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03/04/11 1:05 AM ET

Kuroda works out kinks with curveball

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Hiroki Kuroda allowed two runs on six hits in 2 1/3 innings Thursday night in the Dodgers' 3-1 loss to the Reds, but the starter was generally pleased with his "new" curveball that he said he's been working on for 10 years.

"I worked on the curve tonight and had good results," Kuroda said. "My hard stuff is not there and that's something that happens every Spring Training. The fastball is not there, but it will get there before the season opens."

Kuroda said his eternal search for a comfortable curveball has included tips from teammates Clayton Kershaw and Chad Billingsley, as well as a grip from an unlikely source.

"YouTube," he said, declining to mention the pitcher who was demonstrating it.

On the pitching side, non-roster reliever Mike MacDougal impressed manager Don Mattingly with a clean inning. MacDougal, who has had three 20-save seasons, said he is healthier than a year ago, when he was recovering from hip labrum surgery.

Probably the most impressive Dodgers pitcher was Rubby De La Rosa, last year's organization Pitcher of the Year, who had two scoreless innings with three strikeouts.

The most impressive pitcher of the night was Reds laser lefty Aroldis Chapman, whose first pitch to left-handed hitter Trent Oeltjen was head-high, eluding Reds catcher Corky Miller and just missing plate umpire Tony Randazzo before denting the backstop.

"I think if it hit my face I wouldn't have had time to move," said Oeltjen, an Australian who was 0-for-2 against the Cuban pitcher in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. "It woke me up. It woke the whole stadium up. When he's pitching, you've got to up it a gear. It does play into your mind a little bit."

Lilly shakes off flu to pitch in 'B' game

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Ted Lilly rebounded from the flu to pitch two perfect innings for the Dodgers in a "B" game against the White Sox on Thursday morning.

Lilly, scratched from a scheduled start Wednesday, made 27 pitches, had one strikeout and one flyout to the warning track.

"I felt good -- definitely excited to be pitching in a game again," said Lilly, who was making his first start since signing a three-year, $33 million contract. "I had some adrenaline taking over for any lingering effects. I enjoy being out there and being part of a team. I missed that in the offseason."

Lilly likely didn't know the names of any of his teammates, other than catcher Orlando Mercado Jr., son of a former big leaguer who is now an Angels coach.

"I enjoyed pitching to Mercado," said Lilly, who threw mostly fastballs and changeups, with a few sinkers mixed in to left-handed hitters. "He has really good hands and sets up well. He's a good receiver."

Lilly said by pitching two innings, he will be able to come back in four days and get back on the five-man rotation cycle.

"My command wasn't especially great, velocity was OK, but I don't expect it to be where I'd like it to be just yet," he said. "I'd like to get there pretty soon. It's not as much velocity as how you get there -- without a ton of effort and strain on my arm."

Dodgers' top picks on display vs. White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- After Ted Lilly's appearance in Thursday's "B" game, the Dodgers trotted out their top picks from the past three First-Year Player Drafts, including 2010 first-rounder Zach Lee.

Lee allowed one run in two-thirds of an inning with a strikeout and walk against the White Sox in his unveiling in front of most of the Dodgers' staff. He was signed at last summer's deadline at a club record (for an amateur) $5.25 million after being considered the most un-signable player in the Draft because of a scholarship to play at LSU.

Also appearing in the game were Ethan Martin and Aaron Miller, the club's top picks in '08 and '09, respectively, each checking in with a scoreless inning. Martin signed for $1.73 million and Miller, a supplemental pick, received $889,200.

Dodgers sign lefty Keisler after tryout camp

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The only player the Dodgers signed out of their annual tryout camp Thursday was left-handed pitcher Randy Keisler, who has appeared in 55 Major League games, debuting back in 2000.

The 35-year-old Keisler has pitched for the Yankees, Padres, Reds, A's and the Cardinals, but not since 2007. He was a second-round pick of the Yankees in 1998 out of Louisiana State University. He has a 4-4 lifetime record and 6.63 ERA.

The Dodgers are his 12th organization, and he played the last two years in independent ball and in Mexico.

Two years ago, the Dodgers signed pitcher Tim Corcoran out of the tryout, and he's still with the organization.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.