|Jones hits first homer with Dodgers in a 6-4 loss to Cardinals|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 07 March 2008 12:32|
Nomar Garciaparra also homered for Los Angeles, but Albert Pujols and Rick Ankiel went deep for the St. Louis Cardinals in a 6-4 win Friday.
Pujols followed prospect Colby Rasmus' homer in the first inning with his second longball in as many days.
Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove winner, signed a $36.2 million, two-year contract with the Dodgers in the offseason after the Atlanta Braves, the only team he'd ever played for, decided against trying to keep him.
``He's getting better at-bats,'' Dodgers manager Joe Torre said of Jones.
The two teams combined for seven home runs, including the first by Dodgers prize offseason acquisition Andruw Jones.
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley gave up five hits - including a third homer to D'Angelo Jimenez in the third inning - struck out four and walked one.
``He was fine,'' Torre said. ``The wind blew a couple of them out of the ballpark. There's not a lot you can do about that. He got the ball down. I thought he used all his pitches, got his work in, which is the most important thing.''
Garciaparra homered off St. Louis Cardinals starter Joel Pineiro in the second inning before exiting the game when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth. Andy LaRoche also left the game with a thumb injury after trying to catch a pickoff play at third base.
Both players, who are competing for the starting spot, were getting X-rays.
Pineiro allowed a run on two hits with a strikeout in three innings. It was his first start of the spring after missing time with shoulder stiffness.
``I did start five days after everybody else, but to me, I think I'll be able to catch up,'' Pineiro said.
Ankiel hit his first home run of the spring with a shot off Jonathan Broxton in the sixth inning.
sports hernia surgery. ... St. Louis starting pitcher Matt Clement threw a bullpen session in Jupiter on Friday. It was his first bullpen session of the spring. ... With Jason Schmidt not expected to be ready for opening day, Torre said both Jason Johnson and Chan Ho Park are in the mix for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Esteban Loaiza is considered the favorite to win the spot. Johnson pitched two innings Friday and allowed one unearned run.