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Notes: Park to start China tour

Notes: Park to start China tour

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Non-roster Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park on Wednesday was named to start the March 15 opener of the two-game goodwill series with the Padres in China.

Park then followed Brad Penny to the mound and pitched two scoreless innings against the Mets in his longshot bid to make the club as the fifth starter.

Park said he is pleased to be participating in the China series, but hopeful the long trip will not interfere with his top priority, to return to the Dodgers' starting rotation. From 1997-2001, Park went 75-49 until leaving for a $60 million free-agent contract with the Texas Rangers.

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Against the Mets, Park struck out three. He has not allowed a run in four spring innings. Eric Stults was named to start the second game against the Padres in Beijing on March 16.

Penny allowed one tainted run over three innings, the first Dodgers pitcher to go that far this spring. He said he's still building arm strength but was pleased by inducing nine ground balls. Manager Joe Torre praised the pitching of Mike Myers, the favorite to win the second left-hander job in the bullpen.

Repko's bid: Jeff Kent's late scratch from Wednesday's lineup with a strained hamstring provided an unexpected start for Jason Repko, who capitalized with two hits, an RBI and a stolen base. Repko started in the outfield, and Delwyn Young, originally playing the outfield, took over for Kent at second base.

With Juan Pierre, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier vying for two outfield jobs, Repko has pretty much been overlooked as he attempts to return from hamstring surgery.

"I try not to think about if they're giving me a look," said Repko. "My focus is on my health and getting back to where I was before I got hurt."

Injury update: Left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo's elbow tenderness in his throwing arm improved enough to allow him to play catch on Wednesday. Kuo said he hoped to throw a bullpen session on Friday and pitch in Sunday's game. He's been shut down for three days.

Kuo, who had bone chips removed last year for his fourth elbow operation, said he considered this week's tenderness "normal rehab that you just go through."

"It's not a big deal," Kuo said. "Whatever happens, happens."

Takashi Saito (calf) played catch on Wednesday, Jason Schmidt (shoulder surgery) did not.

Rudy Seanez threw a bullpen session with no problem from a strained groin muscle. If it does not tighten on Thursday, he plans to throw a simulated game Friday or Saturday.

"I went about 90 percent today, a pretty good test," Seanez said.

Rafael Furcal (tight hamstrings) is expected to make Thursday's trip to Ft. Myers.

First cuts: Non-roster pitchers Brian Shackelford, Rick Asadooian, Fernando De La Cruz and Alfredo Simon and catchers A.J. Ellis and Gabriel Gutierrez were reassigned in the first roster moves of the spring. Simon was reassigned before he ever reported, as he's still stuck in the Dominican Republic with visa problems.

Yankees reunion: The loudest pregame ovation at Tradition Field on Wednesday was heard when Mets instructor and former Dodger Darryl Strawberry walked over to the Dodgers' dugout and embraced coach Don Mattingly. Manager Joe Torre then emerged to embrace Strawberry.

Scully in camp: Hall of Fame broadcasting legend Vin Scully, embarking on his 59th consecutive year at the mike, will broadcast his first game of 2008 on Saturday, when KCAL 9 televises the first of two games this weekend. After the Saturday broadcast in Jupiter, Fla., against the Cardinals, KCAL will also be live in Los Angeles at 10:05 a.m. PT Sunday, when the Dodgers take on the Boston Red Sox..

Ladies Spring Training: The seventh annual Ladies Spring Training will be held this Monday, March 10 from 6-9 p.m. at Dodgertown, with registration at 5 p.m. The ladies will receive instruction from Dodgers players and coaches, as well as a clinic T-shirt, a hat, a free ticket to a Dodgers Spring Training game, a goody bag and a catered post-clinic meal. The fee is $45 and all proceeds will go to charity.

Coming up: The Dodgers bus across state for the first of five games this spring against the Boston Red Sox, with first pitch set for 10:05 a.m. Former Boston pitcher Derek Lowe starts for the Dodgers, followed by Stults, Mario Alvarez, Eric Hull, Matt Riley, Jon Meloan, Ramon Troncoso and Greg Jones. Pitching for Boston will be Tim Wakefield, Mike Timlin, David Aardsma, Bryan Corey, Craig Breslow, Lee Gronkiewicz and Hunter Jones.

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

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