Notes: Guzman left impressing

Notes: Guzman left impressing

JUPITER, Fla. -- Joel Guzman made three putouts in his first start in left field for the Los Angeles Dodgers in Tuesday's 3-1 win against the St. Louis Cardinals at Roger Dean Stadium.

The former shortstop, who has been taking many fly balls and refining his throws in practice, was looking to impress.

"This is what I've been waiting for, to see how it goes," Guzman said. "I still have a ways to go. I think I can handle it."

Guzman was tested in the first inning on a shallow fly ball, which he tracked down and caught one-handed with the sun in his eyes. Later in the game, he snared a line drive that sliced toward the left-field line with a backhand grab.

"You can't ask for too much tougher conditions," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "The sun was right in his face, and the wind was blowing. And he handled all the plays he was supposed to."

"I've been talking with the other outfielders with more experience," Guzman said. "And they've been helping me learn the position."

At the plate, Guzman struck out in his first at-bat, but hit a line-drive single to left in the third inning before finishing 1-for-4.

During batting pregame practice, Guzman hit two towering home runs -- one hit the clubhouse building beyond the center-field wall.

Tomko's old friends: Brett Tomko got his first win of the spring, allowing one run on three hits in three innings of work. He also walked one and struck out two against the Cardinals, for whom he won 13 games in 2003.

"It was nice to work out of the stretch and work on some things," Tomko said.

Tomko, who went 8-15 in 2005 with a 4.48 ERA for San Francisco, hopes Tuesday's showing will help cement his role as one of the top five starters in Los Angeles.

"I don't think you can ever say you have the job locked up," Tomko said. "But I think I'm looking to be one of the five guys."

Tomko likes the fact that he is pitching 30 miles from where he grew up.

"He's got a lot of talent," Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said of his former pitcher. "He's from Los Angeles, so hopefully that will be a good situation for him."

Stults solid, Meloan saves: Eric Stults walked one batter, struck out one and allowed no hits in three innings of relief on Tuesday.

Jonathan Meloan allowed one hit and struck out two to earn the save. The Cardinals were down to their last out and had runners on second and third, but Meloan struck out Hector Luna to end the game.

Little was very impressed with the team's pitching, but he conceded that the pitchers are often a little ahead of the hitters at this stage of Spring Training.

Let's get offensive: James Loney, Ramon Martinez and Andy LaRoche each had two hits for the Dodgers on Tuesday. LaRoche hit an RBI double and scored a run, and Loney hit a double and scored a run. Jason Repko added a single and two RBIs.

Up next: The Dodgers host the Baltimore Orioles at 10:05 a.m. PT on Wednesday. Right-handed pitcher Chad Billingsley will start on the mound for the Dodgers against left-hander John Halama. Many Dodgers fans will be looking for right-hander Eric Gagne, who is scheduled to throw an inning, on the mound. The All-Star closer and 2003 Cy Young Award winner is set to make his first game appearance since mid-June of 2005, when his season ended due to an elbow injury.

Faran Fagen is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.