Braves 4, Dodgers (ss) 1
VERO BEACH, Fla. (AP)—Chuck James is encouraged by his improving slider.
The left-hander threw his slider several times—more than he usually does in an entire game.
“It’s definitely coming around and it’s actually breaking a little bit this year, so I have been working on location,” James said. “It’s nice to have that third pitch when your fastball isn’t there.”
The Braves scored two runs on four hits, including RBI singles by Ryan Langerhans and Martin Prado, in the second inning to take the lead after Dodgers starter Derek Lowe needed just seven pitches to retire Atlanta in the first.
Los Angeles made three more errors, two on the left side of the infield and one that led to an unearned run in the fifth inning. In the Dodgers’ first three games, six of their seven errors have been made by the third baseman or shortstop.
“I think it’s in the water, but these days shall pass,” manager Grady Little said.
SS Rafael Furcal didn’t play in either of the Dodgers’ split-squad games because of irritation in his right shoulder. Little said Furcal will take it easy the next few days as a precaution. … Dodgers 3B Wilson Betemit is 0-for-7 in three games. He is yet to hit the ball out of the infield. … Los Angeles closer Takashi Saito, who has been nursing a strained right calf, will pitch Wednesday in one of the Dodgers’ split-squad games. He threw a simulated game Sunday morning.