Starters have mixed results in finale

Starters have mixed results in finale

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers had mixed results on Saturday in the final tuneups for starting pitchers Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda.

Billingsley, the announced starter for Thursday's game in Pittsburgh, was roughed up by the Angels for six runs on six hits and three walks. Originally scheduled to pitch four innings, he was removed after 2 2/3, having made 75 pitches. The big blow was a Kendry Morales grand slam in a five-run third inning. Billingsley's spring ERA finished at 4.67.

Asked if there was reason for concern about Billingsley, manager Joe Torre said, "I hope not. It just looked like he got outside himself that one inning. His stuff was good, velocity good. He got ahead of a couple hitters and let them get away. He was more frustrated than we were."

By contrast, Kuroda, the announced starter for Friday night's game in Florida, was dominant. After allowing a double to the first batter he faced, he retired the next 12 batters with five strikeouts. Kuroda's spring ERA finished at 1.96.

"Pretty darn good," said Torre. "He had 51 pitches in four innings; can't do much better. He's had a great spring. If he's able to stay on the field and pitch as a regular starter, he could be something special."