He worked five innings, allowing three runs but was solid over the first four, using only 44 pitches and retiring 11 in a row at one time.
The Dodgers bullpen was nearly untouchable, RHP Jonathan Broxton, and LHP George Sherrill, RHP Ramon Ortiz and Justin Peterson each pitching an inning and allowing only a harmless pair of singles over the final four innings.
Third baseman Casey Blake led an 11-hit offensive attack, collecting three hits in four trips to boost his average to .355. Eight other Dodgers had a single hit each and six collected an RBI.
Los Angeles is now 8-10 on the season with a pair of ties. They host Kansas City tomorrow (Friday).
Busy First Inning
Milwaukee had a pair of hits in the first inning, with Ryan Braun's double giving the Brewers a 1-0 advantage. L.A. tied things quickly. Rafael Furcal doubled and Matt Kemp singled him to third. Kemp bluffed a steal and was caught dead 15 feet from the bag but Brewer's pitcher Jeff Suppan threw the ball past Prince Fielder at first. Furcal scored, Kemp moved to third and then scored on Andre Ethier's sac fly.
Both pitchers settled in after the first. Towers retired 11 in a row after Braun's double before Greg Zaun led off with a double in the fifth. Former Dodger Craig Counsell singled with one out and was bunted to second by Suppan. Ricky Weeks lined a 3-2 shot off the left field wall to score both runners and put the Brewers in front again.
Suppan retired catcher J.D. Closser on a fly to left in the fifth and hit his pitch count, Manny Parra taking over. Suppan also retired 11 without at hit after the first, marred only by a walk to Kemp in the third.
Tower left the game having made 74 pitches. He had 44 through the first four but spent 30 getting the side out in the fifth.
Jonathan Broxton, making his sixth appearance, pitched the sixth inning. He retired the side in order on three popups, Garrett Anderson making a nice catch in foul territory for the second out and Jamey Carroll ranging far into right field to end the inning.
The Dodgers jumped on Parra in the sixth. Ethier opened with a shot on the ground that ate up Prince Fielder for a single and Manny Ramirez grounded a ball into left field for a single. James Loney doubled into the left-field corner to score Ethier and Blake's single to right made it four hits in a row and tied the score 3-3.
Anderson singled up the middle to score Loney and Reed Johnson ran for him. Jamey Carroll fouled off two bunt attempts, then hit into a double play, catcher J.D. Closser missed a home run by about a foot when his line drive rattled off the Dodgers bullpen fence in left field to drive in Blake.
George Sherrill pitched the seventh and allowed a single. With one out, Counsell ripped a ground ball to Loney who, in one motion, tagged the bag and threw to second for the tag and a sparkling double play.
Thirty-seven year old Ramon Ortiz, and his nifty 1.38 ERA, took over in the eighth and worked a scoreless inning, striking out two to boost his Cactus League-leading total to 19.
Loney walked to lead off the eighth and Blake DeWitt ran for him, scampering to third base on Casey Blake's single to right. Doug Mientkiewicz ran for him. Jamie Carroll's single scored DeWitt with the seventh run.
Justin Miller came in to close the game out and did it in 1-2-3 style with a strikeout.
Martin Collects Two Hits
Catcher Russell Martin progressed faster than expected from a strained groin and played in a minor league game against the Rangers' Triple-A players in Surprise. Martin caught four innings, doubled and singled and scored a run. Martin was a National League All-Star in both 2007 and 2008 and has never been on the disabled list in his Major League career.
Martin's backup, Brad Ausmus, had an epidural injection last Thursday and was cleared to resume baseball activities yesterday. Ausmus, who feels much better, is one of four current Major Leaguers (Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez and Randy Winn) who have 10 years of service time and have never been on the Major League disabled list.
Padilla Surprise Opening Day Starter
Dodger Manager Joe Torre announced that right-hander Vicente Padilla will be the Dodgers' Opening Day starter at Pittsburgh on April 5. This will be Padilla's first-career Opening Day start and he will be the Dodgers fourth different Opening Day starter in as many years, joining Derek Lowe (2007), Brad Penny (2008) and Hiroki Kuroda (2009). Clayton Kershaw will then pitch game no. 2 on April 7, which also means he'll start the home opener on April 13 vs. Arizona. Kershaw will then be followed in turn by Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda. The fifth spot in the rotation, which will come up for the first time on April 10 at Florida, has not been decided.
Old Home Week
The Dodgers welcomed Don Newcombe and Ron Cey to Camelback Ranch - Glendale. Newcombe, legendary pitcher and Special Advisor to the Chairman, addressed the team and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Saturday vs. the Mariners. Newcombe remains the only player ever to win the Rookie of the Year (1949), the MVP, and the Cy Young Award (1956) in his career. In 2009, he was named Special Advisor to Chairman Frank McCourt and 2010 will be his 48th year with the organization. "Newk" started the Dodgers Community Relations Department in 1970. Cey spent 12 years with the Dodgers from 1971-82, was named to six All-Star teams and won the 1981 World Series Co-MVP along with teammates Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager.
Pitching Probables March 26 vs. Royals: RHP Vicente Padilla, RHP Jonathan Broxton, LHP George Sherrill, RHP Jeff Weaver
Score by innings Milwaukee 100 020 000-3 Los Angeles 200 003 01x-7 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 1 1 0 .220 Green ss 1 0 0 0 .200 Kemp cf 3 1 1 0 .293 Paul cf 1 0 0 0 .286 Ethier rf 3 1 1 1 .289 Repko rf 0 0 0 0 .087 Ramirez dh 2 1 1 0 .320 Belliard dh 1 0 0 0 .148 Loney 1b 3 1 1 1 .313 DeWitt pr-2b 0 1 0 0 .350 Blake 3b 4 1 3 1 .355 Mientkiewicz pr-1b 0 0 0 0 .292 Anderson lf 3 0 1 1 .375 Johnson pr-lf 1 0 0 0 .297 Carroll 2b-3b 4 0 1 1 .350 Closser c 3 0 1 1 .333 -------------------------------------------- Totals 33 7 11 6 Brewers 32 3 7 3 Two-base hits- Furcal (1). Closser (1). RBI- Ethier (8), Loney (4), Blake (6), Anderson (3), Closser (1), Carroll (2). SF- Ethier. LOB- Los Angeles 7, Milwaukee 3. RISP- Los Angeles 6-for-14, Milwaukee 3-for-7. DP- Loney and Furcal. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Towers 5.0 4 3-3 0 4 Broxton 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 Sherrill 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 RaOrtiz 1.0 1 0-0 0 2 JMiller 1.0 0 0-0 0 1 T- 2:34. Att- 8,053.Dodgers Looking at Gaudin?
Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Dodgers are among the teams interested in recently-released right-hander Chad Gaudin. The Mets are another team with early interest in Gaudin, who was released by the Yankees on Thursday.
The twenty-seven year old right-hander has a 34-35 career record and a 4.50 earned run average while pitching for Tampa Bay, Oakland, the Cubs, San Diego and the NY Yankees. He was 11-13 for Oakland in 2007 and 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA for the Yankees over 11 games in 2009.
The Dodgers are currently weighing Russ Ortiz, Eric Stults, Carlos Monasterios, Charlie Haeger and Ramon Ortiz for the final spot in their rotation.