8 before the final two runs Milton allowed determined the game and tagged him with his third loss of the spring.

Hong-Chih Kuo followed Kuroda with a scoreless fourth inning and Shawn Estes gave up a single run in the fifth

Doug Mientkiewicz slammed his fourth home run of the spring with Juan Pierre of base in the second inning to give the Dodgers a brief 2-1 lead. San Francisco tied the game off Estes and took a 4-2 lead when Milton surrendered two in the sixth.

Jason Repko replaced Manny Ramirez after Manny had walked and struck out in two plate appearances. Repko's two out, two-run single in the seventh put L.A. in front 5-4.

The Giants tacked on four in the seventh off Milton but Juan Castro had a two-run homer in a three-run eighth and rookie Andrew Lambo knocked in his first run of the spring to tie the game at eight before S.F. added the winning runs in the bottom of the inning.

Dwayne Pollok rescued Milton and finished out the eighth inning. Los Angeles went scoreless in the ninth and the Dodgers lost their 18th game against 14 wins.

The Dodgers meet the Angels in a one-game Freeway Series today (Thursday) at Dodger Stadium. Randy Wolf, who will start the regular season's second game, will make his final exhibition appearance.

 Score by innings
Los Angeles	000 200 330- 8
San Francisco	100 012 42x-10

 Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Pierre cf	5  1  3  0  .270
 Rosario pr-cf	0  0  0  0 1.000
Hu ss	        3  0  0  0  .264
Ramirez lf	1  0  0  0  .476
 Repko pr-lf	2  1  1  2  .237
 Lambo pr-lf	1  0  0  1  .000
M'kiewicz 1b	4  1  1  2  .275
DeWitt 3b	2  0  0  0  .290
 Milton p	1  0  0  0  .500
 Pollok p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Gallagher ph	1  0  0  0  .500
Paul rf	        4  1  0  0  .311
Ellis c	        3  1  1  0  .290
 Jansen ph	2  0  0  0  .000
Castro 2b	5  2  2  2  .415
Kuroda p	1  0  0  0  .333
 Kuo p	        0  0  0  0  .000
 Russell ph	1  0  0  0  .000
 Estes p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Maza 3b	2  2  2  1  .273
-----------------------------------------
 Totals	        38  8 10  8
 Giants	        35 10 14 10

 Two-base hits- Castro (7), Pierre (2), 
Ellis (2). HR- Mientkiewicz (3), Castro 
(2). RBI- Mientkiewicz 2 (13), Maza (2), 
Repko 2 (7). SB- Paul (5). RBI- Mientkiewicz 
2 (13), Maza (1), Repko 2 (7), Castro 2 (9), 
Lambo (1). LOB- Los Angeles 9, San Francisco 
5. DP- Estes, Hu and Mientkiewicz; Hu, 
Castro and Mientkiewicz. 

 Los Angeles  	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Kuroda	        3.0  4  1-1  0  3  2.61
Kuo	        1.0  0  0-0  0  1  6.35
Estes	        1.0  2  1-1  0  0  8.49
Milton (0-3)	2.1  7  8-8  2  1 10.07
Pollok	        0.2  1  0-0  0  0  0.00
 WP- Milton. HBP- by Milton. T- 2:55. 
Att- 6,531.
Ardoin Outrighted
Danny Ardoin, who backed up catcher Russell Martin in 2008, was outrighted to Triple-A Albuquerque. He has 10 days to accept the assignment, which would mean backing up rookie catcher A.J. Ellis, or declaring himself a free agent.

The Dodgers signed free agent Brad Ausmus and the veteran backstop will catch behind Russell. Ardoin's release was a forgone conclusion at that point. Ardoin hit .235 last season over 24 games.

The Dodgers have given Ellis a long look during the spring and he proved to be a solid catcher and accomplished with a bat.

The Dodgers have also offered minor league assignments to pitchers Eric Milton, Tanyon Sturtze and Shawn Estes. Milton accepted, Sturtze will accept if he doesn't make the big club and Estes asked for some time to think it over.

Jones Makes the Rangers
Texas released outfielder Frank Catalanotto, who hit .317 this spring, to make room for former Dodger Andruw Jones, who has a .293 average, three home runs and six runs batted in.

The deciding factor in the move was that Jones hits right-handed and Catalanotto hits left. The Rangers have Chris Davis, David Murphy and Hank Blalock, who hit from the left side.

LA Dodgers Insider Top Stories