LaRoche's blast not enough vs. Nats

LaRoche's blast not enough vs. Nats

NATIONALS 4, DODGERS 3
at Vero Beach, Fla.
Tuesday, March 4

Dodgers at the plate: Andy LaRoche and George Lombard hit solo homers in the second inning. James Loney tripled and Chin-lung Hu doubled during the contest.

Nationals at the plate: Luis Jimenez went deep twice, and Felipe Lopez also homered. Jimenez drove in three runs.

Dodgers on the mound: In his second start, Hiroki Kuroda overcame two walks to pitch two scoreless innings. Minor Leaguer Clayton Kershaw allowed a home run to Jimenez and loaded the bases on two bad-hop hits and a hit batter, but he struck out the side in his one-inning Dodgers debut. Yhency Brazoban, returning from shoulder surgery, struck out two in one perfect inning.

Nationals on the mound: Jason Bergmann allowed two solo homers in two innings. Charlie Manning allowed one run in two innings. Dennis Tankersley pitched two scoreless innings.

Grapefruit League records: Dodgers 2-4-1; Nationals 3-4-1.

Up next: Brad Penny, the leading candidate to be the Dodgers' Opening Day starter, and non-roster candidate for fifth starter Chan Ho Park are scheduled to face new Mets ace Johan Santana at Port St. Lucie on Wednesday.

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