Billingsley keeps Cubs quiet before LA walks off

Billingsley keeps Cubs quiet before LA walks off

Billingsley keeps Cubs quiet before LA walks off
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chad Billingsley and Ryan Dempster hooked up in a six-inning pitchers' duel Tuesday before Orlando Mercado's RBI single off Jeff Samardzija in the 10th gave the Dodgers a 2-1 win over the Cubs.

Jeff Baker hit his first home run of the spring off Ramon Troncoso in the ninth inning to draw the Cubs even. The Dodgers broke the scoreless tie off Dempster in the fifth inning on singles by Eugenio Velez, Rafael Furcal and Xavier Paul.

Velez injured his right ankle, beating out a bunt single in the seventh inning. He appeared to turn the ankle badly when he stepped on the side of the first-base bag trying to avoid a collision with former Dodger Blake DeWitt. Velez collided with DeWitt immediately after hitting the bag awkwardly and was taken off the field by team trainers.

Chicago nearly scored in the first inning off Billingsley, but Hector Gimenez, a catcher making his first outfield appearance of the spring, gunned out Tyler Colvin at the plate trying to score from second base on Marlon Byrd's single.

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The Cubs threatened by loading the bases with two out in the sixth inning off Billingsley, but Paul made a sliding catch on Jeff Baker's liner to right-center.

The Cubs also rallied in the seventh, with DeWitt leading off the inning with a triple off Lance Cormier, who then struck out Darwin Barney and Scott Moore. After Cormier walked Kosuke Fukudome, Scott Elbert replaced him and struck out Tyler Colvin to end the inning.

Dodgers up next: Ted Lilly makes his first "A" game start since getting knocked around March 12 by the Royals for six runs in 2 2/3 innings, as the Dodgers take on the White Sox at 1:05 p.m. PT on Wednesday. Six days ago, Lilly was scratched from an "A" game and instead pitched six innings in a Minor League game, allowing two runs. Lilly, beginning a three-year, $33 million contract, has a 10.50 ERA in two "A" game starts, and this game will be a test to see if he's back on track.

Cubs up next: Carlos Silva, vying for the final spot in the rotation, will make his fifth Cactus League appearance on Wednesday against the A's at 3:05 p.m. CT in Mesa -- and fans can listen to a free, exclusive webcast on Silva has struggled, giving up 20 earned runs over 11 1/3 innings, including five in his last outing against the Reds. Carlos Zambrano had been scheduled to start, but he will get his work done down the street at the Cubs' Minor League camp. Third baseman Aramis Ramirez may be back. He has not played since Friday because of a fever.

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