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Ted Lilly is a little shaky in final tuneup for Dodgers

Dodgers starter walks five in four innings against the Angels, who score two in ninth for 5-4 victory at Dodger Stadium.

March 28, 2011|By Jim Peltz

The plan was for Ted Lilly to strike that optimal chord in his last spring tuneup before the left-handed pitcher starts the Dodgers' third game of the season.

Instead, Lilly was way off key Monday night as the Angels defeated the Dodgers, 5-4, at Dodger Stadium in the opening game of the teams' two-game Freeway Series.

Lilly walked five Angels in four innings of work, threw a wild pitch to another, and the Torrance native gave up two earned runs and four hits, lifting his spring earned-run average to 6.19.

Of Lilly's 80 pitches, 37 were balls.

Indeed, walks to Maicer Izturis and Peter Bourjos to lead off the first and second innings, respectively, led to both Angels scoring and set the tone for Lilly's wobbly outing.

Angels starter Ervin Santana, by contrast, also gave up two runs in five innings but one was unearned and he yielded only three hits. The right-hander also struck out five and walked two.

"It was very frustrating," Lilly said. "[I] tried a couple of different things mechanically and just had a hard time getting the ball out of my hand and rotating the ball correctly. I couldn't figure it out."

The Dodgers handed their closer Jonathan Broxton a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning.

But the Angels scored two unearned runs against Broxton, who wasn't helped by second baseman Ivan De Jesus Jr.'s fielding error on a grounder hit by Alexi Amarista. Hank Conger's sacrifice fly brought in the go-ahead run.

Behind Lilly was what might well be the Dodgers' starting lineup on opening day Thursday, except Clayton Kershaw will be on the mound to face the San Francisco Giants.

The lineup included Tony Gwynn Jr. in left field, Juan Uribe at third base in place of injured Casey Blake and Jamey Carroll at second base, Uribe's normal position.

Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley — who has reached tentative agreement on a three-year contract extension worth $35-$36 million, according to sources familiar with the deal — is scheduled to start for the Dodgers on Friday, followed by Lilly.

The fourth member of the Dodgers' rotation is Hiroki Kuroda, who plans to have his final spring outing Tuesday night when the Angels host the Dodgers at Angel Stadium.

"Tonight was rough," Lilly said of his showing. "I need to get prepared to make sure that I'm ready to give us a good solid chance to win on Saturday."

The night wasn't much easier for two other relievers, the Dodgers' Kenley Jansen and the Angels' hoped-for closer Fernando Rodney.

Jansen walked Howie Kendrick with the bases loaded in the sixth inning — Jansen's third walk of the inning — that gave the Angels a 3-2 lead.

But the Dodgers took a 4-3 lead in their half of the sixth inning against Rodney on a run-scoring double by Uribe and a single by catcher Rod Barajas that scored another run, raising Rodney's ERA to 5.40.

After both teams scored one run in the first inning, the Angels added a run in the second inning when Bourjos walked, moved to second base on Lilly's wild pitch, stole third base and scored on Izturis' single.

In the third inning, the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal and Gwynn singled and Furcal tagged up and moved to third base on Andre Ethier's fly ball out. Furcal scored when Gwynn took off for second base and drew an errant throw from catcher Bobby Wilson.

james.peltz@latimes.com

Times staff writer Mike DiGiovanna contributed to this report.

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