03/17/08 4:09 PM ET
Furcal gives top performance in finale
Curtain closes on run in Dodgertown with loss against Astros
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
at Vero Beach, Fla.
Monday, March 17
Astros at the plate: David Newhan tied it at 5 with a two-run homer in the fourth -- 41 years after his dad, Hall of Fame journalist Ross Newhan, covered his first Spring Training here for the L.A. Times. Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence struck back-to-back homers in the third, and J.R. House punctuated the long-ball barrage with a three-run blow in the sixth.Dodgers at the plate: Andre Ethier remained hot, his 4-for-5 day including a fourth-inning RBI single for a brief 6-5 lead and a homer in the eighth. Rafael Furcal, who hit his second spring homer, legged out two triples. Astros on the mound: Woody Williams carried an ERA pf 15.26 into his fourth start of the spring and endured another rough time, allowing nine hits and six runs (five earned) in four innings. Geoff Geary picked up Williams with two hitless innings in relief. Dodgers on the mound: Starter Chad Billingsley worked around a couple of rough innings to go five, allowing five runs and six hits while walking one and striking out three. Scott Proctor rang up two strikeouts in one perfect inning of relief. Grapefruit League records: Astros 9-12; Dodgers 7-12-1. Up next for Astros: They'll kick back on Tuesday, a rare Spring Training off-day. The Astros will resume exhibition play Wednesday night in Kissimmee, where Shawn Chacon is scheduled to start and Jose Valverde and Oscar Villarreal are slated to work against the Braves at 6:05 p.m. CT. Up next for Dodgers: Before going to Arizona, the Dodgers go to Jupiter, Fla. Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda starts what figures to be Los Angeles' final Grapefruit League game on Tuesday, opposing the Marlins at 10:05 a.m. PT. Takashi Saito, who pitched one perfect inning in his spring debut on Saturday, will also throw.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.