Dodgers Drop Final Exhibition Game 6-3

Starters Chad Billingsley (bad) and Hiroki Kuroda (good) presented a mixed bag as they tuned up for the regular season. Billingsley had one bad inning and saw his ERA jump from 1.80 to 4.67. Kuroda worked four innings, allowing only a leadoff double, and dropped his earned run average to 1.96.

Billingsley, who is scheduled to start Thursday's game in Pittsburgh, allowed six runs on six hits and three walks. Scheduled to pitch four innings, he was KO'ed with two out in the third, having used up his prescribed 75 pitches.

"He had outstanding stuff until that one inning he let get away," Torre said. "I know he was more frustrated than we were."

He threw 75 pitches, 45 of them strikes, and one of them was Kendry Morales' grand slam in a five-run third inning.

By contrast, Kuroda, who will pitch Friday night's game in Florida, retired 12 consecutive batters after the opening hit, with five strikeouts. He used only 51 pitches.

Tim Corcoran (one out) and Ramon Ortiz (yet another scoreless inning) bridged the gap between the two starters.

The Dodgers scored three times in the third inning but the five run third erased that. Xavier Paul homered and singled, knocking in a pair of runs. Russell Martin singled twice and drove in a run. Jamey Carroll was 3-for-=4 and boosted his average to .381.

Roster Moves Immediately after the game, the Dodgers optioned infielder Chin-lung Hu, outfielder Xavier Paul and catcher A.J. Ellis to Albuquerque. They also reassigned RHP Luis Ayala, RHP Justin Miller and C J.D. Closser to minor league camp and officially released INF Doug Mientkiewicz.

Rule 5 Draft pick Carlos Monasterios has made the Dodgers' Opening Day roster, manager Joe Torre said Saturday. Should Torre go with 12 pitchers, it likely would mean Russ Ortiz makes the club and infielder Nick Green would not. Although the Dodgers have extra infielders in Jamey Carroll and Ronnie Belliard, neither has the shortstop experience of Green.

Green said he would accept a Triple-A assignment and not exercise an opt-out clause unless another club has a Major League spot open. If Green signs with another team, the Dodgers could keep him only by putting him on the Opening Day roster and going with 11 pitchers.

Vicente Padilla will make his first-career Opening Day start on Monday 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, Hiroki Kuroda and Charlie Haeger.

Pitching probables in Pittsburgh:
  Monday, April 5, RHP Vicente Padilla vs. LHP Zach Duke
Tuesday: open
Wednesday, April 7, LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. RHP Ross Ohlendorf
Thursday, April 8. RHP Chad Billingsley vs. LHP Paul Maholm

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