(Photo by mlb.com)
VERO BEACH, Fla. -- Sikeston native Blake DeWitt is making the most of his opportunity with the Los Angeles Dodgers, gathering two hits including his first home run of the spring Tuesday afternoon in a 7-6 loss to Florida.
DeWitt, 22, doubled off the Marlins' Taylor Tankersley in the sixth inning and hit a solo home run off Bob Keppel in the eighth inning. Keppel is another Missouri product, graduating from DeSmet High School.
Rafael Furcal had a 3-for-4 game with a triple and two RBI, and scored twice to go along with DeWitt's two hits. Derek Lowe also gave up three runs in a four-
inning start, but Yhency Brazoban got tagged with the loss. Brazoban gave up three runs in two-thirds of an inning.
Josh Willingham went 2-for-4 with a double and run batted in for Florida while Dan Uggla hit a solo homer, and Jose Castillo had two hits. Eight out of the Marlins' 10 hits were singles. Starter Andrew Miller gave up three runs on four hits and three walks, in four innings of work. Taylor Tankersley picked up the win after pitching a scoreless frame in relief.
DeWitt, a 2004 graduate of Sikeston High School, was promoted to major league camp over the weekend to provide depth with injuries to 3B Andy LaRoche (out two months with thumb surgery), IF Tony Abreu (lingering abdominal discomfort) and 3B Nomar Garciaparra (wrist injury). A third baseman, the former first-round pick has started three of four games since the promotion and is batting .300.
DeWitt is playing for Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda who returned to the dugout as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday for the first time in 12 years.
Lasorda, who retired from managing in 1996 after 21 years, is temporarily taking over for Joe Torre this week while Torre travels to China with part of the squad for two exhibition games against San Diego.