03/18/08 3:20 PM ET
Sweeney's swing gives Dodgers win
Two-run home run lifts LA; Kuroda, Saito give strong efforts
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
at Jupiter, Fla.
Tuesday, March 18 Marlins at the plate: Dan Uggla doubled, and moved to third on Luis Gonzalez's single in the first inning. Uggla scored on Josh Willingham's groundout, giving the Marlins a lead. Florida threatened in the seventh when Willingham singled, but a runner was stranded at second. Dodgers at the plate: Held without a run through six innings, the Dodgers grabbed the lead in the seventh on Mark Sweeney's two-run homer. Andre Ethier drew a one-out walk, and he was pinch-run for by Jovany Rosario. Blake De Witt collected Los Angeles' first hit, lacing a single to left to open the third inning. Marlins on the mound: Mark Hendrickson made a strong claim to be the Opening Day starter by logging six scoreless innings, scattering three hits while walking one and striking out two. After his 72-pitch performance, the left-hander lowered his ERA in the spring to 1.69. Burke Badenhop had his string of 10 scoreless innings in the spring snapped in the seventh when he gave up a two-run homer to Sweeney. Dodgers on the mound: Hiroki Kuroda, in line to start the Dodgers' fourth game, worked five solid innings. The right-hander yielded three hits, one run while striking out two. He didn't walk a batter. Takashi Saito threw a perfect sixth inning of relief. Left-hander Clayton Kershaw threw three innings of shutout ball for the save. Grapefruit League records: Marlins 15-8-1, Dodgers 8-13-2.
Up next for Marlins: Off on Wednesday, the Marlins will return to Grapefruit League action on Thursday against the Cardinals at 1:05 p.m. ET. Florida will send Ricky Nolasco to the mound, while St. Louis is going with Braden Looper. Nolasco is competing for a rotation spot.
Up next for Dodgers: Next stop, Phoenix, Ariz. The Dodgers' final farewells to Florida now complete, those players who didn't travel to China will fly to Arizona on Tuesday evening to meet up the rest of their teammates. Wednesday is an optional workout day in Phoenix, before the Dodgers officially open Cactus League play against the White Sox on Thursday at 3:05 p.m. PT. Esteban Loaiza, still working on securing the fifth starter's role, will pitch for Los Angeles, opposite Chicago's Mark Buehrle.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.